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Artisan Cheese for Partisan Voters

Meryle Evans / October 5th, 2012

Washington, D.C.—Step right up and cast your vote—in cheese. At Washington, D.C.’s Park Hyatt, where resident cheese specialist Lisa Hviding presides over an array of artisan cheeses, partisans can weigh in on their choice for president by ordering blue (Democratic) or red (Republican) varieties, with the results tallied on election day to see if they correlate with the winning candidate. For reds Hviding recommends Red Hawk cow’s milk cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, California, and Lincoln Log, a pasteurized goat’s milk cheese from Zingerman’s Creamery in Michigan. The blues include Ewe’s Blue sheep’s milk cheese from New York’s Old Chatham Sheepherding Company and playfully named Barick Obama, a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese from Lazy Lady Farm in Vermont. (That farm, incidentally, also produces other pun-inspired cheeses like Biden His Time, Tomme Delay, and Fil-A-Buster.)

At the Hyatt there are multiple choices for independent voters as well, including Green Hill from Georgia, a double cream cow’s milk cheese, and Maryland’s pasturized goat’s milk Cabra La Mancha. For all to admire: a 35 pound wheel “Presidential Cheese,” Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, from the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont, that will be officially named for the winning candidate on November 6.

Hviding, who attended culinary school and has worked at Cowgirl Creamery’s Washington shop, oversees the cheese station in the busy lounge nightly from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. She plates six-ounce portions on wooden cheese boards accompanied by house-made Pinot Noir jelly, Vidalia onion jam, dried fruits, and breads, along with charcuterie including coppa and wild boar cacciatorini. D.C. insiders who like to be seen but not heard, can enjoy their food and drinks in four glass-enclosed booths named for prominent American statesmen.

After the election, guests with very, very deep pockets and tickets to the inaugural can celebrate in the hotel’s Presidential Suite from January 18 to 22 for $57,000. They will be served a five course dinner for up to 12 guests prepared by executive chef Sebastien Archambault, featuring the president elect’s favorite dishes, will be and pampered with fashion consultations, chauffeured transportation, and spa treatments. The final touch? A rocking chair from the Presidential Suite engraved with the guest’s initials and the inaugural seal that will be shipped home as a memento of the occasion.