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Recipes from Afar: Kentucky Beer Cheese on Toast
A few months ago in Louisville, Kentucky, we went hunting for beer cheese. Much in the vein of England's Welsh rarebit, this state specialty combines cheese with beer and spices in a dip of sorts and serves it, traditionally, with crackers. It turned out beer cheese wasn't terribly hard to find in Louisville; brewpubs served it with pretzels and even the farmers market had a stand selling the stuff. But it wasn't until we went to Eiderdown, a restaurant in Germantown, late one afternoon, that we really got the appeal of the stuff.
A local guy—whose apartment we were renting via Airbnb—told us Eiderdown had "perfected the perfect beer cheese," so we packed up our one-year-old and drove the 10 minutes southeast of downtown to Germantown. It was our fourth day in town, we were tired, and here I was making us try yet another beer cheese, convinced by our host's recommendation that we hadn't yet had a great one. Immediately, we saw we'd made the right move: Unlike the previous cold, harder varieties we'd tasted, this one came to the table warm, paired with a thin-sliced baguette baked at a local cafe. Unbelievably creamy, with a pleasant savory bite, the bowl before us didn't stand a chance. We polished it and our excellent local beers off before our kid could even think of getting antsy.
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