“Cull, clear your calendar, we’re tasting experimental mystery cheese this weekend.” Cullen generally goes along with whatever food adventure I bounce into. The weekend before he stood happily by as I bought and fried pigs’ ears for dinner. Before that, it was the place that served all types of tongue. He grins with pride as I scarf down stinky fermented natto-it looks like alien spawn and might taste pretty similar, but I’m satisfied that’s a good thing, and he’s not going to argue. Just so long as I can figure out how to pair everything I consume with craft beer. I’ll try anything but eyeball, pig nose and Brussels’ sprouts. Fortunately, none of those have a corresponding brew match, so we’re good.
My love affair with cheese started at a young age with the more processed cheeses like Velveeta and Kraft Singles. Later in life I graduated to elevated levels of cheese nirvana and now include Camboloza, Broschetto Al Tartufo, and Pierre Robert among my favorites. I have champagne taste on a beer budget (or a reasonable wine budget) and would rather spend my last pennies on a small wedge of fine cheese than on a big meal. I am a novice cheese-taster, but definitely a pro at eating it; so imagine my surprise and excitement when I was chosen to be on the Point Reyes Birth of a Cheese Tasting Panel.
I can safely say that receiving cheese in the mail is just about one of the coolest things that can happen to a cheese geek like me. I spend most waking moments surrounded by cheese, whether it be cheese monger by day at Whole Foods Market, or cheese maker by night in my messy and cluttered home kitchen. To have the opportunity to try a brand new cheese that is unavailable to the general public is nothing short of thrilling.
My name is Donna (from Cookistry) and I'm a cheese-aholic. "Hi Donna, why are you here?" Well, FedEx dropped off a blue cheese for me to taste-test, and I have to confess that until recently, I wasn't a big fan of blue cheeses. Or, more accurately, I was so traumatized by bad bottled blue cheese dressings as a child that it took me many years to come around to the world of Real Blue. And now, here I am, on a cheese tasting panel. "So what's the problem, Donna?" Oh nothing. Just wanted to clear the air before we got to the evaluation. Just in case anyone knew me from back then. Before I knew better.
What a great honor to be chosen as a taster for “Birth of a Cheese”! My name is Kris Blondin, and I own a little restaurant/deli called STINK Cheese-Meat in Tacoma, WA. Stinky cheese, stinky wine, stinky beer and stinky French cider are some of my most favorite things in the world to consume. I also have had the pleasure of writing about these tasty treats for a local publication. Needless to say, I was very honored to be chosen as a taster.
I work in a library and I read whenever I am not asleep. Travel and good food are my particular reading specialities and the two combined have provided me with great adventures as I travel! I am, and always have been, a blue cheese girl; umami is my favorite taste sensation. So whenever and wherever I travel, I head to the blue cheese section of the cheese shop first. When I unwrapped the cheese that had been sent to me I sighed with sheer delight!! Those lovely blue veins, that wonderful smell, that slightly grainy feel of the cheese on your tongue. I was in heaven. This would be my dream taste testing.
My name is Robin Berger, you can find out more about me and what I like to cook on my food blog: http://blog.hippoflambe.com
Anne Maxfield, the Accidental Locavore, was brought up in the early days of Julia Child, however back then what she really thrived on was the bounty of prepared foods. Onion rings in a can, on top of macaroni and cheese from a box, with those cute Vienna franks (also from a can) and there was a great dinner! Parents going out? Frozen pot pies, or even better, a TV dinner…bliss. Why whole grains and fresh vegetables, when there were cans or frozen foods?
I am pretty much what you would call a cheese freak. I eat it, cook with it, write about it, make it (at home and with cheesemakers on their farm). Because that isn't enough, I even monger at a cheese shop on a part-time basis. So yeah... you could say that I am a bit obsessed. So imagine my surprise when given the opportunity to help a master craft a new American classic? Now that is priceless...
I opened up the box to find a nice sized wedge, wrapped in foil, and surrounded by a couple of cold packs. There was also a card on top from Point Reyes, welcoming me to the panel, and giving some of the details of what criteria they were looking for. Although it was extremely difficult, I waited about an hour and a half in order for it to come up to room temperature. I unwrapped the wedge, and found a nice piece of blue cheese.