After a very long work day while host to a cold, driving home in rush-hour traffic and pouring rain, then coming home to a dark and empty house....what would you long for? If you were me, it would be a little white box sitting on your fence post that read "Perishable" and a hard to find winter warmer beer.
My little white box contained the latest and last installment of the "Birth of a Cheese" series by Point Reyes Dairy and Culture Magazine. A lovely "mystery" blue that I was chomping at the bit to pair with the Founders Backwoods Bastard ale I had securely in my possession. The last blue Point Reyes sent me was very lovely, but admittedly not my favorite. This blue was a world apart.
Just announced... the official results and winners of this year's American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) cheese competition. http://www.americandairygoatproducts.org/2011_cheese_winners.htm.
The competition was judged by long time cheese experts Daphne Zepos of Essex Street Cheese and new owner of The Cheese School of San Francisco, and Dr Moshe Rosenberg of UC Davis.
Many, many congratulations to the winners.
This video about artisan chocolateirs Mast Brothers, via The Scout, contains one of the most intense openings for any chocolate-based movie I can remember, Gene Wilder's performance in Willy Wonka excepted.
The Brooklyn-based brothers have gained notoriety not only for their full, silky beards, but also for their utter commitment to hand-manufacture, to the point of commissioning a sailboat to deliver their cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic, New York's first cargo delivery by sail since 1939.
I was pretty excited when I got to taste a cheese in development by Point Reyes a few months ago. When I found out that a new wedge was on its way, I was twice as excited. And then the lovely wedge arrived. Can I admit that we ate a whole lot of this cheese when it first arrived? A whole lot. I won't say half, but it was major carnage. The last cheese was fairly mild and creamy with an ammonia-sharpness near the rind.
Euro USA's salumier Jeff Stout shows us how to quickly peel a hard salami casing with no fuss. Works on even the wrinkliest, most wizened sausages!
We stopped off at his place this morning to start prepping for tonight's Culture Yourself beer & cheese tasting at Market Garden Brewery. While Lassa and Shannon (from the awesome Heinen's) got started dicing cheese, it was Jeff's job to get enough Creminelli salami ready for 200 people. We were floored when he showed us this tip for getting the skin off, and decided we had to share.
When humans want to make an offspring, it’s pretty simple; egg, sperm, nine month incubation. The Accidental Locavore was wondering while tasting the second piece of the new masterpiece from Point Reyes Farmstead, how exactly do you design a cheese? What's the jumping-off point? Does it start with a cow, goat or sheep, or all of the above? Do you just have a flavor profile in your head and work towards making that real? Once you have a starting point, how do you maneuver such fickle ingredients as milk, mold, temperature and time? In cooking, when you have an idea, you assemble ingredients, cook them and see how the results are to your vision… generally not too time consuming. If you screw up, it's time for a quick re-do, or a call for Chinese delivery. With cheesemaking, I imagine there's a lot less instant gratification. So, do you have several versions at various stages of aging?
Following hot on the heels of Elaine's post on cheese and cardiac health, here's a dip that probably ain't good for you. Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip comes via Slice & Dice, a foodblog that makes no apologies for richness.
The question is, is it good? On the one hand, sugar, butter, cream cheese, chocolate. On the other, too much butter, sugar, cream cheese and chocolate?
It's never going to win a James Beard award, but when I first tasted cookie dough ice-cream, I'd never have guessed that it'd be ubiquitous a decade later. And the inside-out approach has really worked for molecular cuisine. Heck, you don't even need a sous-vide machine.
A good friend of mine was recently told that her cholesterol levels were too high. She was handed the usual dietary order: Cut out dairy foods—like cheese and butter—that have saturated fat. This has been the standard prescription from doctors for more than 20 years, despite the fact that epidemiological studies and new research don’t support this blanket rejection of dairy. Remember the French Paradox? (Even with all the yummy cheese and butter that’s consumed in France, the natives have much less heart disease than Americans.) And there’s this post from a scientist regarding a 15-year study in Australia that found: “people who mostly avoided dairy or consumed low-fat dairy had more than three times the risk of dying of coronary heart disease or stroke than people who ate the most full-fat diary.”
I had a meeting with our architect, Steve, yesterday to discuss details of our raw milk cheese aging racks. At the end of the talk I asked where we were in terms of progress on the creamery. Our construction team, (members of Navarro’s vineyard crew), are very skilled in construction, concrete work, and welding, and have spent much of the last two years building the dairy rather than working in the vineyards. However they got pulled this week to aid with harvest as rains over the weekend made getting grapes off the vine the more immediate priority. The creamery site has been vacant all this week with Alvaro, Carlos, and Andres occupied with harvest and crush at Navarro. From what Steve told me, we would have been due for a lull anyway.