In just a few days we went from a concrete pad to a framed creamery building!
Cheese makers often talk about the balance of artistry and science in cheese making. The framing design is the balance between artistry and science in creamery building. Certain aspects of framing are dictated by mathematics: doors need to be wide enough for equipment to pass through them, aging rooms need dimensions that accommodate the volume of cheese they will house, blocking between wall studs needs to be in place where shelves will be mounted. And then you have windows, more importantly you have the view from windows… that is where aesthetics come in to the design! Sure, you could argue windows provide light to work by, but with strict candle foot requirements for each processing room dictated by regulating agencies windows aren’t really going to be sufficient in most cases. What windows really contribute to the design is a view and a connection with the outside world!
Correction: After posting this on Tuesday evening, it was pointed out to me by Bi-Rite's head monger Anthea Stolz that the vertical tasting I mentioned was actually of the wonderful Barinaga Baserri, which happens to be our fall centerfod:
"Marcia Barinaga was gracious enough to let us buy the whole batch, and we’re tasting 2 wheels each month for 10 months and then the last wheel when the batch will be 12-months old, sending her our feedback along the way."
Bi-Rite is ALSO the exclusive source for Kuba's Kreation experimental cheese from Point Reyes, but they are not performing a vertical tasting. I apologize for the confusion; Bi-Rite is apparently participating in too many awesome cheese experiments for me to keep track of.
It was great to learn recently about a joint initiative taking place between the Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development. and the Arlington Agricultural Research Station to establish and educate a National Guard Agricultural Development Team (ADT).
The ADT is a volunteer unit of Army National Guard Soldiers and Air National Guard Airmen, all of whom have pre-existing expertise in various aspects of agriculture. Early next year, the unit is due to be deployed to Kunar province in Afghanistan, a mountainous area located along the border near Pakistan. There, they will work closely with Afghan farmers with the aim of helping to rebuild their agriculture industry and alleviate poverty in the region.
Between my appetite and my occupation, I often have a lot of cheeses in my refrigerator. So much so, that I can lose track of them. A piece of cheese can easily go astray in those 28-cubic feet, slipping past the cartons, bottles, jars, and leftovers. That’s apparently what happened to a half wheel of Canadian camembert some time ago. I have no idea how many weeks passed since I had stored the cut cheese. But when I rediscovered it in the food ghetto at the back of my frig, the wayward curd was loosely dressed in a wrinkled piece of cheese paper.
Peeling back the covering, I expected to find a sad little corpse of a cheese. But actually it didn’t look too bad. A bit aged, of course, its youthful dewiness all gone, it’s shape deflated. But the rind was still white and flocked like camembert and inside the cheese was the color of Irish butter yet dense like fudge. (See the photo.)
I am sitting here at my laptop, thick curly white-girl ‘fro in a monstrous bun on top of my head and some ridiculous outfit that was an attempt at cuteness and comfort to beat the heat, and I can’t help but wonder... am I the Carrie Bradshaw of Cheese Blogging?
I have a fabulous home, more clothes and shoes than I know where to store, go to fabulous events with fabulous food and wine, write a column on my vices, and go through cheeses in an almost episodic rhythm. I am, however, currently going through a little “dry spell” (a.k.a. luxuries like wine and cheese are the first to go during an austerity period) and so my “column” is drying up as well. What would Carrie do for her hungry New Yorkers longing to read about her sexcapades at a time when there are no men in sight? Write about daily life, other kinds of love, weathering the blues, and good times with friends.
Summer's almost gone, and you still haven't taken your goat on a picnic? Well, it's time!
In honor of national goat cheese month, culture's giving away a fabulous summer picnic pack with award-winning Redwood Hill goat cheese, scrumptious Daelia's biscuits for cheese, and Bambu's eco-friendly All-Occasion Veneerware plates and cutlery to eat it off of.
All we need from you is the #1 reason to take your goat with you on vacation.
You may all know this already, but Best of Show at 2011 ACS in Montreal went to Oregon’s Rogue Creamery for Rogue River Blue (www.roguecreamery.com) the 2nd time they’ve taken the blue ribbon home! Second place was shared by Ontario’s Finica Food for their Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar (www.mariposadairy.ca), and perennial winner from Wisconsin, Carr Valley, for Cave Aged Marisa (www.carvalleycheese.com). Third place was Quebec’s Fromagerie du Presbytère for Louis d’Or (www.fromageriedupresbytere.com/. These are all seriously delicious cheeses. It rare to sample Canadian cheeses we, sadly, cannot get here in the US…and to get my hands on limited production cheeses too.