Four Years and 364 Days to Build a Creamery...
and I may be overly optimistic about the 364 day part!
A goat dairy at the nascent Pennyroyal Farm vineyard began as a conversation early in 2007. After two years of planning, foundations were laid for the barn and milking parlor in a freshly planted vineyard just east of downtown Boonville, a secluded town in California's Mendocino County. The 70' by 100' barn was designed to comfortably accommodate a milking herd of 108 goats. The milking parlor permits 36 goats to enter at a time, filling two raised platforms between which the milker is stationed. While construction proceeded on the dairy buildings (which allowed me to relocate my herd from Sonoma County to the site of the future farm), planning and the convoluted permitting process were tackled for the creamery.
On a recent foray into Manhattan, I went to Joe's Dairy on Sullivan St, famed makers of mozzarella.
The site has been a dairy for many decades. However, in 1977 the original "Joe" sold the store and dairy to seventeen year old Anthony Campenelli, who literally lived next door. It had been Anthony's dream to own the business and he, together with his brother Vincent and other members of the family, still operate it.
Fresh cow's milk mozzarella is made throughout the day in the tiny room behind the store with a certain number of cheeses being set aside for smoking. The smoking process takes place over hickory wood and lasts a mere four minutes.
24 March 2011
Even a gypsy eventually reaches the end of her rope, and I have. All the schlepping, buying, wrapping, TSA-ing, and airport shuttling has gotten the best of me, and I am ready to settle down somewhere delicious for a while... you know, actually live somewhere I can sink my teeth into. After Italy, what should a girl do?
Just a couple of quick pictures from the exhibition floor: there are over 4,000 folks crammed in here, all of them brewers except me (and Steph).
Let’s talk about restaurant week in Boston. First: calling it restaurant “week” is something of a cruel joke on the restaurants of the city, as it’s really TWO weeks long. Two weeks is a long time, and a LOT of three course meals. The deal is three courses for $33.11 (for dinner), which, depending on the menu, can mean a bunch of diners making out like stuffed bandits, or still-hungry, disappointed, would-be bandits. It’s mostly a great deal.
What I really want to talk about is congealed cheese, and how much of it my coworkers and I have scraped off of soup spoons, skillets, and the floor in the past week and a half. Much as I, (and everyone in Boston) love(s) melted cheese, be it in French onion soup, rarebit, or mac & cheese, it’s pretty vile after it’s been sitting, cooling in its own grease for half an hour. Blech.
For any cheese fans in the Pacific Northwest, don’t forget the 7th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival will be held this Saturday March 19th, 2011 at Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Oregon.
I was just talking with Tami Parr, one of the Festival’s organizers and here is what she says:
“This year's festival promises to be bigger and better than ever - literally! A bigger tent, more vendors and cheese celebrities will be on hand to ring in the seventh year of this festival celebrating all things Oregon cheese.
In attendance will be Oregon cheesemakers from Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Pholia Farm, Tumalo Farms, Rogue Creamery and many more, all sampling and selling their handmade cheeses. The farmer's market style event will also host local purveyors of all sorts of delectable treats including wine, beer, breads and chocolate. The fun, informal setting encourages attendees to meet the people who make the cheeses they've come to love.
07 March 2011
There is certain arrogance to being a foodie, a sort of lifted-up, unspoken status that of course means absolutely nothing other than the fact that you've survived being raised on Big Agri and have since reinvented your relationship with food. Indeed it is cool to embark on a life of tasting and pairing, spreading and dipping, and of course, adding cheese to anything and everything you can sample it with. And it’s fun to work the gastronome angle, show off your cheese exposure to your pedestrian-palate friends, dropping names and saying it properly as well. Admit it, it’s equally as fun to whip out the arbitrary seasoned or wine-crusted piece in gorgeous wrap and pass it off as just some little nothing lying around in your humble Sub Z. Admit it, knowing what’s out there is a constant source of amusement. Which brings me to my latest game: introducing myself as a blogger for an American cheese magazine, while befriending the Lunigianese artisan cheese producers and sampling everything in sight. Well it’s true, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you do it?