A picture perfect moment: new world cheese in very much an old world setting. When Ihsan and I first visited Bra, the show was very much for Italian and European cheeses. How times have changed! We are so proud to see our friends from the United States showing off how far we have come as cheese makers and how much we have learned from traditional cheesemaking, and have reinvented tradition to create delicious handmade cheese with an American twist. An example of this that is close to the heart of the Formaggio Kitchen Family- in the early 2000s when Michael Lee of Twig Farm was our cheese buyer, we sent him to Bra. There, he took advantage of the cheesemaking classes- and look at what he makes now!
The first time that we visited the Fort Saint Antoine and tasted Comte was in 1999. Jason Hinds introduced Ihsan and I to Claude and Phillipe- who we have worked with since, via another friend Pascal Trotte from Paris. Tasting with Claude and Phillipe was a very intimidating first experience, and we certainly had to be approved- we had to show we knew what we were talking about and were serious about representing and selling the cheese. Shortly after getting this approval, we began to import Marcel Petite Comte.
Every 2 years, Slow Food organizes “Cheese,” a festival dedicated to and named in honor of the preserved preserved milk product. Tucked away in mountains of Piedmont, Bra is a small medieval town that is transformed into a sea of white tents with cheesemongers, cheese-lovers, cheese makers, farmers, food tourists, townspeople all jostling to taste, learn and talk about cheese.
In Quark We Trust. For our next stop as we check out Cheese Around the World, we head to Deutschland to learn about quark. Like this series? Don't forget to read my last post on Jamaican Bun and Cheese.
Below freezing weather, and it's snowing? You thinking what I'm thinking? Yup...it's the perfect time for some ice cream! For our final stop in my Cheese Around the World blog series, we head over to Russia for some morozhenoe. Like what you read here? Be sure to read my previous post about Norwegian Brunost.
Meet a traditional Norwegian cheese that's not really cheese, but kinda is. And oh, did I mention that it's brown and tastes like caramel? For the next segment in my Cheese Around the World blog series, we explore brunost. Want to explore more cheeses from around the world? Be sure to read my post on Australian Cheese and Olive Damper.
A cheese of many names, Brunost is also known as Geitost, Gjetost, Gudbrandsdalen, and even Ski Queen. Apparently along with Brunost's unique coloring, flavor, and flammability, it's also packed by Norwegian skiers on the slopes as a quick snack to get them over the edge of hunger (see what I did there?). But most commonly, Bronost, and other "brown cheeses" are sliced and eaten on open-faced sandwiches.
To Kastengel or not to Kastengel. That is the question. For the second entry in my Cheese Around the World blog series, here I'll be taking a closer look at a Dutch favorite. Like what you see? Check out my post on Cuban Pastelitos.
Many Indonesian traditional foods, like Kastengel, have deep Dutch influences dating back to the Dutch colonization of Indonesia in the 1600's. Over time, the Indonesian people took Dutch culture and made it their own, and the result is the Kastengel and countless other tradtions Indonesia practices today.
Taking a break from your everyday cheddars and swisses, here's a post of many giving you some insight into cheese used in traditonal ethnic foods around the globe. The next stop on our journey through my Cheese Around the World series, is the home of the pharaohs themselves: Egypt. Like this post? Read my previous post on Indonesian Kastengel.
This post marks the beginning of a blog series I am self titling "Cheese Around the World." As an intern for culture, I wanted to bring something different to the site that didn't go along with a wine and cheese story or an American cheese tale. Time to spice things up.These next several posts will bring to you a brief history, and often times a recipe describing a traditional cheese dish or pastry eaten in some far reach of the globe.
For the next stop along our international cheese trail, Cheese Around the World takes you "down under," for a traditional bread all the way from Australia. Interested in previous posts? Learn about German quark in here.
"The very earliest form of bread—made by humans since long, long before recorded history—was an unleavened mass of grain and water cooked in flat cakes on hot hearthstones, or in lumps in the hot ashes. It went by many different names, but was not different, essentially, from what we call Australian 'damper'."