Even though they've never taken cheesemaking lessons and only received their license three years ago, Judy and Vanessa Bradley are making waves in the Australian cheese world. They make cheese and yogurt from sheep's milk and recently won two gold medals at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show.
Lack of expertise in the region meant Vanessa taught herself how to make sheep's milk cheese almost entirely by trial and error. She sought advice from cheesemakers in the US, then just kept trying until she got it right. It's a seasonal pastime - the ewes produce milk only from June to January.
To some, American cheddars are the "plain janes" of cheese, reserved for grilled cheese sandwiches and mac & cheese. Cook's Illustrated noticed that many American creameries were developing "artisan" or "vintage" varieties of cheddar to curb this trend. So, they held a tasting to determine if these newer, American specialty cheddars were up to snuff. The verdict? Yes, indeed, these cheddars were off the charts.
The first thing we noticed was that all of the cheddars tasted remarkably different. In fact, the spectrum of flavors was so broad—everything from mellow and buttery to pungent and sulfurous—that we were surprised that all of these cheeses could be labeled cheddar. Texture also varied hugely. Some cheddars were so dry that they crumbled in our hands, while others were as moist and creamy as Monterey Jack. One thing was clear, though: Our top cheddars were worth every penny.
Arla Foods UK, a British dairy and cheesemaker, has achieved its goal of becoming a zero waste company an entire year ahead of schedule.
Having set out on the mission in 2004, Arla finally tackled residual waste in 2010 by working with a chain of materials recycling facilities – finding an end solution in 2011 when it employed a system that crushes and converts residual waste into fuel pellets.
In the luxury hotel amenity world, wine cellars are old news. Cheese caves are the newest, hottest trend. From the Park Hyatt in Chicago to Blackberry Farm in Tennessee to the Four Seasons in Hong Kong, travelers can now sample cheeses right out of the hotel's cheese cave.
Forbes Travel Guide rounded up five top hotels where you can sample ripe, creamy due latte and maple-and-whiskey-infused cheddar, including properties that take a locavore angle and focus on regional cheeses.
A Q&A with Scardello Artisan Cheese owner Rich Rogers on making and enjoying washed rind cheeses, which are one of this cheesemonger's favorite varieties.
Entree Dallas: What exactly does it mean when a cheese has a washed rind?
Rogers: It’s a treatment that’s done after the cheese is made. And it is what it says it is; it’s literally washing or rubbing the rind, typically with a brine solution that sometimes has a form of diluted alcohol added.
According to the National Young Farmers' Association, 78% of beginning farmers say that lack of access to capital is their greatest farming challenge. A grassroots organization called Slow Money is trying to change that. Farmers can pitch their business plans to local Slow Money chapters and a variety of investors who care about local food and sustainability can opt to support them. Some of these investors are even other farmers, who would know firsthand how difficult acquiring startup capital can be.
Slow Money (like the perhaps better-known organization Slow Food) is a countercultural, grassroots approach to food systems; instead of diversifying and preserving local products, Slow Money aims to diversify and localize financial markets that invest in local, sustainable farm businesses and food enterprises.
June is National Dairy Month and where better to celebrate than in Wisconsin, which has the nation's most dairy farms at 18,000, most cheese plants at 126, and largest amount of cheese production at 2 billion pounds per year. Emmert Dose of The Journal Times, a Wisconsin paper, muses on what the month of June means to Badgers.
For many, June is their favorite month. Schools are out, sunbathing is in. Days are warm, the sun sets late. There is the aroma of mown grass and, in the country, mown alfalfa and the blissful smell of mosquito repellent. Bands and drum corps are competing. Professional basketball and hockey playoffs in progress since 1925 mercifully end. And while urban areas aren’t aware of it, people in rural areas commemorate that greatest of all celebrations: June Dairy Month.
Look forward to options beyond Coors and Bud at the ballpark this summer -- craft beers are being tapped at stadiums all over the country.
"Every market is different," said Bob Sullivan, vice president of sales and marketing for Boulevard Brewing Company. "But what you're seeing now is that stadiums are saying, `We really need to carry the local beers.' People pay a lot of money for their season tickets, and there's some obligation to give them what they want."
$295 will get you this chic burger, topped with cave-aged Montgomery cheddar, creme fraiche and white-truffled butter, among other excesses.
Serendipity isn't trying to cash out; they're donating all profits to the Bowery Mission, which serves homeless and hungry New Yorkers.
"Today" co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb have already tried the burger, racking up a nearly $600 tab in the process. After one bite, Kotb exclaimed, "I just ate eighty dollars."
Photo by Serendipity 3
Good benefits and good healthcare make for better workers -- cows included. Some U.S. dairy farmers have turned to creative options to keep cows comfortable (therefore producing more, better quality milk), including massages, hiring chiropractors and playing classical music.
"It's kind of like how an athlete with a sprained ankle isn't as productive," said Larry Meyer, 36, whose parents own the dairy farm in Chilton, Wis., where Lucky and another 115 dairy cows live. "If you can get a cow healthy and back to normal, it makes a difference in their productivity."