Here's an informative video from the BBC on what's happening in Emilia Romagna after last week's earthquake. As you can see, the locals have come out to support the farmers and producers:
A week after a powerful earthquake hit northern Italy, Parmesan farmers are feeling the economic repercussions.
Stock in warehouses was damaged by the earthquake and has had to be sold off cheaply. Thousands of wheels of Parmesan cheese slid off warehouse shelves and crashed to the floor in the quake.
After SpaceX Dragon's successful docking at the International Space Station on Friday, it bears remembering that back in 2010 this spacecraft toted a special piece of cargo into space and back again, on a voyage that made history. The cargo made the news, too. Here's the story, circa 2010:
Before the successful launch, voyage, and recovery of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, the first time in history a commercial company has recovered a spacecraft from orbit, reporters were buzzing with news of a ‘secret’payload’ stowed on board,” SpaceX announced in a statement.
“It was a payload so secret, SpaceXers made it Top Secret (think Val Kilmer 1984, not official US Government),” the company said.
“So what was inside the mystery package? Their tribute to Monty Python. A wheel of cheese.”
Aged Comté (14-24 months) has a nutty flavor that pairs terrifically with cured ham like Prosciutto. Make this fast and delicious hors dʼoeuvre for your next party or picnic.
Wrap each cube of Comté with a strip of Prosciutto. Place a piece of roasted pepper on top of the Comté, followed by a small chervil, parsley or basil leaf; skewer with a toothpick.
Line the skewers on a platter and serve alongside a bowl of roasted almonds as a delicious hors dʼoeuvre or snack.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Comté Cheese Association, Nicki Sizemore
In this recipe, an herbed Comté and breadcrumb topping provides a crisp, cheesy counterpoint to juicy, sweet tomatoes. The result is as beautiful as it is delicious! Serve the gratin as a side dish with fish or grilled meat, or on its own with some crusty bread for mopping up those mouthwatering juices.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Coat a 9x13inch baking dish lightly with olive oil.
In a small bowl, toss together the Comté, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
If you've read any of our ice cream recipes, you may have noticed most call for an ice cream machine. Wondering which one to pick up? Check out these five models reviewed by TheKitchn.
Over the past couple years we have reviewed 5 ice cream makers that each get the job done with panache. We looked at the pros and cons, and an array of makers at different price points. Here's a look back at each one of these ice cream makers.
Traders Point Creamery owners Peter Kunz and Jane Elder-Kunz converted their inherited, Indiana farmland back into a working, organic farm starting in 1997. They sold their first glass-bottled, grass-fed, gently-pasteurized bottle of milk in 2003, before the local foods movement really took full swing. They may have blossomed at a perfect time; they are now successfully selling milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Fleur de la Terre: It means "flower of the land" and this sweet Gouda-type cheese has a bold sharpness not usually found in young Goudas. It melts over the tongue with the tingle of a cheddar. Also, its rind is permitted to mold and mature naturally, giving the cheese a much bolder flavor than wax-dipped Goudas. Fleur de la Terre won first place in the 2007 American Cheese Society competition for aged raw milk farmstead cheeses.
Prairie Fruits Farm is nationally known and renowned for their goat cheese. Julianne Glatz of the Illinois Times visits the farm in Urbana, Illinois.
When I first came to PFF in 2006, a multitude of baby goats rushed to a fence as I stepped out of my car, their faces squashed together, bodies almost obscure, in an impossible-to-resist pleading of “love me, pet me, love me.” There was a barn, a pristine milking room, an even more pristine room where the cheeses were made, and a temperature- and humidity-controlled room for aging the cheeses.
In the aftermath of last week's earthquake in northern Italy, culture has been attempting to get in touch with producers, cheesemakers, affineurs and distributors who might have more information on the plight of the Parmigiano Reggiano aging houses. Although it's been difficult to reach the people involved, we found a comprehensive update here, thanks to Nancy Radke. (now posted at parmeson.com)
300,000 Wheels Down
The May 20th earthquake primarily affected producers and agers in and around Modena, Mantua, and Bologna. Here 300,000 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano fell from collapsing shelving in several aging rooms when the 6.0-magnitude quake hit.
Just 10 Facilities Hard Hit
The results are in, and the finalists have been selected for the 2012 sofi Awards. Among the finalists for Outstanding New Product is "Finca Pascualete Mini Torta" by the Rogers Collection, which is the only cheese that made the cut!
The sofi Awards, now in their 40th year, are open to members of the NASFT, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. The awards recognize excellence across 32 categories, from Outstanding Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa or Dip, to Outstanding Vinegar. This year’s contest was the most competitive yet, with 2,520 entries overall.
Since the recent U.S. recession began, more and more small dairy farmers have been closing their doors. Prices have rebounded, but are expected to drop again this summer, causing farmers like the MacLaren brothers in Vermont to call it quits.
"The day of the small farms, I think, is gone," said Steve MacLaren, 54. "A lot of people are going to hold on as long as they can, but we decided not to. Why struggle on it any longer?"
Economic issues aside, the MacLarens are tired of being tied to the farm seven days a week. They plan to keep the land and grow feed – corn and grass for hay and silage – on more than 500 acres.