Just a few years ago Washington only had a handful of artisan cheesemakers, but now the state boasts over 40 of them. On Saturday, the first ever Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival will take place in the Seattle Design Center, highlighting the great products coming out of the area.
Sherwin Ferguson probably is the newest cheesemaker in the whole festival: She just got her dairy license in February. The founder and herdmaster at Mountain Lodge Farm in Eatonville, Ferguson keeps a herd of 27 La Mancha and Nigerian dwarf goats. She makes fresh chevre, a raw aged tomme and a pasteurized bloomy cheese, all of which will be up for tasting at the festival.
Cypress Grove Chevre, a goat cheese farm in Arcata, CA, was once just a local company, but is now internationally renowned and owned by a Swiss co-op. The company wishes to expand its commercial dairy property by 25,000 square feet. Expansions in the past have created a flurry of confrontational opposition from community members. One supporter of the expansion gives a few reasons as to why the community should be more open-minded.
Cypress Grove Chevre, previously embraced by the community as a local business that hit the big time with its internationally renowned goat cheese, seemingly transformed overnight into an evil pawn of a foreign corporation bent on asphyxiating its neighbors with a tsunamis of goat poop -- blah, blah, blah. Never mind that founder Mary Keehn -- verbally accosted in the parking lot after a community meeting -- was still with the business, or that it was a corporation before it was bought by a Swiss co-op.
Last week, Domino's released a new ad campaign that "says no" to customers. This week, they'll be giving away free pizza to the first 75,000 people to "like" a specially created Facebook page. All of this is to push their new line of artisan pizzas. Two of the styles include:
Chicken & Bacon Carbonara: An inspired blend of our robust marinara and Alfredo sauce, grilled chicken breast, smoked bacon, cheese, diced tomatoes, and a dash of oregano on an artisan-style crust.
Spinach & Feta: Alfredo sauce, feta and Parmesan-Asiago cheeses, fresh baby spinach and onion toppings.
Bedouins have been using camel milk for centuries, but only recently has it been used commercially in cafes, restaurants, and products like cheese and bottled chocolate milk. Camel milk is lower in fat and higher in Vitamin C than cow's milk and Dubai citizens are the latest to approve the taste.
The newly opened Cafe2Go is one of the first to put camel milk on its menu and it seems to be passing the taste test with intrigued customers.
"I'm surprised because I was thinking it was tasting really different from the normal milk, but ... it's really nice," said customer Nadia Rizk.
"I thought it would be weird when I tried it, but it's just like everything else," said another, Sal Hobbi.
New Jersey teacher Ashley VanHaste brings agriculture into her third grade classroom in a variety of ways: there's a vegetable garden outside, perennial garden where students can watch the birds in the winter, and the newest addition are two Alpine goats. VanHaste's efforts recently won her the 2012 New Jersey Agricultural Teacher of the Year.
"I grew up on a dairy farm, agriculture is what shaped me," said the Green native. "I learned everything about life, responsibility, hard work, the way I lived and I wanted to make sure my students were also given those values in school.
"The Fabulous Beekman Boys," a reality TV show that captures the farm life of Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, aired for two seasons on Planet Green and fans were left wondering if there would ever be a third. The Boys live on Beekman farm in upstate New York and have created a lifestyle brand selling artisan cheese, goat's milk soap, and other crafts. This week, fans were relieved to hear the show found a new home at the Cooking Channel where a third season will be aired.
“We are grateful to our friends and fans who have been very supportive and passionate, insisting that the show return. Networks took note and recognized the value of the show as a franchise and we are thrilled to inform you that we have found a new home for the show. We are now officially part of the Scripps family of networks and will return to television this year on The Cooking Channel.”
Jamie Feldmar of Edible Brooklyn has the story on the Zafras family, and their cheese contribution to the people of Brooklyn. The descriptions of these authentic Mexican cheeses are enough to get us on a bus to the city:
NPR food commentator Bonny Wolf mulls over the raw milk debate, looking for pros and cons on both sides:
I first drank raw milk two years ago, at a dinner given by a college anthropology class in Maryland. The professor, whose three small children drink only raw milk, had to go to Pennsylvania to get it since it's illegal to sell it in Maryland.
I felt a slight thrill of danger before my first sip because, according to the federal government, drinking raw milk is a very bad idea.
It didn't taste like a bad idea. It tasted like — milk. Fresh, rich milk.
Brimming with flavor, these nutritional bites are not only great snacks, but they also make for elegant hors d’oeuvres. Whether served after-school or at your next cocktail party, they’re sure to disappear quickly!
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups withcooking spray.
Cook the diced potatoes in a pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Add the minced garlic, roasted red peppers and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine.