My sisters both went home to Rhode Island this weekend, visiting from NYC and DC, and I was stuck in Boston with work and too much homework. They posted silly pictures to my facebook to let me know they were thinking of me. One was from our favorite coffee shop, The Coffee Depot. I worked there for eight years, and my mom runs the place, so it has naturally become an extension of our kitchen/living room. My dad drops in on his way to work and again on his way home. It's the homework spot, the lazy day spot, the let's meet before we go to dinner spot, and there is a constant stream of New Harvest Coffee available.
Tough choices as usual!
We didn't give you all a lot of time to dream up fresh rhymes for this year's contest (just a week or so), but we still saw an outpouring of casienated love.
Poems tended strongly towards the sweet (who win Briar Rose Creamery's goat cheese and chocolate truffles) with fewer works addressing the spicy (who win a selection of Virginia Chutney Co.'s tasty cheese lubricants). The field also tilted heavily towards submitter Lisa, who crushed the competition with sheer volume.
♥ A top pick from our lovelorn staff was Jaclyn Stevenson's travelog in free verse, with our expatriot "foreign girl" falling for the charms of an open-air market. Sweet is the word.
It's time once again for culture's annual Valentine's day poetry contest. If music be the food of love, then cheese be the poetry of food... or love be cheese of music. Or something.
As always, the rules are simple: sign in and post your poetry in the comment thread below. Use any form you wish—sonnet or limerick or free-verse, and employ any muse, be it a fair lad, lass, monger, or succulent cheese—but your masterpiece must include both l'amour and le fromage. You can check out last year's entries for inspiration and read who won the judge's hearts.
This video about artisan chocolateirs Mast Brothers, via The Scout, contains one of the most intense openings for any chocolate-based movie I can remember, Gene Wilder's performance in Willy Wonka excepted.
The Brooklyn-based brothers have gained notoriety not only for their full, silky beards, but also for their utter commitment to hand-manufacture, to the point of commissioning a sailboat to deliver their cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic, New York's first cargo delivery by sail since 1939.
Taza Chocolate in Somerville Ma.
5 years ago Alex Whitmore and partners Larry Slotnick and Kathleen Fulton (also Alex's wife) started this mesoamerican-style bean-to-bar chocolate factory. And true to their vision, this chocolate is handmade from start to finish. They buy their beans in the DR, Mexico, Belize, and they recently added Bolivia. (note: if you get a chance, try the 87% bolivian choc bar side by side with the 80% DR...then you'll really see what terroir means to the cacao bean.)
Their beans are fermented, which means, like all things fermented, flavor is amped. And then they get roasted (in the fabulous Willi Wonka machine pictured below. don't you want one? I do. and it's RED!) The beans are then stone ground, on mexican stone mills that Alex hand chisels himself (check out the pic below of him holding one.) Impressive.
A Tale of 2 Thursdays, part 1:
Yesterday, I attended my second event with Culture: The California Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, California, what a fabulous event it was.
My eyes were overwhelmed by the selection of cheeses on display. There were towering cliffs of delicious blue from Point Reyes, brand new Wagon Wheel melting cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery, award-winning cheddars from Fiscalini, plenty of creamy goat cheeses from Laura Chenel and of course so much more.
Amongst the stunning array of fine cheeses, I came across some remarkable new finds. Goat milk fudge, wine infused cookies, olive oil chocolate, peanut butter sandwich cookies, mini lemon meringue pies, exclusive olive oils, bacon bread, an exciting new product called “glop” (made from a selection of oils and cheeses), and I was thrilled about bumping into a familiar item that I fell in love with at Cochon 555 – my beloved toffee bacon lollipop! (I bagged myself three little piggies! Does this make me a big piggie?!)
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?
The response to our V-day contest has been tremendous: thanks to everyone who sent in their verse. We've read the entries, and it was a tough choice selecting the winners of the Capriole Farmstead Bourbon Chocolate Hearts.
In honor of V-day, we are holding a contest for the best cheese-related love poetry in America.
Use any meter or verse you wish—sonnet or limerick or free-verse, and employ any muse, be it a fair lad, lass, monger, or succulent cheese—but your masterpiece must include both l'amour and le fromage.