Congratulations to the makers of Dutch Vermeer after their win at the World Championship Cheese Contest!
An international panel of expert judges has named a Dutch Gouda-style cheese named Vermeer as the 2012 World Championship Cheese.
Cheesemakers at a FrieslandCampina cheese factory in Steenderen, Netherlands, took top honors out of 2,504 entries from 24 countries for their Vermeer, a semi-soft, reduced-fat cheese. Out of possible 100 points, Vermeer scored 98.73 in the final round of judging, during which judges re-evaluated the top 16 gold-winning cheeses to determine the overall champion.
First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.55, is Winzer Kase, a smear-ripened semi-soft cheese made by Kaserai Grundbach company in Wattenwil, Switzerland. Second runner-up is Appenzeller Kase, made by Karl Germann, of Appenzell, Switzerland, which scored 98.34.
Andreas Viestad is not a trained chef, but you would never know it.This Norwegian superstar is the host of the TV show New Scandinavian Cooking, author of two cookbooks and also a popular contributor for The Washington Times.
His love for molecular gastronomy shines through in his unique cooking style. Dubbed "Norway’s most exciting food writer", Andreas' many talents keep him very busy. culture correspondent Alexandra Howard went on a mission to find out about cheese's role in Viestad's life:
You say your TV show is a "peculiar hobby", why?
Because I consider myself a writer, so I always think that going on a TV shoot means a few days off from work. Even after a hundred episodes.
Los Angeles dwellers, it looks like a trip to this new beer spot is in order. Caroline Pardilla has the scoop:
Try the popular moules frites with Allagash White, a witbier (white beer). “Witbiers are soft and work with mussels, they aren’t overwhelming,” Sweeney said. For the chocolate and cheese plate, order a saison (farmhouse ale). And when in doubt, Sweeney said to get a dubbel (a strong brown ale), which goes with everything.
Little Bear is low-key enough for locals to stop in for a meal or a few Chimays. But the old European decor, with its high ceilings, gold-leaf lettering along the counter’s edges and antique maps on the walls, is impressive enough for a birthday celebration or a date.
Here's a great article from Adam Davidson at the New York Times Magazine, on the difficulties the modern dairy farmer faces. It's become a more challenging game as the years progress, which is evident at Fulper Farms in New Jersey, where three generations of farmers need to find new ways to keep the farm in the black:
The Fulpers, like most people, are too busy with their day jobs to truly monitor the markets. But dairy farming has its own 1 percent: that tiny sliver of massive farms, with thousands of cows, that make the biggest profits and are better equipped to pay agriculture-futures experts to help them manage risk. They continue to invest and grow. Unable to keep up with the changes, many smaller farms have gone out of business in the past decade.
For anyone who hasn't seen them, today is the last day that these sheep sculptures will be on display in Times Square, so go say hello:
Counting Sheep will be on display in Times Square from March 1 – 7, 2011 on the northern end of Broadway Plaza between 45th and 46th Streets. Spanning 36 feet long and 12 feet wide, the installation is comprised of 24 uniquely made paper sheep sculptures on 6” to 16” high platforms. All of the sheep are hand-made by the artist himself in a labor-intensive process involving natural and traditional materials. “I like to think that both paper and wood, though processed to be used as structural materials, are in fact very much alive as part of nature,” the artist explains.
Here's an update on the excitement surround tonight's evening tasting at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, WI. This year looks like it will draw the biggest crowd yet, and cheese fans are getting geared up to try hundreds of cheeses in one fell swoop:
Watching 40 judges in white lab coats nibble on cheese and then spit the samples into garbage cans might not sound like an elegant evening to most people, but hundreds of cheese lovers have paid $25 each for a close-up view of Wednesday's World Championship Cheese Contest finals.
This is the first year the international contest has charged admission to its finals, which historically have been low-key affairs attended by just a handful of spectators and reporters.
As professional recipe developers in the process of writing a cookbook, we’ve learned that a recipe that works out perfectly the first time is as rare as finding a baby unicorn that coughs up winning lotto numbers. Even if you know what you’re doing, the recipe usually comes out fine, at best. Even if it turns out great, there’s still the need to test variations; tweak the spices, bake instead of broil, use half a cup less flour.
A toasted orzo pudding I worked on is perfect now. Now. The first time I tested the recipe the pudding was so thick you could turn the bowl upside down and it wouldn’t budge. The next time around it tasted like curdled milk and foul eggs…I’m not sure what happened there. It took trial and error to get the damned thing right.
Perfect the first time? Rare indeed.
But not impossible.
Irresistibly sweet and salty, these tender scones are perfect for a special breakfast or brunch, or as a snack with afternoon tea. Sweet currants and nutty, aromatic Comté are an unexpected combination, producing scones that are addictively delicious!
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet and a plate with parchment paper.
Using the large holes on a cheese grater, grate the butter onto the parchment-lined plate. Put it in the refrigerator while assembling the dry ingredients.