Npr has the story on the modern breed of dairy cow - the one that can produce 75 lbs of milk per day, as opposed to the old fashioned dairy cow that only produced 30 pounds. Fulper Farms gets another spotlight here:
Breeding starts when a genetics expert that the Fulpers hire comes and surveys the herd and notes each cow's individual weaknesses - this one's bow-legged, that one's too skinny.
Then the expert finds a bull in the world whose traits can correct for precisely those weaknesses. The bull's semen is shipped to the Fulpers by UPS. The cow is inseminated, and nine months later it gives birth to a calf, which — hopefully — will have some of Claudia's fine, milk-friendly features.
Here's a great interview with Steve Jenkins by Michael Kane at the New York Post. Gregarious only begins to describe this gent:
Q: You had developed a palate by this point, right?
A: No, I was a philistine. I was just charming and articulate. It was practically an acting job, with this huge counter as a stage. I could barely pronounce things. But I made whatever I had look and sound glorious.
I’ve stolen everything that’s made me a success from Europe. My first trip was in 1978, and I imitated every visual that French shopkeepers did.
But I also discovered something that was ultimately more important. I found this peasant discipline in setting up and breaking down a shop counter. I’d be out at Les Halles to watch them set up, and I’d watch them break it down at 7:30 each night.
Slow Food's Ark of Taste has recently taken in handmade cheddar, which suggests that this cheese is extra special. Brendan Lancaster on the BBC Food Blog wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so he paid a visit to Westcombe Dairy, where he learned some fascinating things about the process of making cheddar:
In the store Tom brings out the cheese iron (or cheese corer) to do some tasting. We try one made last May, the best time of year when the new grass is at its fresh, juicy prime. This gives the cheese a distinctive taste with a longer finish. I'm still tasting it ten minutes later when we’re walking back into the dairy. Once again I’m aware that this level of attention to detail is only possible for a dairy that controls its own milk production.
Another great post from Max McCalman over at the Artisanal blog. This time he's talking about improper cheese storage, and the tragic retirement of Picholine's "cheese cave" due to health code restrictions on storage temperature:
Greg Morabito at Eater has the skinny on where to find a good grilled cheese in New York. Since there's nothing sadder than a terrible grilled cheese, we were very excited to see which establishments made the list:
Everyone knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, but only a select group of people have perfected the art form...Here's a map of where to eat the best new grilled cheese sandwiches in NYC.
Forget the stress of a traditional soufflé; this simplified version provides all of the elegance and flavor with only a quarter of the work! Sweet potatoes get whipped together with spices, eggs, cream and Comté right in the food processor, then baked with a sprinkling of extra Comté and pecans on top.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
On her blog Cheese Underground,Jeanne Carpenter gives us the lowdown on what happened behind the scenes at this week's World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison:
One group wears white caps and white jackets, and stands in front of the red velvet curtains. These are the judges. From Argentina to Australia, 20 international cheese experts wind their way to Madison to spend three days inspecting, sniffing, tasting and spitting out everything from Gruyere to Gorgonzola (they spit out each cheese so as to not have hundreds of samples mulling around in their tummies - I'm not sure all the Pepto Bismol in the world could cure that kind of stomach ache).
David Rosengarten made a trip to the Caribbean island of Curaçao, where he found an interesting local stuffed cheese dish called keshi yena. The dish has evolved over the years, but was originally conceived by household slaves:
The kitchen workers noticed other foods coming back from the dining room -- such as pieces of chicken and other meats, left over from stews. It was a logical leap from there: Season the meats, add something a little sweet (like raisins), add some favorite island ingredients (today, olives are common), stuff the cheese shells with the meat mixture, and steam the stuffed cheeses gently in a bain-marie for a few hours. The result is a perfect marriage of cultures: the stolid creaminess of the North meets the lively spiciness of the South.
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.