One of our founding fathers can be thanked for introducing mac 'n cheese to the United States, even if it took a few tries to get off the ground. America's love affair with this cheesy dish started in 1802 and has become a standard in comfort food.
There's a little known fact among history buffs and culinary geeks alike, but something every comfort-loving foodie should know: In addition to the Constitution, the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark, we can thank Thomas Jefferson for macaroni and cheese.
Come January 24th, Di Bruno Bros. Cheese Shop will open an additional location inside a Giant Super Food Store in Camp Hill, PA. The shop, featuring specialty cheeses, meats, crackers, jams, jellies, oils, and sauces, will replace all other gourmet cheese selection in the supermarket.
"We really want to make the shopping experience even more memorable. We want to increase our customer loyalty and broaden our offerings," said Chris Brand, Giant spokesman.
Photo by Christine Baker
The craft brew culture is in full swing in California, and with so many new breweries emerging each year, it's difficult to know which will ultimately succeed and which will fade into further obscurity. Here are three breweries to keep your eye on in the coming year.
First up is Heretic Brewing, located in Pittsburg/Fairfield, whose first kegs were released in mid-2011. Heretic's brewer, Jamil Zainasheff, was something of a homebrew celebrity even before launching the brewery; in addition to winning multiple awards at homebrew competitions, he has hosted a radio show on The Brewing Network and co-authored a book on yeast. His passion for brewing beer, and doing it right, is evident in Heretic's Evil Twin red ale, Shallow Grave porter, Evil Cousin IPA, and more.
If you immediately picture bloomy-rind wheels when someone says "double cream," you're not alone-- but you may be interested in Dutch Hollow Dorset from Beecher's Handmade Cheese, a double cream delight without a hint of rind.
Dutch Hollow Dorset is a simple cheese pleasure: rich and creamy with a mild, uncomplicated flavor that makes it ideal for snacking or cooking. Colleen and Jill at Cheese and Champagne like it in grilled cheese-- or straight out of the wrapper.
Milk: it does a body good... but how about your brain too? A new study from Practical Neurology suggests that countries that maintain higher milk consumption per capita produce the greatest numbers of Nobel Laureates. The study authors speculate that the high vitamin D content in milk improves cognitive function, bringing the highest dairy-consuming countries just one step closer to the Nobel acclaim. Better start sipping, Nobel-hopefuls!
Take Sweden, the country that’s home to the Nobels. Citizens there have won 31.855 prizes for every 10 million people. They also consume about 350 kilograms of milk each, on average, over the course of a year.
Here's a grown-up twist on your childhood favorite! The folks at Food & Wine have shared their suggested wine pairings for some very dressed-up grilled cheese sandwiches. Balancing out-of-the-box ingredients like strawberry-red-wine jam and sage with the perfect bottle is a fun way to elevate this comfort food from nostalgic to sophisticated. You stay classy, grilled cheese!
This elegant, strawberry-inflected rosé is wonderfully food-friendly, but delicious sipped on its own, too.
Like your cheeses bold? Try Hudson Flower, an herb-y sheep's milk round from the Hudson Valley. The cheese is first made at Old Chatham Sheepherding Company and then sent to Murray's in New York City to age. The cheese is an homage to Fleur du Maquis, better known as Brin d’Amour, a popular Corsican cheese.
The smooth, tangy interior acquires a mellow, satiny rim, which is flattered by the edible, fragrantly piney herb-dusted rind. And just as the Hudson Valley is a gentler place than volcanic Corsica, the herbs are not quite as aggressive as on the original.
Photo by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
In a market where they are the minority, two female cheesemakers are churning out around 800 cheeses a day. They work in small batches, offering a gentle touch to their delicious creations.
Like a modern-day Miss Muffet, Charlotte Spruce is up to her elbows in curds and whey. In the baby-bath sized tub, one of a dozen or so in the production room at Hampshire Cheeses, white, marshmallow-soft nuggets of coagulated milk are jostling around her arms in the pale yellow liquid whey...
Cheesemonger Peter "The Doctor" Daniels has drummed up quite the reputation for producing interesting cheese labels. While many have found his notes and quotes amusing, one habitual complainer shut him down for good -- at least, for a little while. As of January 15th, 2013, the head honchos at Westside Market have decided to let him continue "inspiring" customers, as long as he steers clear of the Thin Lizzy lyrics.
Daniels tells Gothamist that it was a label quoting Thin Lizzy's "Angel of Death" affixed to a hunk of provolone that disturbed a customer, who asked the management if Westside Market was "becoming an Evangelical establishment." After some negotiations, the market has decided to let Daniels "brie." "I just have to keep it a little on the mellow side for now and not try to be so preachy," he says.
After the holiday revelry has subsided, it's always nice to decompress a bit. A cozy afternoon by the fire wouldn't be complete without the perfect seasonal brew to sip, and Food52's recipe for Brown Butter Spiced Ale is just the thing! This rich and luxurious hot toddy recipe combines browned butter and winter spices; the cocktail equivalent of a warm hug!
Flavorful and rich, creamy and warming, sweet and spiced just enough to mellow the bitterness of ale, this drink is a special treat. The splash of brandy definitely adds a wonderfully boozy touch. Sipping this drink will give you that warm cozy feeling on chilly winter days.
Get the recipe
Photo by James Ransom