Greetings Culture blog readers! My name is Molly and I live in Virginia, where I am building a small dairy and creamery which will hopefully be open and selling cheese by spring 2013. My Culture blog will focus on making cheese, miscellaneous food-centric thoughts, and the adventures I have on my way to becoming a licensed dairy! So, without further ado, a few thoughts on mold:
Did you know that the same group of molds that brought us Penicillin is also responsible for the flavors that make Brie, Camembert, and Roquefort so delicious? Did you also know that some other members of the genus produce toxins?
Fungi collectively form a HUGE group of organisms- about 100,000 species strong (just for contrast, there are a little over 5,700 mammal species)- some delicious and some deadly. While most molds are too inconspicuous to even be on our radar, three species of the genus Penicillium have played important roles in human history.
Ah, bliss... This blue cheese never required much tweaking, but the third offering simply can't be improved-- a creamy yet firm ivory base, grainy rather than pasty blue veins, and tasting of the earth itself: rich grasses, the salty tang of an ocean breeze, and strong, sharp spicy notes.
My biggest challenge this time was what to do with this little treasure. I decided to take samples to wine tasting rooms and other appropriate businesses here in Old Town Cottonwood and get pairing suggestions. Kevin Grubb , the sommelier of The Stronghold Tasting Room, sampled the cheese and without hesitation, suggested "Short and Sweet," a sparkling muscat from nearby Page Springs Winery. I must say, the lad knows his stuff.
I was pretty excited when I got to taste a cheese in development by Point Reyes a few months ago. When I found out that a new wedge was on its way, I was twice as excited. And then the lovely wedge arrived. Can I admit that we ate a whole lot of this cheese when it first arrived? A whole lot. I won't say half, but it was major carnage. The last cheese was fairly mild and creamy with an ammonia-sharpness near the rind.
When humans want to make an offspring, it’s pretty simple; egg, sperm, nine month incubation. The Accidental Locavore was wondering while tasting the second piece of the new masterpiece from Point Reyes Farmstead, how exactly do you design a cheese? What's the jumping-off point? Does it start with a cow, goat or sheep, or all of the above? Do you just have a flavor profile in your head and work towards making that real? Once you have a starting point, how do you maneuver such fickle ingredients as milk, mold, temperature and time? In cooking, when you have an idea, you assemble ingredients, cook them and see how the results are to your vision… generally not too time consuming. If you screw up, it's time for a quick re-do, or a call for Chinese delivery. With cheesemaking, I imagine there's a lot less instant gratification. So, do you have several versions at various stages of aging?
Good evening to everyone. I am sitting here after I brought my wedge of Point Reyes’ Newest Blue to test at my company’s picnic. Why not bring it to a place where all of my colleagues have lived around the world working in development and are experienced in eating new and unusual foods? My name is Karen and while this might be my first time writing about cheese, I can’t help think that I have been in countless situations where I am trying things first before everyone else will try them after me. As for cheese- I am just a plain “cheesie.” I call myself that because I start to sound cheesy when I describe some of the delicious stinky ones in the world that I’ve tried and I love them.
My love affair with cheese started at a young age with the more processed cheeses like Velveeta and Kraft Singles. Later in life I graduated to elevated levels of cheese nirvana and now include Camboloza, Broschetto Al Tartufo, and Pierre Robert among my favorites. I have champagne taste on a beer budget (or a reasonable wine budget) and would rather spend my last pennies on a small wedge of fine cheese than on a big meal. I am a novice cheese-taster, but definitely a pro at eating it; so imagine my surprise and excitement when I was chosen to be on the Point Reyes Birth of a Cheese Tasting Panel.
I can safely say that receiving cheese in the mail is just about one of the coolest things that can happen to a cheese geek like me. I spend most waking moments surrounded by cheese, whether it be cheese monger by day at Whole Foods Market, or cheese maker by night in my messy and cluttered home kitchen. To have the opportunity to try a brand new cheese that is unavailable to the general public is nothing short of thrilling.
What a great honor to be chosen as a taster for “Birth of a Cheese”! My name is Kris Blondin, and I own a little restaurant/deli called STINK Cheese-Meat in Tacoma, WA. Stinky cheese, stinky wine, stinky beer and stinky French cider are some of my most favorite things in the world to consume. I also have had the pleasure of writing about these tasty treats for a local publication. Needless to say, I was very honored to be chosen as a taster.
Anne Maxfield, the Accidental Locavore, was brought up in the early days of Julia Child, however back then what she really thrived on was the bounty of prepared foods. Onion rings in a can, on top of macaroni and cheese from a box, with those cute Vienna franks (also from a can) and there was a great dinner! Parents going out? Frozen pot pies, or even better, a TV dinner…bliss. Why whole grains and fresh vegetables, when there were cans or frozen foods?