Oh Canada…it’s your turn for national hurdles.
Last night we brought your Stanley Cup back to Boston after a 39 year absence (thank YOU!). Your postal system is shut until further notice, and Vancouver based Hootsuite has ticked off a few PAYING customers (http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/hootsuite-publisher-fail_b10216) with its latest upgrade. Ok. Not a good day.
But, you still have plenty of Canadian goodies right at hand.
June is rich and luscious, leaves dripping from the trees, all new unfurled and perfect. Everything has a prosperous look. The badgers scuttle away from us every time we go down the lane at night, fat and mercifully healthy looking. The red hinds feast on the broad flag leaves of wheat, with the sweet ears just emerging. They are so well fed that they are inattentive, and jump out almost on top of us out of the hedge. I scramble up the hedge to see a herd of 40 hinds looking at me indignantly and quizzically wondering why I disturb their feast. They seem to know that it’s the close season and trot over the skyline in an orderly formation: I can smell them on the wind, there are so many of them, so they are still grazing just out of sight.
Fromagination in Madison, WI is Voted 2011 Outstanding Retailer by the National Specialty Food AssociationMay 26, 2011 - 9:56am | by kate
Many congratulations to Ken Monteleone and his team at Fromagination http://www.fromagination.com in Madison, WI for having been voted 2011 Outstanding Retailer by the National Specialty Food Association. The store itself has imaginative displays as well as being ecologically sound. Cheese-wise, Monteleone has demonstrated unswerving support for the state's cheesemakers and the primary focus lies with offerings from Wisconsin although due regard is given to cheeses from further afield . Meanwhile in the kitchen at the back of the store, Chef Greg prepares daily delicousness using the ingredients sold in the shop. Great job all around. KA
Sadly, my California adventure is coming to an end, which means that my days with Culture are now over.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my interning experience with Culture, drinking numerous cups of mate and listening to reggae music whilst working with Will in the cafe "Delta of Venus" in Davis. We have shared more than cheese stories (Will is a great fan of fluffy ducklings and yo-yoing dogs, for anyone that is interested!) and I have learnt a great deal about cheese, writing, publishing, journalism, social media and general magazine employment life.
I can confidently say that I have become much more interested in cheese since my internship began, and, as written in a previous post, I have found my pockets a little lighter as my fridge has simultaneously been filling up with fine cheeses!
Although I’ve spent heaps of time in Australia over the years, I’ve never really spent any of it in the Yarra Valley. Due east (and slightly north) of Melbourne, this wine region is only an hour’s drive from the big city through horse and pony-laden pastures and undulating hills with a backdrop of the Dandenong ranges. Affluent but unpretentious, the wineries are not only welcoming but still free for tastings…and the wines made my big, fruit and alcohol-laden Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz palate SO HAPPY! Lean, expressive Chardonnays and Pinot noirs layered with dry spices pair so well with cheeses of all kinds. I swilled my way all over that valley and made sure that the local economy was in an upturn. Next blog will detail the wineries specifically and the wine/cheese pairings we found.
When spring starts, I always get a sense of relief and surprise that it really is happening again. Now it’s May, that initial disbelief is replaced by complete amazement at how much life, growth, wild energy suffuses everything I can see.
Every hedgerow has gone crazy, sending out the cow parsley that grows visibly day to day, suddenly the lanes are too narrow for cars to go down without the delicate flowers stroking the sides. The thorn hedge that I laid, worried it would kill the blackthorn and hawthorn, is flowering for England on its side. Pairs of birds fly flirtatiously together, absorbed in each other, oblivious of predators for the only time in the year. The dazzling succession of greens in the woodland deepens and starts becoming one great motor of growth as all the leaves have unfurled from their delicate winter protection and open themselves, like photovoltaic cells, to harvest the sun’s energy.
I spent my entire senior year at Emerson College in a turmoil of stomach pain before it dawned on me that I might have an allergy to something. As a rabid consumer of coffee, mostly in (iced) latte form, there were zero minutes in the day when milk was not in my system. Therefore, lactose intolerance never crossed my mind. Finally, a friend recommended I avoid dairy for a day. This was excruciating (hello, my COFFEE!), but I went with a black americano and voila! It was the most amazing feeling. Peace in my stomach!
Clearly, foregoing dairy was not a long term option for someone like me. I despised the chalky aftertaste of soy, and had absolutely no interest in venturing into the world of rice or almond milk. I NEEDED a way to get back to eating cheese, ice cream, and drinking iced lattes (believe it or not, I’m not obese).
During my study abroad year at UC Davis, I have made many American friends as well as international. Two of my closest friends here in Davis are from Spain. They are particularly proud of their food traditions. I have enjoyed a fair amount of Jamon Serrano, Rioja and many, many Spanish omelettes (some with the addition of chips… not the healthiest of student meals!). As much as I have enjoyed these Spanish products, I have taken a particular liking for the almighty Manchego.
While at the Craft Brewers Conference, Lassa and I stumbled into the Pink Boots Society, http://pinkbootssociety.org/, annual meeting. Quite unlike the 5/1 men/women ratio in the rest of the conference, the room was jammed with women in brewing; brewmasters, QA specialists, pub owners, marketers, retailers, distributors, etc. There were seasoned pros and newbies.
Sebbie Buhler of Rogue Ales (and label model on Rogue Chocolate Stout) introduced us as culture founders, and urged all pink booters (ies?) to discover cheese. And afterward, we got the chance to meet many of them.