Stephanie (our publisher) and I went to Cleveland this past weekend to work with Heinen's, a fantastic supermarket chain that's recently opened its first store outside of Ohio, in Chicago. We were there for a massive cheese & beer event for Cleveland Beer Week on Sunday, which Heinen's coordinated with Culture, 15 U.S. brewers, and 20 cheeses. It was an astounding success...more to come on that. This blog is about HEINEN'S.
Lots needs to be done to get the creamery project moving, but daily life seems to be getting in my way. Fortunately Seana and Dave are dedicating a lot of their time, and are making most of our progress!
We’re currently trying to obtain permits for plumbing, electrical, and water use. I actually thought this part of the process would go much quicker than it has, since the structure is sound and not too much needs to be done, relatively speaking. But permits take a lot of planning and negotiating. And you have to be willing to revise your plan and negotiate more. So while it’s a full-time job to get these things figured out and crossed off the to-do list, we go to our real jobs during the day, and work on permits in the hours between.
While at the Provvista open house on Sunday, I met up with Matt Day, owner/monger of Mt Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend, WA. Great guy, great product, great everything. Like most cheesemakers, they are experimenting with different cheeses for future production. We chatted, and somehow I scored a couple of wheels of their current "Cheer Trial" cheese, a small surface-ripened cow's milk round that's washed in local Finn River (hard) cider. He wanted my feedback. So I thought I'd give it here, for all to see. The two wheels were labeled "A5" and "A6," and the A6 was my favorite. After each cider wash, it was allowed to completely open-air dry (the other wasn't) and the texture was firmer and more fudgy. It was less salty than A5, and the cider flavor was slightly stronger--which I liked. I did manage to share them with friends after my own evaluation, and most agreed with me. Honestly, I was surprised: I normally like the softer, oozier cheeses.
Hello Cheese Fans,
Well, the day has come. After three and half years working with culture, I'm off to conquer a new horizon.
Whether as assistant editor or web editor, my time at culture has been riddled with education of all sorts (cheese, food, publishing, writing, facebook posting...), and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I will miss working at the magazine immensely, and I'll miss our Facebook and Twitter communities just as much. You all are a special group of people, all tied together by one super-strength love. Three cheers for cheese!
Luckily, I'm leaving my responsibilities in Becca's capable hands. As our new social media manager she has stepped up to the plate like a champ this week, taking care of business on Facebook, Twitter, and the website. She rocks!
On a drizzly fall evening, Stephanie, Eilis, and I schlepped through Cambridge to visit central bottle wine + provisions, and let me tell you, it was worth braving the weather.
After a brief tour of the facilities, we were entertained with three separate wine and cheese pairings. Cabra La Mancha, an aged goat’s milk cheese with an unbelievable texture, was paired with a 2011 Muscadet. My favorite cheese of the three, the buttery and luscious Kind of Blue from Woodcock Farms, was paired with a sweet 2005 Vouvray. Finally, a garlicky, creamy Fromage Fort made from cheese odds and ends topped a soft baguette, and was paired with a 2011 Lagrein Rosé.
For me, this autumn has been gastrocentric. Scrumptious seasonal ingredients and the cool, crisp weather make me want to spend hours in the kitchen, which is exactly what I did this past weekend. In addition to baking apple crumb cake and oatmeal dark chocolate chip cookies, I also made my first ever raviolis.
The inspiration for this meal was my request, maybe it was a demand, for goat cheese and butternut squash, but the recipe is Ben's. I provided the challenge to think up something ideal for fall and he formulated this fun project and delicious meal. I also made sure it was recorded.
This blog will chronicle the planning, permitting, financing (including exact dollar amounts) and building of a micro creamery on a ranch in Tomales, California. It will feature alternating posts from 2 different people, Seana Doughty and Marissa Thornton, who have joined forces to help each other achieve their cheesemaking dreams and goals. Allow us to introduce ourselves.....
I am going to Oregon this weekend for the bi-annual Wedge festival, hosted by the Oregon Cheese Guild. This follows on the heels of my fantastic trek around Oregon with Gianaclis Caldwell (Pholia Farm). I continue to pine for Oregon since that visit just over a month ago, because of the friendliness of the people I met, the deliciousness of the cheeses I tasted, and the state in general. Oh, and the beer and wine. Going to Portland (my first time!) for this event is going to be FUN. Can’t wait to see those skilled cheesemakers again so soon. Maybe the forces are trying to tell me something….
If you’re able and willing, see you at The Wedge cheese (and beer!) festival this Saturday, October 6 at the Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub. Culture will have a table there, and I'll be behind it! Here's the website to see details: http://oregoncheeseguild.org/oregon-cheese-guild-upcoming-events/
When I was in elementary school my classmates and I were asked to stand in front of the class, introduce ourselves, and tell everyone our favorite kind of pizza. Most of my classmates chose pepperoni, many picked cheese, and, one kid said olives. When it was my turn I looked to my peers and said, “Hi, my name is Susanna and my favorite pizza is Al Forno's Margherita pizza.”
This introduction is much better suited to the Culture community than to my eight year old classmates. For those of you who don't know, Al Forno is a world renowned restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island and it is the birth place of the grilled pizza. The margherita pizza is always on the menu and it never disappoints.
The High Holidays began Sunday night in Jewish homes around the world, ushered in with a feast to mark Rosh Hashanah, the “head of the year,” in the Judaic calendar. As I buzzed around that afternoon gathering the requisite honey and apples, choosing wine, baking a special round-shaped challah, and cooking dinner, I was reminded once again how essential food is to Jewish ritual. At every holiday, the dining table becomes a kind of altar and each cook a virtual priest who creates the spirit of the holiday through symbolic the foods. Sanctity is homemade.