I have a rough, tough life. Aline Baly, whose family owns and operates Chateau Coutet, a 1er Grand Cru Classé Sauternes vineyards in Barsac, Bordeaux, France, dropped into the shop and opened up full bottles of their 1989, 1997, 2002 and 2003 vintages with the hopes of finding good pairings to accompany them. I was joined by cheese & food writer Janet Fletcher (who lives nearby in downtown Napa), Master Sommelier Peter Granoff, and my partner in cheeses & monger extraordinaire at our Oxbow cheese shop, Ricardo Huijon. Needless to say, it wasn't one of our hardest days on the job...
My sweetie pie is a devotee of podcasts, and pointed me towards this tale from The Moth Radio Hour.
Julie Kraut tells of her time in Africa, an unfortunate traveling companion, and what happened when a piece of cheese came between them.
"You know how some people feel about God? I feel that way about cheese."
You can download it via iTunes (it's free)
It's the second story, starting at 7:00. Salty language alert.
The Culture crew just got back from the Fancy food Show on Wednesday! It's quite the experience the first time around. This year it was held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. It also happened to be murderously hot outdoors, which made the cavernous interior of the venue a welcome refuge.
Laid out in aisles by country and state, with rough categories within that structure, the show is massive. Overwhelming is a word I heard often in the three days we were there. It took a full ten minutes to get from end to end at a swift clip.
That said, thousands of vendors are there to show off their product, which means mass amounts of free food, drink, and…ummm…CHEEESE!!
My ears are still ringing with the sounds of Adam Moscowitz’s voice at this year’s Cheesemonger Invitational (last Friday the 8th). Despite a depressing drizzle outside, the competition could still be heard and smelled from many yards away. Held in Larkin warehouse, in Long Island City, the event was a big frigging deal.
For perspective, note this: three Australian cheesemongers made the trip from down under JUST for this event.
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.
July, and the year tips into high summer, furious growth limited by dry weather and plants seeding. Animals and plants have that well fed look – house martens wheel around the house, giving us freedom from hornets coming in in the evening – do these tiny birds take those huge insects? I drove back from talking to the Exmoor Women Farming Group across Exmoor, expecting to see wildlife along the way – not much – as soon as I got onto our farm, I saw fallow deer, a fat badger, and two roly-poly fox cubs. Squirrels are eating my strawberries; last year I was getting a colander a day, this year just a handful. I’ve got electrified chicken wire and two nets around them, and they are jumping the wire and breaking the net. Next is to completely encase the strawberries in a cage of chicken wire. Too much wildlife!
“Cull, clear your calendar, we’re tasting experimental mystery cheese this weekend.” Cullen generally goes along with whatever food adventure I bounce into. The weekend before he stood happily by as I bought and fried pigs’ ears for dinner. Before that, it was the place that served all types of tongue. He grins with pride as I scarf down stinky fermented natto-it looks like alien spawn and might taste pretty similar, but I’m satisfied that’s a good thing, and he’s not going to argue. Just so long as I can figure out how to pair everything I consume with craft beer. I’ll try anything but eyeball, pig nose and Brussels’ sprouts. Fortunately, none of those have a corresponding brew match, so we’re good.
The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Creamery…
or the pea traps and drains, as the case may be. That is the phase of construction that is underway now at Pennyroyal. There are three systems of drains and piping that are being installed before foundations and the floor slabs can be poured. The first is the domestic waste system, which handles water from the bathroom and takes it to our septic system. The second is the largest, and will capture all the process water which will be pumped to a water treatment system. The third system is a whey diversion line, which will allow us to collect whey to use as animal feed.
I’m finishing up a week of traveling the fjords and roads of Norway, trying to scope out the cheese scene in this country better known for salmon and sweaters. One of the first things I discovered on my Scandinavian beat is that the average Norwegian refers to her/his cheese by color: they have their white cheese, their yellow cheese, some blue cheese, and plenty of brown cheese. Color indicts familiar supermarket cheese. They know, for instance, what to expect from a slice of white cheese.