Point Reyes Farmstead
My apologies for this late post. I’ve been on a self-directed tour of Rocky Mountain goat dairies to get new ideas for my goat cheeses and to learn new techniques. In other words, I’ve tasted some excellent cheeses. If you have access to the cheeses from Amaltheia Organic Dairy in Belgrade, Montana, grab some, for goodness’ sake.
My tomme awaited me in the cooler of my son’s little bakery when I returned. Luckily, no one investigated the package or I wouldn’t be writing this at all. The cheese is the color of straw with a buckskin colored rind. Usually when I smell hard cheeses, they remind me of a cheese cave or cellar—dampish and sharp. The tomme, when held up close, fell into that category but when I held it farther away, it smelled mushroomy, like a forest floor (in Montana). When I tasted the cheese with the rind, I also definitely detected the sea.
Correction: After posting this on Tuesday evening, it was pointed out to me by Bi-Rite's head monger Anthea Stolz that the vertical tasting I mentioned was actually of the wonderful Barinaga Baserri, which happens to be our fall centerfod:
"Marcia Barinaga was gracious enough to let us buy the whole batch, and we’re tasting 2 wheels each month for 10 months and then the last wheel when the batch will be 12-months old, sending her our feedback along the way."
Bi-Rite is ALSO the exclusive source for Kuba's Kreation experimental cheese from Point Reyes, but they are not performing a vertical tasting. I apologize for the confusion; Bi-Rite is apparently participating in too many awesome cheese experiments for me to keep track of.
You may all know this already, but Best of Show at 2011 ACS in Montreal went to Oregon’s Rogue Creamery for Rogue River Blue (www.roguecreamery.com) the 2nd time they’ve taken the blue ribbon home! Second place was shared by Ontario’s Finica Food for their Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar (www.mariposadairy.ca), and perennial winner from Wisconsin, Carr Valley, for Cave Aged Marisa (www.carvalleycheese.com). Third place was Quebec’s Fromagerie du Presbytère for Louis d’Or (www.fromageriedupresbytere.com/. These are all seriously delicious cheeses. It rare to sample Canadian cheeses we, sadly, cannot get here in the US…and to get my hands on limited production cheeses too.
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?