Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese Inc with Pleasant Ridge Reserve
The American Cheese Society 2012 Conference is in full swing with over 1700 cheeses battling it out to be named the best of the best. While the judges tasted and tallied, we regular folks had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the talented cheesemakers. Below are just a few of the amazing cheeses represented here in Raleigh this week.
Lets start above with Wisconsin based Upland Cheese Inc.‘s talented young cheesemaker and multiple ACS winner (including snagging two awards this year) Andy Hatch, maker of Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Rush Creek Reserve. Continue reading
What has four battles, forty mongers from around the globe and $10,000 in cash and prizes at stake? The 2nd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational of Long Island City, of course! Mongers from New York, Canada, California and even Ireland and Australia will come together on Friday, July 8 to compete in a quartet of challenges.
Whether simply introducing themselves, precisely cutting and wrapping pounds of cheese or creating the perfect fromage flight, these talented cheese whizzes will go wedge-to-wedge in front of over two hundred spectators and be judged by some of the world’s leading authorities. And competition won’t be the only draw to this cheesy gathering – with music spun by DJ Aaron Kirtz and DJ Carlos Souffront and food prepared by fromager and pairing expert Tia Keenan, this event is sure to be amazing.
Sadly, The House Mouse was not able to score tickets to this sold-out extravaganza. Naturally, anyone who does make it to Larkin Cold Storage for Friday’s event is encouraged to send along some photos and play-by-play of the competition.
The moon wasn’t the only cheese in the sky this week. A Dragon space capsule built by Hawthorne, California private company, SpaceX, contained a secret stash of an entire wheel of Le Brouere cheese when it made its historic orbit of the earth on Wednesday. Have no fear, fellow fromagophiles. The nutty Gruyere-like cheese made it safely back to the earth and is on it’s way back to California for some out of this world consumption.
Why cheese? Seems the PayPal co-founder Elon Musk and his team were giving a comedic nod to British comedy group Monty Python and their famous Cheese Shop skit (see clip below).
Read more about this fantastic fromage flight at NPR.org
Tiny tasty tidbits of cheese are a great way to be adventurous without making a full on commitment to the unknown. Not sure about goat’s milk cheese? Try a tiny crottin of chevre. Curious about the infamous Epoisses yet frightened by the funk? Give Trou du Cru a go without worries of funkifying the fridge. Sometimes these little morsels of cheesy goodness have no comparison. Such is the case with Cowgirl Creamery’s Inverness. Continue reading
For over two years, I have been on the hunt for my favorite cheese, Stinking Bishop. I badgered my cheesemongers, scoured the Internet and made several futile attempts to contact Neal’s Yard, all to no avail. Then I met Samantha, the cheese and charcuterie buyer for Cheese Plus in San Francisco, California. Well, actually I spoke with her on the phone, as I live across the country in the Midwest.
Cheese Plus is owned by Ray Bair, former director of cheese, wine, and specialty foods for Whole Foods Market. Ray opened his shop about five years ago, and it is touted as San Francisco’s premier cheese and specialty food source – no mean feat. Although they don’t have an official online storefront, anyone can call and request items shipped. Continue reading
I finally got the chance to taste Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk and it was well worth the wait. To be fair, I had been offered chances on numerous occasions but hesitated because the web was saturated with high praise and I figured one more review would be one too many. After tasting the washed-rind triple-cream round of goodness, its clear that no amount of praise is enough for this flavor-bomb of fromage. Continue reading