Happy Valentine’s Day from The House Mouse! When I tell someone I write about cheese, the inevitable question arises “What’s your favorite cheese?” and I can never name just one. My love for cheese, with all the varying milks, textures, seasonal options, really depends on my mood. Am I a fair-weather-fromage-lover? Oh, no. My love is so big and so deep, I would have to say that I love them all, in their own way. So, this Valentine’s Day, I say to all the cheeses, all over the world. I love you with all my heart. Stay cheesy, my dearest ones. Until we meet again…
When I found out I would be taking my first trip to Paris, I was excited and a bit nervous. Sure, there would be all the amazing cheese, bread, pastries, and chocolates to try, but Paris is big. REALLY big. For someone with crowd issues (which I have) this can be a terrifying experience. I talked with a few of my francophile friends and they assured me that, unlike New York or Chicago where the streets are jam-packed with people all the time, Paris feels busy, but not suffocating. This was a good thing since I enjoy exploring new places. Once I settled into my hotel, I set off with my list of fromageries from cheese connoisseur Susan Sturman, Rick Steve’s Paris 2014 guidebook & Streetwise Paris map in hand, and immediately got lost. Seriously. This was actually a good thing since my getting lost lead me to my first fromagerie, Cheese.
Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day! Who would have imagined there was a day just for us turophiles? To be honest, I was totally clueless about this splendid holiday until yesterday and not really sure how on e goes about celebrating, besides doing the usual chowing of tons of cheese. I do that every day, so does that make every day cheese lover’s day? While I chomp on that tasty thought, here’s a look back at some of The House Mouse’s favorite cheese loves. Stay Cheesy! Continue reading
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
Image: Picnics Fine Foods
Since I am not a chef (or even decent cook, for that matter) my contribution to the holiday festivities is that I always bring the cheese board. While this may seem like a cop-out of a task, it’s not easy finding complimentary cheeses that will please all palates. Milk types, pate color and flavor intensity all come into play when making selections.
This Independence Day, I went with a fully represented board of the four top milk choices: cow, sheep, goat, and even buffalo. While all the selections were hits, the goat’s milk La Clochette was the clear winner of the bunch. Continue reading
When thinking about Ohio, specifically Portage County, cheese is not the first thing that comes to mind. Lush green pastures of the various farms, quaint small towns that appear frozen in time, and narrow dirt roads leading to who-knows-where dot this beautiful countryside. Yet dotted throughout the county are artisans yielding their craft and producing fresh, sweet, and often surprising goat’s milk cheese beyond compare. One such artisan is Jean Mackenzie, founder and President of Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram, Ohio. Continue reading
Over the last few years I have come to love and appreciate goat’s milk cheese. From the nutty freshness of Garrotxa to the complex and beautiful Valencay. There are so many varieties of cheese made with goat’s milk and more coming to market all the time, I have no illusions of being able to taste them all. One type has become one of my favorites. Continue reading
One of my favorite places to eat in Ann Arbor is Zingerman’s Roadhouse on Jackson Avenue. Part of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, the Roadhouse cooks up amazing down-home goodness and even encourages customers to “try it before you buy it” by offering samples of menu items. Co-owners Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw bring in the highest quality of ingredients from around the country and the food is all the better for it.
Terry is my favorite waiter at Zingerman’s. His love of cheese rivals mine and he always has the perfect suggestions. Looking for some lighter selections than I am use to (as you may have guessed, I love the pungent, stinky stuff) I wanted to see how the mild side tasted. Terry’s first recommendation was Creamery Great Lakes Cheshire. This is the only American-made Cheshire to date and like its UK brother, this cheese has a hard crumbly texture that becomes smooth on the tongue with a subtle, grassy flavor. A bit of an acidic bite (most likely from the animal rennet) but by no means unpleasant. Next came a Quebec Chevre Noir (center) and is the only Canadian cheese Zingerman’s sells. This award-winning cheese has a firm, dense and flaky in texture yet melts in your mouth with a nutty, herb-like essence. Finally, a 3-year-old Asiago (top right) was a surprise. Usually aged for a year, I expected this Asiago to be sharp and intense. Surprisingly, I found it to be smooth, sweet, and even on the palate.
All three cheeses were wonderful, but if I had to pick a favorite I would say it was the chevre. Next time you find yourself in Ann Arbor, check out Zingerman’s Roadhouse and ask for Terry. Tell him Robin sent you!
The grapes pictured are oven roasted with a balsamic vinegar toss. Amazing and easy to make. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss grapes lightly in balsamic vinegar, roast for 10 minutes and enjoy. These sweet and savory treats pair with both intense and mild cheeses.
I grew up on Kraft® Mac and Cheese. Seeing that blue box on the counter would start me singing and dancing around the kitchen anticipating that powdered-cheese goodness! Over time we switched to Stouffer’s®, because only little kids ate Kraft® , right? And then I tasted heaven on a plate, aka Michael Symon’s Mac and Cheese.
I first had this tasty treat three years ago at Lolita’s in Tremont (a little borough on Cleveland’s near west side). Hearing so much praise and adulation about this dish before tasting it, I had a hard time seeing what all the hype was about. The pasta wasn’t your typical macaroni and the color wasn’t that signature bright orange that I had come to know. It was a creamy white with flecks of green. My inner child began to come out and rebel against this strange concoction. And then I tasted it. The sweet/tangy flavor from the chevre mixed with subtle yet complimentary essence of rosemary was just perfect. The blue box was outta my life for good. Continue reading