Jokigen & Ume Shu sake
When I met Barrie Lynn, the Cheese Impresario, back in 2012 and she suggested we do a cheese and sake pairing, to be honest, I thought she was joking. See, at the time of our discussion, we were sitting at a cheese and beer pairing and had been, well, I had been, consuming quite a bit of REALLY spectacular fermentation of both the cheese and alcoholic nature. Adding to my gentle buzz was the awe of being at my first American Cheese Society Conference, and now someone I admired wanted to do some sort of story with me! After assuring me she was serious, Barrie Lynn said she’d call me and arrange the whole thing. Well, not only did I receive a call, I received two bottles of sake, cheese, and instructional emails to do the tasting over the phone, which was both awesome and terrifying, as I had never even tried sake before, let alone heard of pairing it with cheese. What had I gotten myself into? Continue reading
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
Constant Bliss by Jasper Hill Farm aged one month in cheese safe
As a cheesemonger-in-training, I typically follow the rules when handling my cheese selections. Fresh fromages like chevres should be served sooner rather than later, age gouda can be stored up to a few months with proper care and temperature control, etc. There are reasons for these rules, including preserving integrity of the taste and complexity of the rind or control of the acidity, and I respect them. However, there comes a time when I throw caution to the wind to see just how far I can take a cheese, how long I can let it mature before it goes past its prime. Such is the case with my recent purchase of Jasper Hill’s Constant Bliss.
For those not in the know, Constant Bliss was the first cheese produced at Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT. This complex fromage is made from pasteurized, uncooled evening milk of the farm’s Ayrshire cows and aged a mere 60 days. Most recognize Constant Bliss by its bloomy white rind which hides a creamy underlayer of fatty paste, followed by a more substantial and pillowy center. In its early stage, each layer has a distinct flavor, the delicate rind is earthy without being too assertive, followed by the thin layer of sweet cream, ending in a lemony center. By aging my wheel for a month in my cheese safe, not only did the flavors intensify, but the actual structure of the cheese took on a whole new life. A fantastically mouth-watering life. Continue reading
The Fabulous Beekman Boys on Planet Green
It’s been a long, long, LONG seven months while we Beek-Heads waited for Season 2 of The Fabulous Beekman Boys to begin on Planet Green. Well, the wait is over and Brent, Josh, Farmer John, and that diva Polka Spot are hitting the airways tonight with even more goaty goodness.What started out as a simple show about sustainable living has morphed into a fruitful frenzy of fanatical fans following the boys via television, books (The Bucolic Plague), website, and even a goat-cam.
My parents always said that the most inexpensive adventure is trying new foods. Love it or hate it, the financial risk is minimal and the result may turn into a new favorite flavor. I was a stubborn kid and didn’t take advantage of those cheap trips across the taste buds until I was thirty, but now I venture into the culinary unknown whenever I can. Of course, this includes foreign fromages. My most recent adventure takes me to the Jura region of Eastern France and Prefere des Nos Montagnes.
As a cheese blogger, I consume quite a bit of fromage for research (and because it’s pretty awesome). When I travel, I spend at least a quarter of my time hunting down local cheese shops and sampling their wares. I am in constant contact with my local cheesemongers to find out when new and seasonal cheeses are available and have them hold me a wedge or two. I do all this because I love cheese the taste of cheese, not because I am addicted. Or am I? 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
As a cheese blogger, I often find my refrigerator littered with remnants of cheesy goodness. Too tiny to serve, too misshapen to photograph, and too good to throw away (not to mention too expensive) I would rack my brain thinking of what to do with all this fabulous fromage. Thank goodness for Bobby Flay!
Let me explain. I am a Food Network junkie so I was pretty stoked when Throwdown with Bobby Flay was a mac and cheese battle. Delilah Winder, Oprah’s favorite mac and cheese maker, put her seven-cheese creation up against Bobby’s five-cheese carbonara. I won’t spoil it and tell who won, but I will say that the upscale recipe from Mr. Flay gave me a great idea. Why not use my remnants and make my own upscale mac and cheese? 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