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
Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese Company
Holiday meals can be very stressful, especially for those who have yet to master even the most basic of cooking skills. It would stand to reason that going to someone else’s home and having them do the cooking would be less of a burden, but then comes the age-old question of what to bring. The usual answer when asked is “Oh, nothing. Maybe a bottle of wine or a side, but we’re good. Thanks.” While I appreciate not having to enter Kitchen Stadium, which is what occurs in my boyfriend’s family kitchen every holiday, I still want to contribute to the meal. Thus begins the painstaking task of putting together a cheese board that will stand up to three kinds of turkey (smoked, roasted and confit) and side dishes fit for the cover of Food and Wine Magazine. Continue reading
Read any cheese blog or cheese enthusiast magazine (Culture or Cheese Connoisseur) and it is a sure bet there is some mention of Hook’s Cheese 15 year cheddar. This seriously aged cheese was brought to market back in February of 2009 and has skyrocketed to one of the most sought after and highly praised cheeses in the country.
Prior to all the praise, many had never heard of Tony and Julie Hook. Who are these pioneers of the cheddar world? Where did they come from? How did this 15 year cheddar come to be? Is cheddar all Hook’s Cheese has to offer? I had the opportunity to speak with Tony recently and discovered there is a whole lot more to this Wisconsin creamery than cheddar. Continue reading