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.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Okay, so it’s actually a couple of days away, but it IS the perfect time to offer some cheesy good options for the party. Sure there’s the standard Irish Cheddar with its sweet, tangy flavor that goes perfect with corned beef and cabbage, but wouldn’t it be fun to have some lucky surprises on the cheese plate this year? Move over, Kerrygold aged cheddar and make room for the new lassies on the block!
First up is this pretty wedge of Gleann Oir from Breda Maher, owner of Cooleeney Cheese Company in Tipperary, Ireland. This fromage may be a youngster, but it packs a powerful punch. Nose up to the natural white rind and breathe in all the pungent dirt aroma (this is a good thing, don’t be scared). Tangy goat’s milk with undertones of citrus and grass give Gleann Oir the perfect taste of spring. A great balance of crumbly and creamy, this cheese is great for crumbling over a spinach salad to start off the St. Patty’s Day feast. Continue reading
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.
Half eaten Rush Creek Reserve in front of a full wheel of Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Taken at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, MI.
It’s a busy night per usual at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, MI and I am having my first taste of the highly sought after Rush Creek Reserve, the new soft rind cheese from the makers of the award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Carlos, the cheese monger, has a wheel hidden behind the counter and hands me a tiny plastic spoonful of the pale yellow paste. Soft and creamy with a tiny hint of mushroom, bold and beefy yet still delicate on the tongue, this bloomy raw-milk cheese seems to have it all. So why is this gooey goodness being hidden behind the counter? Demand for this cheese has been so high that Zingerman’s only has this one sample and the wheel I am taking home on hand. They are expecting delivery of a few more wheels next weekend, but how many is unknown.
I am not only here for the cheese, but to meet the innovative cheese maker who created it: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese Company of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Andy is a quiet, unassuming guy with a friendly smile and looks more like college student than a master cheese maker. We sit down at an outside table to talk about his latest cheese creation. Continue reading
I have gone totally goaty lately, which is good since it is National Goat Cheese Month. My selections have ranged from fresh and tangy to pungent and earthy, most of which I have devoured with pleasure. None, however, have stopped me in my tracks and brought an audible “WOW!” from my lips the way Monte Enebro has. Continue reading
I love cheese and I love caramel, but eating the two together doesn’t seem very appealing. That is until I discovered Roomano (not to be confused with Romano) cheese. This hard Gouda-like cheese from Friesland in the northern part of The Netherlands is a rare treat. Aged anywhere from three to four years the flavor is beefy and intense without being stinky and overpowering. A hard paste infused with calcium lactate crystals gives Roomano a fantastic texture suitable for grating and cooking as well as an interesting addition to any cheese plate. Continue reading