After only six months of living here, I am now a Californian. The evidence? Whole-wheat peach pizza with goat cheese, sage and red onion. That's right, I said peaches. The Scientist (aka Minda "no sauce" Berbeco) whipped up another batch of dough last night, and suggested we use a few of the fruits we'd picked up at Davis CA's infamous farmer's market.
It sure was one of the prettiest pizzas we've ever made. The uncooked pie (pictured) was cute enough to hang over the couch. And when we pulled it out, the cheese and herbs melded perfectly with the sweet peaches and onions, furthering my conviction that everything goes with just about everything. Which, I suppose, is a very California attitude.
In LA this week, at the International Dairy, Deli & Bakery's annual convention, which draws doughnut-makers, mustard mongers, and, of course, cheese professionals from across the country and the world. This is a major industry-oriented event, so I was occupied mostly with the entirely humdrum and uninteresting chores the magazine demanded of me, like tasting Rouge et Noir's unreleased triple-cream brie with truffles:
And stalking poodle-skirted cheese-carver extraordinaire Sarah Kaufmann—note the earrings:
Just wanted to mark the start of summer with my traditional exhortation: grill haloumi and eat it.
If you want a bit more detail, haloumi is a firm, salty cheese from Cyprus made from goat and sheep's milk, with a texture like a very dense mozzarella. Unlike mozz, however, haloumi has the singular virtue of not melting under high heat. Instead, like other proteins, haloumi will acquire a nicely browned crispness, which is great in a pan but outstanding when cooked over an open flame.
I've been thinking about pizza lately. We don't give it a lot of coverage in the magazine, which is strange as it's one of the three great American cheese-foods. Along with grilled cheese and mac 'n whatever, it demonstrates a very simple formula: starch + salt + fat = dinner.
Because pizza is ubiquitous (especially as children's fare), everyone has their own opinion on what makes a good slice. Preferences are typically formed early and harden into obstinacy during the college years, when exposure to out-of-state pizza combines with economic necessity to make students into connoisseurs. This is a good thing, in my opinion. Although everyone else is wrong, especially New Yorkers, it's our differences that create the rich tomato-and-cheese tapestry that is America.
Amazing what the right music will do to a montage.
Just stumbled across this nice little primer on the science of curds via BoingBoing (yeah, I read it).