Here at the culture offices, we're excited about wine.
Some of you may know it; a wonderful, traditional beverage, it offers a whole world of taste sensations, and has a noble history of its own. But we sometimes feel like it lives in the shadow of its more illustrious pairing pairing partner, cheese. In an attempt to bring some light to wine's sometimes obscure world, we'd like to offer this introduction to some common wine terms, translated for the cheese enthusiast.
Tasting Tuesdays have become a regular feature over at the Boston office, and when they asked me to pitch in, of course I said yes. It didn't hurt that they were sending me Beemster's XO Gouda, which is one of my avowedly favorite cheeses. XO is aged 26 months, and has a wonderful grainy texture because of it, along with a sharp-sweet-savory flavor like that reminds me of a liquor-filled, salted caramel bonbon.
Once again, true love found a whey in our 2013 cheese-love poetry contest.
wendyleek was the soul of brevity with her three line pun-fest, while Coffee Lover charmed some of our judges with her innocent simplicity. Finally, monger Gordon Edgar's elegant sestina took the prize for its deeply felt examination of a life working in cheese.
As the year winds down and the best-of lists start flying, I'd be remiss not to single out some of the best, blog-est and most interesting cheese stuff we've encountered on the blog in 2012:
My inner anarchist delighted in cheese-smuggling Canadian cops who confirmed that the siren song of cheese crime corrupts even (or especially) the law.
After a period of reflection and repair in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the judges have reached their decision on our 2012 Scary Dairy Contest.
First prize goes to Erin Thorne's gooey tale of cheese voodoo
Erin Thorne's story "I'm Melting" starts strong, establishes characterization right off the bad and ends with the perfect blend of horror and dairy. The cheese is integral to the plot without being obvious.
Erin Thorne, with her tale of scorned love and Voodoo dolls of cheddar, wins first place. Her original idea and clever execution (of the words and of the antagonist) made the perfect Scary Dairy tale.
Kristi Petersen Schoonover:
What is Scary Dairy? It's the rasp of a grater wielded by a mad monger, a ghostly image imprinted on the face of the pizza, the cold panic of losing your bread in the burbling depths of the fondue.
Scary Dairy is our annual Halloween short story contest.
The rules are simple: spin a spooky cheese-centric tale of terror in the comment thread below, ~500 words or less. The best story will win a bag of cheesy Halloween tricks and treats. We will pick a winner November 1st.
Just a reminder: our deadline for our Thanksgiving Recipe Contest is Sunday, October 28.
If your goat cheese dish is one of the three deemed turkey-worthy, Laura Chenel's Chevre will send this for your conucopia:
Three varieties of LCC's fabulous fresh and aged goat milk cheeses, along with some luscious Gravenstein Apple Chutney and a spicy Fig Jam from their neighbors here in Sonoma, California. It's a seductive pairing, guaranteed to win over fans of football, parade floats, and pumpkin pie alike.
It's nearly that time of year again. The family gathers, sounds of football playing in the background. The table is set. It groans with food: the massive brown bird, the hot stuffing, rich with gravy. Potatoes, sweet and mashed. Pies, at least pumpkin, or sweet potato; sometimes apple and more.
WHAT'S MISSING FROM THIS PICTURE?
This is odd, because according to the Plymouth Plantation museum, as early as 1627 the Plymouth colony had quite a dairy herd:
Hungry up-and-comers Y.N. Rich Kids dropped a seriously dope track that's on its way to becoming this summer's #1 jam. Big ups to Hot Cheetos, and some tight lyrics from the Y.N. crew:
yo, i'm hungry where them cheetos at?
they stay bitin' like where them mosquitoes at?
i'm on point like a elbow, hands red like elmo
my mama said "have u had enough?"
i looked and i said "no ma'am"
i go ham, in the grocery store orange fanta and takis
ridin' with my allowance, so nobody can stop me
all the kids wanna be him, go crazy when they see him
my mom hit the ATM, cuz she know i need them
And big ups to the YMCA program that encourages the flow.
In celebration of what would have been Julia's 100th birthday, PBS released a celebratory remix, featuring her from her earliest days on television onwards.
Like their Mr. Rogers or Bob Ross remixes, this one is nostalgic, slightly haunting, and really appeals the to the idealism that Julia Child embodied: you can do it yourself, all it takes is enthusiasm, there's nothing to lose in trying.