The Culture Cheese Wrap Contest evolved from Elaine’s experience at the Cheesemonger Contest by Larkin Cheese Distributors in New York. Among many other parts of the event, Elaine thought that the cheese wrapping would be a particularly successful and fun idea for California's Artisan Cheese Festival. We created a two-part competition for both cheese consumers and professionals, giving every cheese-lover the chance to show off their skills in the art of the Cheese Wrap.
The competition proved very fun indeed. Congratulations to the winner of the amateur competition – Mike Lucia from Copain Wines! We hope you enjoy the prizes.
A recent trip to Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, NY leaves me pondering the binary relationship between inside and outside – in this case, between the cheese-room and the barnyard. Colin McGrath, cheese-maker at the farm, appropriately starts the tour of the dairy in the open-air, within sight of the cows (Jerseys, Normandes, and Swiss). As we move closer to the cheese-room, it becomes increasingly apparent that the functional connection between the bucolic domain of the cows and the world of the cheese-maker in his sterilized lab reveals cheesemaking as a symbolic act – the framing and crafting of nature.
Yesterday, I attended my second event with Culture: The California Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, California, what a fabulous event it was.
My eyes were overwhelmed by the selection of cheeses on display. There were towering cliffs of delicious blue from Point Reyes, brand new Wagon Wheel melting cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery, award-winning cheddars from Fiscalini, plenty of creamy goat cheeses from Laura Chenel and of course so much more.
Amongst the stunning array of fine cheeses, I came across some remarkable new finds. Goat milk fudge, wine infused cookies, olive oil chocolate, peanut butter sandwich cookies, mini lemon meringue pies, exclusive olive oils, bacon bread, an exciting new product called “glop” (made from a selection of oils and cheeses), and I was thrilled about bumping into a familiar item that I fell in love with at Cochon 555 – my beloved toffee bacon lollipop! (I bagged myself three little piggies! Does this make me a big piggie?!)
Four Years and 364 Days to Build a Creamery...
and I may be overly optimistic about the 364 day part!
A goat dairy at the nascent Pennyroyal Farm vineyard began as a conversation early in 2007. After two years of planning, foundations were laid for the barn and milking parlor in a freshly planted vineyard just east of downtown Boonville, a secluded town in California's Mendocino County. The 70' by 100' barn was designed to comfortably accommodate a milking herd of 108 goats. The milking parlor permits 36 goats to enter at a time, filling two raised platforms between which the milker is stationed. While construction proceeded on the dairy buildings (which allowed me to relocate my herd from Sonoma County to the site of the future farm), planning and the convoluted permitting process were tackled for the creamery.
On a recent foray into Manhattan, I went to Joe's Dairy on Sullivan St, famed makers of mozzarella.
The site has been a dairy for many decades. However, in 1977 the original "Joe" sold the store and dairy to seventeen year old Anthony Campenelli, who literally lived next door. It had been Anthony's dream to own the business and he, together with his brother Vincent and other members of the family, still operate it.
Fresh cow's milk mozzarella is made throughout the day in the tiny room behind the store with a certain number of cheeses being set aside for smoking. The smoking process takes place over hickory wood and lasts a mere four minutes.
24 March 2011
Even a gypsy eventually reaches the end of her rope, and I have. All the schlepping, buying, wrapping, TSA-ing, and airport shuttling has gotten the best of me, and I am ready to settle down somewhere delicious for a while... you know, actually live somewhere I can sink my teeth into. After Italy, what should a girl do?
Just a couple of quick pictures from the exhibition floor: there are over 4,000 folks crammed in here, all of them brewers except me (and Steph).
Let’s talk about restaurant week in Boston. First: calling it restaurant “week” is something of a cruel joke on the restaurants of the city, as it’s really TWO weeks long. Two weeks is a long time, and a LOT of three course meals. The deal is three courses for $33.11 (for dinner), which, depending on the menu, can mean a bunch of diners making out like stuffed bandits, or still-hungry, disappointed, would-be bandits. It’s mostly a great deal.
What I really want to talk about is congealed cheese, and how much of it my coworkers and I have scraped off of soup spoons, skillets, and the floor in the past week and a half. Much as I, (and everyone in Boston) love(s) melted cheese, be it in French onion soup, rarebit, or mac & cheese, it’s pretty vile after it’s been sitting, cooling in its own grease for half an hour. Blech.
For any cheese fans in the Pacific Northwest, don’t forget the 7th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival will be held this Saturday March 19th, 2011 at Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Oregon.
I was just talking with Tami Parr, one of the Festival’s organizers and here is what she says:
“This year's festival promises to be bigger and better than ever - literally! A bigger tent, more vendors and cheese celebrities will be on hand to ring in the seventh year of this festival celebrating all things Oregon cheese.
In attendance will be Oregon cheesemakers from Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Pholia Farm, Tumalo Farms, Rogue Creamery and many more, all sampling and selling their handmade cheeses. The farmer's market style event will also host local purveyors of all sorts of delectable treats including wine, beer, breads and chocolate. The fun, informal setting encourages attendees to meet the people who make the cheeses they've come to love.