Allison Austin Scheff at Seattle Mag, is just as excited as we are to hear that Murray's is opening a handful of mini shops in Quality Food Centers (QFC) in Washington State. Heads up, Washingtonians, you're in for some cheese!
The first local mini-Murray's opens in two weeks in the University Village QFC. There'll be a FREE tasting event open to the public on Thursday, March 29th from 4pm to 7pm. I'm told the store will offer 175 cheeses, including an expansive European offering and many local cheeses (Beecher's and Mt. Townsend among them). Murray's has already opened cheese shops-within Kroger stores in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas, and in King Soopers stores in Colorado.
Ever wonder how California's North Bay Area turned into the west coast's epicenter of cheese? This article from Stett Holbrook atbohemian.com gives a great history of how it all came to be, beginning with Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, of Cowgirl Creamery:
Sue Conley's timing was impeccable. As cofounder in 1997 of Cowgirl Creamery, one of the first local cheesemakers to hit the big time, she and her partner, college friend Peggy Smith, have been instrumental in the North Bay's cheese revolution. But she didn't set out to be a cheesemaker. Conley was a cook who helped start Berkeley's beloved Bette's Oceanview Diner. Smith was a chef at Chez Panisse. Both had traveled to Europe and were smitten by the regional food there. Back in the Bay Area, Chez Panisse exerted a powerful influence on cooks and diners alike, who began to embrace what was then a novel concept: eating fresh, seasonal food from local farmers and purveyors.
Here's a video from two years ago, that's still worth a watch, just to see camels getting milked!
Round 1 of the Washington Post's 6th annual beer tournament, Beer Madness kicked off the competition last week with some resounding insults, and new favorites in the beer department. Check out the this play-by-play from Greg Kitsock:
In the Crisp category, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) flip-flopped, as is a politician’s prerogative, switching his initial vote for Bell’s Lager to Fordham Helles Lager . Six of his fellow tasters agreed, with Halley Fehner praising the Helles for its “slightly floral, honeydew” taste and Palena pastry chef Agnes Chin designating it her “game-day beer with salty snacks.” But our outspoken sommelier Kathryn Bangs opted for Bell’s, finding the Helles past its prime (“smells like a frat house the morning after a kegger”).
CDC Relases Raw Milk Safety Report: finds unpasteurized dairy causes a disproportionate number illnesses
In a recent paper published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientists working for the Centers for Disease Control found that raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products (including cheese) were significantly more likely to cause foodbourne illness than their pasteurized counterparts:
As we all know, Cheese Crime continues to run rampant worldwide - theft being its most common manifestation. The latest incident was in Salt Lake City, where thieves broke into deli and made off with the best meats and cheeses they could find. The Deseret News has the story:
Troy Petersen, manager of the market and deli at 1516 S. 1500 East, said the theft was discovered Monday around 7:45 a.m. The lock to the storage’s walk-in cooler, which has an exterior entrance, was broken.
“They cleared us out of all our artisan salami,” he said. “I think we had about five or six legs of prosciutto in there and cheeses and other types of cured meats. They just took all that out. It was barren.”
Cheese Is Alive was sad when chocolate bars studded with gouda suddenly disappeared from her life, but lo and behold, she found a new treat!
Laughing Moon Chocolate from Vermont makes some very delicious chocolates and they have a bonbon/truffle/callitwhateveryoulikeitschocolategoodness that is blended with Bayley Hazen Blue from Jasper Hill. As you all know by now, Jasper Hill makes some of the most delicious cheese around. Their Bayley Hazen Blue is a natural-rind cheese with a crumbly dry texture that can make cutting it into pretty wedges a bit challenging at times. It has a lovely butteriness to it and tastes kind of fudgy. Yup. It's a cheese that already tastes a bit like chocolate and has that dense, chewy fudge texture.
Traditional stuffing gets taken to new heights in this irresistible dish combining the nutty aromas of Comté with sweet apples, tart cranberries and fresh herbs. Serve the stuffing alongside roasted meats at your next holiday table, or as part of a vegetarian spread!
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Put the bread pieces on a large baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a large bowl.
This video is from Riverford Dairy, and was filmed this last March when they let their cows out of their winter lodging. As you can see, the cows are very excited to get back out to pasture after having been penned up all winter. Have you ever seen cows run so fast?
Looks like Kraft just got some healthy competition. Organic Valley made this big step just two days ago. We're really interested in seeing the long term results:
Organic Valley, the nation's largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, today announced the launch of Organic Valley American Cheese Singles-unprocessed, 100 percent real organic cheese slices, as opposed to "processed cheese food," perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches, lunches and snacks. Organic Valley is the only national brand to produce unprocessed, organic American Cheese Singles.