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The Big Cheesy

Scenics in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kristy May)

A sultry, vibrant place on the muddy banks of the Mississippi River, New Orleans is unique among American cities because of its Creole culture and tradition, which predate anything considered colonial America. As a local, I see how that early Creole foundation continues to define New Orleans’s own way of doing things. Whether it’s our cuisine, […]

Portland Inside Out

portland

Behind every great food city is a public that feeds off on the excitement of its new cuisines, cooks, and eating experiences. Portland is no exception. Heck, we’re even devotees of dining al fresco at food carts despite the infamously unpalatable Northwest weather. Fiercely supportive of independent businesses and individuals who strive to create unique […]

Triple Play in the Triangle

three corners

Our love of cheese precedes us. Like most Southerners, those of us in the Triangle—Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill—are known for our allegiance to pimiento cheese: a simple spread of grated cheddar, pimiento peppers, and mayonnaise. The stuff shows up at almost every spot where cheese is sold. In fact, we eat so much of it […]

Star Search

Hollywood

When I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1991, I couldn’t understand why LA seemed so lacking when it came to gourmet provisions, including serious cheese. The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills was the exception, but it was beyond my grad student budget; I couldn’t find much else. Twenty years later everything’s changed. […]

A Western Union

SaltLake

We’ll let you in on a little secret: There’s been a mighty shift in Salt Lake City and the surrounding Wasatch Front in the past five years. We’re not talking seismic changes, but culinary ones. Thanks to a critical mass of young, creative talent and a rekindling of an agricultural past, there’s more artisan food […]

Montréal Moves

Montreal

What sets Montréal apart from other Canadian cities is not just dazzling skill in the kitchen. Most of all, this French-speaking city shines gastronomically because it is blessed with provenance. It is surrounded by rich agricultural lands and heritage, a supportive Québec government, and ingredients that encourage artisan food producers to blossom. Nowhere is this […]

Chicago

-_BPL7415

Not long ago, specialty cheeses had a bumpy ride in this town known as the “City of Big Shoulders.” In the mid-1980s, when I arrived at the Chicago Tribune to write about food and wine, cheese was of more than routine interest in only a few select restaurants—mostly French—and the occasional Italian and Germanic food […]

The Golden Gateway to Cheese

Hundreds of bottles of wine inside glass cabinets.

San Franciscans have always loved their cheese. Long before the invention of the automobile, Marin French Cheese Company, California’s oldest continuously operating cheese producer, was shipping cheese downstream from its location about thirty miles northwest of San Francisco to saloons on Yerba Buena Island, just east of the city. There, dockworkers would load up on […]

Boston’s Bounty

Piles of cheeses

New England is in the midst of an artisan cheese renaissance, and no city is better poised to take advantage of all that hand-crafted goodness than Boston. Farmstead cheeses produced from western Massachusetts to rural Vermont are elegant and exciting, including gems like raw-milk blue cheeses from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont, or Great […]

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