"Que Dios te serba las manitas” (may God preserve your little hands) is the utmost appreciation a ham hand cutter can receive in Spain.
In that country cutting a whole leg of ham by hand is an artful ritual; those who do it are called cortadores. Technique is the very essence of this art, so it is considered a kind of performance. I know cortadores who handle as many as 400 jamones a year, cutting them during celebrations, expositions, fairs, wedding ceremonies, and, yes, these days, even divorce parties!
We're on a mascarpone kick here at culture, and Joy the Baker's recipe for this mascarpone tart with figs and apricots caught our eye. Let us know what you think!
With this tart… praise God… for once in my life I was right on time. This darling is the perfect marriage of fresh figs and summer apricots. It’s a mash of the current season. It feels indulgent and expensive. Aaaannndd it’s dang timely! It makes me feel like the wonderfully flawed and tardy adult that I really am.
I like to start where everything should start… with a crust.
Being a California dairy farmer is no walk in the park right now, with high feed prices and low milk prices. One farmer calculates he's losing 50 cents on every gallon of milk produced. The Sacramento Bee has the story:
California's dairymen are in an especially difficult position, because there aren't enough processing facilities in the state for all the milk that dairy cows here produce. Stringent permitting requirements often lead processors to build new facilities in other states, leaving California with an oversupply of raw milk. As a result, farmers are at a disadvantage in negotiating better prices from California processors.
Cypress Grove Chevre has put together this wonderful video that documents the making of Humboldt Fog, the beautiful goat cheese created by Mary Keehn:
Babybel faces angry consumers over the choice of words displayed on a complementary toy included with products. Attempting to capture youthful French slang, they ended up offending their audience by using the term "malade mental" or "mentally ill."
Toy inkpads featuring the term "Mentally ill holidays" were included as free gifts throughout July in bags of Mini Babybel, the round cheese with the iconic red wax coating.
In using the slogan "des vacances de malade mental," Babybel seized on the youth slang expression "malade mental," which means "extraordinary."
Babybel later admitted the slogan was not properly thought out.
The Illinois State Fair is showcasing the dairy art of Sharon BuMann, butter sculptress extraordinaire, who is still in the process of carving a giant block of butter into a "butter cow." This year fairgoers are able to watch the artist at work as she puts in the last few hours:
“I thought it would be a fun idea,” said Sharon BuMann, who has been sculpting Illinois’ Butter Cow for the past decade.
She’s already put about 40 hours of work into the cow, including one all-nighter.
Not that that’s anything unusual.
“I usually pull at least one all-nighter before the cow’s completed,” she said.
Although dairy companies in the UK have called off the milk price cuts that were originally scheduled to go into effect August 1st, dairy farmers are still hoping for more changes in the future:
Sarah, 36, who has a contract with Robert Wiseman Dairies, added: “The aim of the dairy coalition now is to get the remaining retailers to give the same commitment.
“We’re only half way through the battle. There is still no future in the dairy industry with the prices we’re being paid.
“At the end of the day we’ve got to find an income for our family.”
If there were desserts competing for the title "chic," we would nominate these cupcakes. We think they'd be a great idea for a wine-lover's birthday or as an engagement party gift. Of course, you could always make them for yourself.
The flavor of this cupcake is hard to place. It's different and unexpected. Once I tell you that it's a Riesling cupcake, it all makes sense. You notice the familiar floral notes and mild sweetness that met you that last time that you sipped a glass of Riesling wine. The Riesling cupcake is finished with a pear mascarpone frosting and heavily dusted with finely chopped walnuts, creating a wine and cheese plate experience.
Photo by Cupcake Project
So this concept is a bit unusual, but it's good to shake things up now and then. The good news is that if you're home alone with nothing in your kitchen but cheese and baking ingredients, you can try this out.
You are probably not alone if you questioned my sanity when you read this post's title, "Chocolate Chip Cookie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches." But if you've enjoyed other sweet and salty desserts (like salted caramel or chocolate covered pretzels) and other cheesy desserts (like cream cheese frosting or cheesecake), pairing chocolate chip cookies with melted cheese isn't such a huge stretch. Chocolate chip cookies and melted cheese are a mash-up that was meant to be. The stretchy, oozey cheese and the melty chocolate chips together are a playground for your palette.
What's best is that chocolate chip cookie grilled cheese sandwiches are super easy to make, so even if you don't like them, you won't have wasted hours of time or lots of money.
Wendy M. Levy hopes to open a cheese shop in Brattleboro, VT., but she doesn't quite have the capital to make it happen. Therefore, she's laid out her plan on Kickstarter and hopes to raise enough money to open her dream business:
Part of my life's work as a cheesemonger has been teaching people about cheese, whether they be novice cheesemongers who need to be shown the ropes, or enthusiasts who want to enjoy a guided tasting of the best cheeses of the world accompanied by a lively lecture on those cheeses and cheese in-general. In my establishment, Brattleboro Cheese, I hope to serve the best cheeses in the world, train smart people to be top-notch cheesemongers, and offer the general public an opportunity to taste and learn.