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.
Ella Lawrence, on Bay Area Bites, recently visited Barinaga Ranch, where she learned a bit about both the cheese and Marcia Barinaga - even a little family history. I think we'll all agree that she had a good time:
Barinaga herself traveled to the Basque country for the first time at age 12, and has since returned five times. “My family there doesn’t speak English, and I don't speak Basque, so we communicate in Spanish--which they speak well, and I speak poorly," she says. "There's a limit to the degree we know each other, but there's love and a great affection.”
And so it was these shepherding cousins that Barinaga turned to when she decided to try her hand at cheesemaking. Shepherding is synonymous with cheesemaking in the Basque country--it would be unheard of to have sheep there and not make cheese from their milk.
Things are moving along for the Clock Shadow Creamery owned by Robert Wills of Cedar Grove Cheese, and as Milwaukee's first cheese factory is setting a good example in many ways:
As Robert Wills waits for the equipment to arrive for his new artisan cheese factory in Walker’s Point—the first ever in Milwaukee—he is thinking about more than profit and loss. His new enterprise is also about “green” enterprise, social responsibility and healthy eating.
Wills’ new enterprise is located in an environmentally friendly commercial building developed by Kaufmann LeSage LLC. The building’s developer set a high bar for environmental sustainability, striving for the rarely attained “Living Building” certification. The building didn’t meet the requirements, but is a cinch for Platinum LEED certification, design architect Dan Beyer of Continuum architects told the Journal Sentinel.
With the recent popularity of craft cocktails, it's no surprise that bartenders and mixologists are reaching for exotic and nontraditional ingredients to create unique concoctions. This bartender took drinking to a whole new level when he rose to the challenge of using a Kraft mac and cheese flavor packet:
Challenged by Justin Anderson (Branch 27, the Bedford, La Sirena Clandestina) with the cheese packet from a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese, Naha bartender Steve Carrow looked north to the land of cheeseheads for inspiration. The name of the cocktail he concocted derives from diner slang: "wilbur" is bacon, "cackleberry" egg.
Paul Franson from the Napa Valley Register got a behind-the-scenes look at Redwood Hill Farm in California, and came away with a good grasp of the health benefits of goat's milk yogurt, kefir, and cheese, along with some great recipes.
Matt Sloane at eatocracy has high standards for his cheesesteaks, and he will not stand for anyone calling a steak and cheese sandwich a cheesesteak. They aren't the same thing, you see. A Cheesesteak consists of only cheese, bread and steak, says Matt, and each ingredient had better be done the right way. Especially the cheese:
In my opinion at least, Cheez Whiz does not a good cheesesteak make. Whiz is for nachos and tourists who want to try Philly cheesesteaks in the airport.
It's no secret that the two most famous Philly cheesesteak places - Geno's Steaks and Pat's King of Steaks, located directly across from each other in South Philly - both offer Whiz. But just because you can, doesn't mean you should. They also offer provolone and American too, in all fairness.
What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than these Guinness-chocolate cupcakes? Get your brew, chocolate, and cream cheese frosting fix all in one go. Click through to see the recipe from Une Gamine Dans la Cuisine:
The stout Guinness taste is quite distinct. (I worried that the flavour would be lost after the cupcakes were baked.) This was not the case. In fact, these cupcakes may not be sweet enough for some people. But what they lack in the cloyingly sweet department, they more than makes up for in dark chocolatey Guinness goodness.
Um...where do I even begin when it comes to the frosting? "Why hello, Nutella, and cream cheese. So nice to see you both, together, and under such good circumstances. Please allow me to introduce you to the other newlyweds, chocolate and Guinness. You're going to make everyone so extraordinarily happy!"
Rye whiskey, bread and beer are back in fashion, and the brewers are turning out some especially tasty libations. William Bostwick at the Wall Street Journal has the story
A growing band of brewers is turning to the complex, earthy spice of rye for a new take on the strong flavors craft-beer drinkers have grown to love.
Rye whiskey may be old—America's first, they say, was distilled at Mount Vernon in the 1790s—but rye beer, at least in this country, is a new idea. In the European rye belt, above the 50th parallel, give or take, where the rugged grass flourishes, rye beers are more common. Germany has its roggenbier (imagine a muskier hefeweizen); Russia has weak, beer-like kvass, made from stale rye bread (look for it peddled in soda bottles in Russian enclaves like Brooklyn's Brighton Beach)
Not surprisingly, consumers have started to expect better ingredients on an American staple - pizza. Along with fresh, local veggies, people are asking for more flavorful, local, artisan cheeses to top their pies. Alyssa Sowerwine from Cheese Market News reports on the trend from Madison, WI.
While some smaller “mom and pop” shops have closed in the last decade as they were pushed out by larger chains offering steep discounts on food and other items, those in the artisan pizza sector are gaining ground as consumers continue to gravitate toward “buy local” trends and fresh, premium ingredients.
Now, two out of five consumers say they would like pizza places to offer healthier ingredients, such as whole wheat crusts, organic toppings and crusts, and all-natural and locally sourced ingredients, research compiled by WMMB shows.