Preserving the British Crumblies: A Handful of Artisans are Keepers of England's Remaining Territorial Cheeses
Graham Kirkham tells the story of sampling his Lancashire cheese at a local food show.
“Some reprobates were going through the show, trying to eat as much free stuff as possible. They came and grabbed some of my cheese and walked straight off,” recalls the British cheesemaker. “It wasn’t until they had taken about ten steps that they suddenly turned around and I could see that they had really tasted it. That is what Lancashire is like. It is a slow release and gradually builds up layers of flavor; it takes until you are ten steps away.”
For many people, dipping into a bag of fresh, still-squeaking cheese curds is the epitome of turophile heaven—akin to the euphoria of noshing a hot-from-the-fryer Krispy Kreme doughnut. The trouble is, as is the case for a newborn doughnut, obtaining fresh curds is a matter of fortuitous timing—once they age for even a day, they lose their precious texture. If you are one of those people awaiting your next squeaky-curd fix, you don’t have to delay your gratification any longer. Make your own fresh curds today!
Chef/owner, Bettola, Birmingham, AL
Hometown: Montreal/Bay Area
Passionate and intense, Lewis has a love of all things Italian that is evident when you look at Bettola’s menu. From salumi to pizza and pasta, he’s spent time studying and working with Italian masters of these food crafts. As for cheese, he’s done his share of tasting around Italy, and on his next visit he plans on apprenticing with a Tuscan Pecorino maker.
culture: What’s your favorite Italian cheese?
Origin and History
Although the earliest origins of the Nigerian Dwarf goat trace back to the African continent, there’s little evidence to suggest that the breed’s name accurately reflects either its country of origin or its genetic makeup. In fact, Nigerian Dwarfs are not from Nigeria, nor are they true genetic dwarfs. And while they do share many characteristics, Nigerian Dwarfs should not be confused with Pygmy goats, as the two have become distinctly different breeds since their arrival in the United States.
Between 1600 and 1750, Normandy, France, and its environs were the primary source of immigration to Québec, the “New France.” Pioneering habitants felled forests, tended pastures, planted orchards, and developed the hardy Canadienne dairy breed from Norman/Breton stock, gradually reconstructing the place and tastes of their ancestry. These centuries-old foodways remain vital today, especially with regard to cidre and fromage production. Québec produces over 300 fermented ciders and approximately the same number of cheeses. And—no surprise—they make brilliant partners.
Together, these three knives are designed to crack open a massive wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano. The hooked point on one knife scores the thick rind; the sharp, flat edge of the longest knife is then inserted into the scored cheese at intervals, and the pointed knife fits into resulting crevices and is then rotated, causing the cheese to split open.
Used to shave tasting samples of cheese and to remove surface mold from cut ends.
Fashioned with a wire for cutting wedges of cheese accurately and quickly, this tool can be used on all types of cheese.
Designed for cutting very large wheels of cheese, this tool is especially helpful with hard,
densely textured wheels.