I am going to Oregon this weekend for the bi-annual Wedge festival, hosted by the Oregon Cheese Guild. This follows on the heels of my fantastic trek around Oregon with Gianaclis Caldwell (Pholia Farm). I continue to pine for Oregon since that visit just over a month ago, because of the friendliness of the people I met, the deliciousness of the cheeses I tasted, and the state in general. Oh, and the beer and wine. Going to Portland (my first time!) for this event is going to be FUN. Can’t wait to see those skilled cheesemakers again so soon. Maybe the forces are trying to tell me something….
If you’re able and willing, see you at The Wedge cheese (and beer!) festival this Saturday, October 6 at the Green Dragon Bistro & Brewpub. Culture will have a table there, and I'll be behind it! Here's the website to see details: http://oregoncheeseguild.org/oregon-cheese-guild-upcoming-events/
In many mountainous regions of the world, the summer months bring a tradition of transhumance. This is a centuries-old practice, where people and animals make an annual pilgrimage to the upper slopes of the mountains to take advantage of the bounty of the summer pastures.
Traveling up in late spring and returning in early autumn, they spend several months living and working on their mountain farms, grazing their animals on the myraid of rich summer herbs, grasses and flowers and turning the resulting quality milk into highly prized cheeses. These mountain dairies are frequently situated in breathtakingly beautiful locations, making you feel as if you're on top of the world.
Yesterday, I attended my second event with Culture: The California Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, California, what a fabulous event it was.
My eyes were overwhelmed by the selection of cheeses on display. There were towering cliffs of delicious blue from Point Reyes, brand new Wagon Wheel melting cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery, award-winning cheddars from Fiscalini, plenty of creamy goat cheeses from Laura Chenel and of course so much more.
Amongst the stunning array of fine cheeses, I came across some remarkable new finds. Goat milk fudge, wine infused cookies, olive oil chocolate, peanut butter sandwich cookies, mini lemon meringue pies, exclusive olive oils, bacon bread, an exciting new product called “glop” (made from a selection of oils and cheeses), and I was thrilled about bumping into a familiar item that I fell in love with at Cochon 555 – my beloved toffee bacon lollipop! (I bagged myself three little piggies! Does this make me a big piggie?!)
For any cheese fans in the Pacific Northwest, don’t forget the 7th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival will be held this Saturday March 19th, 2011 at Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Oregon.
I was just talking with Tami Parr, one of the Festival’s organizers and here is what she says:
“This year's festival promises to be bigger and better than ever - literally! A bigger tent, more vendors and cheese celebrities will be on hand to ring in the seventh year of this festival celebrating all things Oregon cheese.
In attendance will be Oregon cheesemakers from Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Pholia Farm, Tumalo Farms, Rogue Creamery and many more, all sampling and selling their handmade cheeses. The farmer's market style event will also host local purveyors of all sorts of delectable treats including wine, beer, breads and chocolate. The fun, informal setting encourages attendees to meet the people who make the cheeses they've come to love.