In this blog series intern Kate E. interviews the staff here at culture: the word on cheese to give you an inside look at a day in the life of this goofy group of cheese-lovers and their work on the magazine you've come to love. Have specific questions for or about our staff? Be sure to send them to staff@culturecheesemag with the subject line, "Meet the Staff".
Hola from Spain! I landed this morning in Barcelona and was then taxied to the town of Vic, an hour northwest of Barcelona for Lactium 2011—a gathering of Spanish cheesemakers and street cheese fare. As one of the fortunate invitees of this event, I get be to part of the “Super Jury,” a group of 34 international judges who will name The Best Catalan Cheese on Saturday. The festival begins tomorrow, May 6, when market stalls on the wide boulevard, Rambla del Carme fill up with cheesemakers and the contest ensues. Eyewitness reports on that to come. . .
San Simon is a tasty, not so well-known cow’s milk cheese from the region of Galicia, in Northeastern Spain. While curating a selection of smoked cheeses for a feature in our Summer 2011 issue, I got to learn more about this unusual cheese from Michele Buster, owner of Forever Cheese, who imports a wonderful traditional version into the United States. Here is a description and some photos taken by Michele on a visit to San Simon producer, Javier Pineiro.
The origins of San Simon are not wholly known; while some believe the cheese dates back to Roman times, others say it was developed at the beginning of the 20th century.
Either way, San Simon increased in popularity over the last seventy years. Until the 1980’s, cheeses were most often produced by housewives, using the milk from their own cows, frequently the Galician Blonde breed. The production process is very labor intensive, often with an output per person of only two or three cheeses each day.