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Counter Culture a Smashing Success


At culture magazine, we pride ourselves in our pursuit to deliver fascinating, obscure, weird, and amazing knowledge of our favorite food to readers around the world. Yesterday we took a more concrete step in our mission of spreading the word on cheese by hosting the very first incarnation of counter culture, a free educational event designed to introduce cheesemakers and their stories to the mongers, retailers, distributors, and food professionals who sell and work with their product every day. We converted our Boston office into a veritable cheesy lecture hall, featuring representatives and cheesemakers from Vermont Creamery, Grafton Village Cheese, Sartori, Beemster, Gourmino, and the French Cheese Club plus American maker of French-style charcuterie maker Les Trois Petits Cochons. We also offered a host of great specialty food products, including Forge Baking Co., Panevino, Onesto Foods, Effie’s Homemade, Simple & Crisp, Nazqiz, Lark Fine Foods, Virginia Chutney, Bonnie’s Jams, Formaticum, Boska, and more. Phew!

We learned a lot and had a great time—get a feel for how it went with our photos below!

Culture co-founder Lassa Skinner slices through an epic wedge.

Culture co-founder Lassa Skinner slices through an epic wedge of Grafton Clothbound Cheddar.

Lassa holds up her prize.

Lassa holds up her prize.

Culture publisher Stephanie Skinner co-ordinates logistics.

Culture publisher Stephanie Skinner co-ordinates logistics.

Lassa carving chunks from a cheddar.

Lassa carving chunks from Sartori’s SarVecchio Parmesan.

Lassa slices up some slivers of Gruyére.

Lassa cuts batons of Gourmino’s Gruyére.

Whey trapped in a CO2 bubble—called "tears"—seep out of an eyelet of Emmentaler.

Whey from Gourmino’s Slow Food Emmentaler—AKA “tears of joy.”.

Lassa and Stephanie marvel at their fridge-packing abilities.

Lassa and Stephanie marvel at their fridge-packing abilities.

New culture intern Amy Fukuizumi assembles cheesemonger packets.

New culture intern Amy Fukuizumi assembles cheesemonger packets.

Stephanie and now-former intern Gabrielle Roman set up the Tasting Lane.

Stephanie and now-former intern Gabrielle Roman set up the Tasting Lane.

Banter at the pâté-assembling station.

Banter at the pâté-assembling station.

Cheese professionals await the action.

Cheese professionals await the action.

French Cheese Club National Sales Manager (and ACS 2015 Cheese Judge) Rachel Perez poses for a pic while slicing some French beauties.

French Cheese Club National Sales Manager (and ACS 2015 Cheese Judge) Rachel Perez poses for a pic while slicing some French beauties.

Sartori Account Manager Brian Kohlman and Master Cheesemaker Pam Hodgson talk up their American originals.

Sartori Account Manager Brian Kohlman and Master Cheesemaker Pam Hodgson talk up their American originals.

Pam explains how she created the recipe for Sartori's Limited Edition Extra-Aged Goat Cheese.

Pam explains how she created the recipe for Sartori’s Limited Edition Extra-Aged Goat Cheese.

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A bounty of Vermont Creamery cheeses, waiting to be tasted.

A bounty of Vermont Creamery cheeses, waiting to be tasted.

Lassa and Vermont Creamery co-founder Allison Hooper get ready to talk about cheese.

Lassa and Vermont Creamery co-founder Allison Hooper get ready to talk about cheese.

Allison describes the struggle to educate the market about goat cheese.

Allison describes the struggle to educate the market about goat cheese.

Some Sartori wheels, just hanging out.

Some Sartori wheels, just hanging out.

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A phalanx of French cheeses wait to be passed around.

A phalanx of French cheeses wait to be passed around.

Rachel breaks down the many French cheesemakers she represents in the US.

Rachel introduces the many French cheesemakers she represents in the US.

Rachel demonstrates the diversity of texture among French cheeses.

Rachel demonstrates the diversity of texture among French cheeses.

Les Trois Petits Cochons Marketing Director Camille Black explains the best way to serve pâté.

Les Trois Petits Cochons Marketing Director Camille Black explains the best way to serve pâté.

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People crowd around the Tasting Lane

People crowd the Tasting Lane

Lunch is served!

Lunch is served!

Bahn Mi made with Les Trois Petits Cochons pâté and Forge Bakery baguettes.

Bahn Mi made with Les Trois Petits Cochons Pâté de Campagne and Forge Baking Co. baguettes.

Salami from Les Trois Petits Cochons.

Saucisson Sec from Les Trois Petits Cochons.

Participants get in on the awesome spread.

Participants get in on the awesome spread.

Robert Aguilera of Fromagex tlks about the necessity of the savvy cheesemonger.

Robert Aguilera of Fromagex talks about the necessity of the savvy cheesemonger.

Plates of Gourmino's Swiss cheeses buckle up for consumption.

Plates of Swiss cheese buckle up for consumption.

Joe Salonia expounds on the centuries of tradition behind such Swiss gems as Gruyére, L'Etivaz, and Emmentaler.

Joe Salonia expounds on the centuries of tradition behind such Swiss gems as Gruyére, L’Etivaz, Sbrinz, and Emmentaler.

Allison and others contemplate the intricacies of cheesemaking.

Allison and others contemplate the intricacies of cheesemaking.

Meri Spicer of Grafton Village Cheese explains the importance of giving back to the community.

Meri Spicer of Grafton Village Cheese explains the importance of giving back to the community.

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Eve Mensch of Beemster talks up the fortitude of Dutch cheesemaking.

Eve Mensch of Beemster talks up the fortitude of Dutch cheesemaking.

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Makers and mongers mingle at the end of the day.

Makers and mongers mingle at the end of the day.

Grant Bradley

Grant Bradley is culture's former web editor and never ceases to thank his nameless human ancestor who figured that leaving some milk around for a while and then eating it was probably a great idea. Raised on California’s Central Coast, educated in the Pacific Northwest, and transplanted to New England, Grant likes to write, edit, and code things.