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In Queso You Missed It: December 4, 2022

American cheese took center stage at the White House this week. On Thursday, President Biden served some of our favorite cheese at a state dinner for Emanuel Macron. Serving cheese to the French is a bold move, but the First Lady created an expertly balanced cheese plate featuring several American icons. Her selection included Rogue Creamery Rogue River Blue (aka the best cheese in the world), Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, and Deer Creek cheddar cheese.

  • Big media has discovered the wild and wonderful world of cheese. Forbes has picked up on Cheesemonger Invitational founder Adam Moskowitz, aka our favorite guy in a cow costume. Alisha Norris Jones of @_immortalmilk  was recently profiled in the People Issue of the Chicago Reader. And just this past Sunday, monger and photographer Matthew Cortellesi, who runs the cheese counter at Harry’s Table by Cipriani was the subject of “How a Cheesemonger Spends His Sundays,” part of a regular New York Times series on how city residents spend their weekends.
  • Booze for breakfast? Pajeretes is the morning beverage of choice at ranches across Mexico. It consists of cocoa, coffee, raw milk (preferably from the teat), and 96 percent sugar cane alcohol. In a recent profile, Eater profiled the mystical drink and the clandestine morning parties popping up in Southern California as a way for Mexican Americans to connect with their cultural traditions.
  • So your furry family member doesn’t have to look on (aka drool) with envy while you dig into a loaded holiday charcuterie board: Walmart now offers Vibrant Life’s Barkuterie Board, “a joyful assortment of non-rawhide dog chews and biscuits.” The main ingredient in the look-alike salami, cheese slices, and green beans is chicken.
  • Plant-based producer Treeline has launched True Blue and Bloomy Rind, the first two artisanal cheezes in its Treeline Reserve portfolio, with more to come in 2023.
  • Thanks to strong cheese sales, “total domestic consumption of milk in all products [has] returned to positive annual growth for the first time since early this year,” according to Wisconsin State Farmer.  
  • Cheesemakers on the Greek island of Naxos, profiled earlier this year in culture‘s Travel Issue, are struggling due to inflation sparked by the war in Ukraine. “Inflation in Greece rose to 12 percent in September before dropping to 9.1 percent in October,” according to Barron’s, and some farmers who cannot afford to feed their animals have been forced to slaughter them. Read more here
  • Nevada Public Radio interviewed Valley Cheese and Wine owner Diana Brier, “Las Vegas’ Wonder Woman of Cheese.” 
  • Forbes profiled Pennsylvania siblings Stephanie and Hayley Painter, makes of the Painterland Sisters brand of organic skyr yogurt. 
  • A recent study conducted by scientists at the Tokyo University of Agriculture in Japan sheds new light on the role of microorganisms in the flavoring of soft cheeses. Published by the American Society of Microbiology, the research “will not only provide a scientific basis for the traditional method of cheese production but might also enable the creation of novel cheeses,” according to a press release.
  • Vermonters Laura Allen, a woodworker, and cheese industry veteran Tiffany Cunningham, CCP, have launched Farm to Cheese, a business that offers a variety of cheese tasting and educational experiences featuring local products, and whose mission is “to preserve the Vermont landscape and way of life [and] support and celebrate the Vermont dairy industry …”

Shop Talk

  • Husband and wife Isaak Myers and Jenny Zink, CCP, have opened Shea Cheese, Phoenix, Arizona’s only dedicated cheese shop. 
  • Pastiche Provisions, an artisan cheese shop, has opened in downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky.
  • The owner of the Aging Moon, an online charcuterie board business, is opening a brick-and-mortar location in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in January. 
  • Marieke Penterman, co-founder with her husband, Rolf Penterman, of Wisconsin’s Marieke Gouda, is planning to open her second retail store in February. The new store, House of Gouda, will be in a 10,000 sq. ft. space that formerly housed a Pier I in Eau Claire. The Pentermans’ first House of Gouda is located at the company headquarters in Thorp. Read more here.

Josie Krogh

Josie Krogh is culture's Digital Strategy Lead. She earned her master's degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from The University of Georgia. Josie developed a love of food while working at farmstands in the D.C. area as a young adult, and discovered her love of cheese while living and working on a dairy farm on Martha's Vineyard. She is passionate about the food supply chain, fresh stone fruit, and dogs. Josie currently lives in Catskill, NY.

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