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In Queso You Missed It: January 9, 2022

We love grilled cheese and Ina Garten, so when she creates a new recipe for our favorite sandwich, we sit up and pay attention. Ina uses basic white bread, sharp Vermont cheddar, and Stonewall Kitchen Mango Chutney—a combo that husband Jeffrey proclaims is “the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had.” 

  • In its Clued In column on crossword puzzle clues, The New York Times highlighted Parma, “The Small Town Where Beloved Parmesan Cheese Got Its Start.”
  • Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin released a list of Top Cheese Trends to Watch For in 2022. Among them are Upcycling Leftovers in Your Own Kitchen, which includes using Parmesan rinds to add flavor to soups and making Fromage Fort from all those cheese bits. We’re on it.
  • Atalanta has introduced new cheeses from Wales and Spain to the US market Aged for 18 months in a former slate mine 500 feet below Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, Rock Star Cheddar is Snowdonia Cheese Company‘s first vintage, cave-aged cheddar. And a new line of Don Juan Manchego from Alimentias includes DOP cheeses aged for 4,6, and 10 months in a first-of-its-kind aging facility in Southern Spain. 
  • Food and Wine has released a thoughtful list of the 50 Best Cheesemakers in America. It’s a great read, and the list is generously inclusive, with creameries of all sizes represented. “Our only requirement was that they help to accurately paint a picture of what has become an extremely broad and exciting scene,” writes David Landsel. He dedicates the list to the late Anne Saxelby
  • Charlottesville, VA, is getting a “grown-up grilled cheese” restaurant named Ooey Gooey Crispy in February 2022. The menu includes Monterey Jack + bacon marmalade and Brie + truffle butter +  crushed potato chips.
  • Conventional wisdom says that freezing cheese is never a good idea, but we’re intrigued by this piece on myrecipes.com that suggests freezing some cheeses for use in salads. Thinly sliced celery, fennel, and green apple with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and “a pile of frozen shaved Parm” sounds promising. If you try it, let us know!
  • Mozzarella di bufala made daily, Italian specialty foods, and more will be offered at Mozz, a shop coming to Newport, RI next month.
  • In her new Substack newsletter, La Briffe, former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl paid tribute to Jasper Hill Farm and urged more artisan cheese consumption to support dairy farmers and cheese makers.
  • Recent claims by companies such as Perfect Day and this Israeli startup that whey protein produced in a lab is the answer to making plant-based cheese is given a reality check by Cheese Doctor, John A. Lucey in his column for dairyfoods.com. “I have to caution that unless we reimagine milk as a simple mixture of a couple of basic components with added color, these claims are not likely to be realized anytime soon.”

Susan Axelrod

Susan Sherrill Axelrod is a former editor of Culture. Her love affair with cheese began at age 12, when she bicycled to a gourmet shop to taste an exotic newcomer—French brie. She lives with her partner in midcoast Maine, where she enjoys a well-made cocktail, hiking with their dog, Lucy, and spending as much time as possible on the water.

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