Monger and food lover Flo recently returned from a trip to Spain where he devoured and learned much about the many forms of Serrano Jamon, cured "mountain ham" similar to Italy's Prosciutto. While both similar in ways, the type of pigs used plus their diet makes a huge difference in how they taste. In the blind taste test of which was better, I must say my vote goes to Serrano Jamon!
Tarentaise Reserve from Spring Brook Farm / Farms for City Kids in Vermont recently topped more than 2,000 competitors to be named the best cheese in the country. Cristi Menard joins us today to share how Tarentaise was born (back in 2008) and how wheels differ from season to season. Made from the rich milk of 40-45 Jersey cows, the judges felt unanimously that it excelled over all other fermented curd in both technical and aesthetic categories. How might you get a taste of this elusive beauty? Visit Vermont! You can meander along the Vermont cheese trail to visit some of the nearly 50 various makers. Just visit the Vermont Cheese Council for a map.
We've all been there. You step up to the cheese counter and work up the nerve to ask for a sample. "Which cheese would you like to try today?" You take a deep breath, then mumble, "Man-CHAN-go?" The monger smiles politely, grabs a sample and proceeds to tell you a little bit about "man-CHAY-go." D'oh! Don't worry - it happens every day and it's really quite fun. People are super passionate about cheese, and for that, we are grateful. In this episode we share some key cheese pronunciations (i.e., camembert - kam-um-BARE) and hilarious guest comments.
The American Cheese Society recently hosted their annual cheese competition, this year with 2,024 cheeses competing for the coveted title of Best in Show. Wisconsin led the pack with 119 1st place winners, followed by California with 51 winners and Vermont with 38. Harbison from Cellars of Jasper Hill in Vermont came in third place. Farm at Doe Run in Pennsylvania came in second with St. Malachi, a cheese we have not yet tried, but absolutely must. And.... drum roll please.... this year's Best in Show was Tarantaise Reserve from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. Blessed are the cheesemakers indeed and lucky are the cheese eaters!
Dave Adams of Green Flash Brewing Company is San Diego's foremost Certified Cicerone (aka, beer expert). Today he answered questions as to why some beers pair better with cheese than others and shared some of his favorites, including Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk with Baroque Belgique. Why does this pairing work so well? The effervescence of the beer cuts through the richness of this triple-creme stinker! Tune in to find out 1) how many beers does it take to see the elusive "green flash," and 2) is it mandatory for all beer makers to have beards?
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Gina Freize is the founder and Cheese Wiz of Venissimo Cheese and host of Noon on Tuesday, a blog series all about cheese all the time.