Zach is a Certified Cicerone and curator at Pariah Brewing Company. Pariah means "outcast," and some of the beers he mention certainly seem out there, like one made with uni (yes, the sushi kind). In a city bursting with IPAs, it's fun to find brews that include flavors of ginger, lemongrass, molasses, cocoa nibs, white pepper and even wine grapes. A couple of suggested pairings include funk-with-funk (think yeasty Belgian style with a washed rind cheese). San Diegans can partake in a 5x5 pairing event on Monday, October 9. Others will have to visit Ian at our North Park shop to enjoy his favorites. And again, we asked, is it a requirement for men in the beer biz to sport beards?
Caroline Hostettler founded Quality Cheese 20 years ago so that she could introduce Americans to the finest alpkase from her homeland of Switzerland (and satisfy her craving at the same time). Then in 2013, she introduced the Adopt-An-Alp program, an idea to help alp farmers continue their tradition of transhumance, the seasonal moving of humans and animals in accordance with the seasons. Cheeses from the Swiss alps are like none other on the planet. When you understand the richness of the 150 grasses, herbs and flowers that are part of the cows' diet, you'll appreciate the end result in the alpkase. Venissimo has taken an east-to-west approach in selecting cheeses from its adopted alp and will be introducing five new varieties in October. If you're a cheese lover, we encourage you to talk to your local cheese shop and ask them to adopt an alp too.
Champion cheese monger Jessica and her monger-in-crime Claire discuss both the scientific and aesthetic beauty of cheese crystals, those mysterious creations that give a cheese crunch. Discover the difference between calcium lactate crystals versus tyrosine crystals. Get your geek on.
Gisela, otherwise known as G, is the founder and owner of Curds & Wine, San Diego's go-to shop for cheese and wine making supplies. She shares her tips on how to get started in cheese making (buy a good pot) and where to get the best milk (dare we say WalMart). Colby was the first style she ever made and has fallen in love with it, keeping some in her cheese cave ever since. Her advice to aspiring cheese makers? Go for it!
Meet Kaitlin, sommelier of Cow By Bear, a unique dining experience in San Diego and Seattle where 14 guests enjoy a five-course dinner, prepared in various surprise locations by the mysterious chef known only as Bear. The seasonal dinner culminates with the main course of a 50-day dry aged ribeye roast! Each course is paired with a wine or cocktail too. Or if you're looking for something lighter, try Katilin's Wine by Bear, a fun wine, cheese and charcuterie pairing adventure (just our style). We learned two important things: What grows together goes together. And book your seats early as they often sell out up to six months in advance.
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!
"Podcasting opens a window into the soul of a creator."
Gina Freize is the founder and Cheese Wiz of Venissimo Cheese and host of Noon on Tuesday, a weekly podcast all about cheese, all the time.