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!
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?
I just spent two weeks in Paris getting to know French fromage from our friends at Fromagerie Beillevaire. This family started years ago hand-churning butter in wooden barrels for sale at their local market. They have since grown into an empire with a half dozen specialized creameries and 15 cheese shops in Paris alone. Fabrice, son of famed maker and affineur Pascal, hosted us in one of their shops to educate us about the state of fromage in France. The best news? They recently partnered with one of the original AOC Camembert cheese makers to ensure that the world will always get to enjoy the real deal. Camembert shall live!
Cheese Wiz Gina is in Paris to seek out new cheese while champion monger Jessica is in the studio sharing stories about her recent trip to London and a mini-internship at Neal's Yard Dairy. Neal's Yard opened its first location in Covent Garden in 1979 and named itself as such in honor of a nearby garden park. They are dedicated to finding the finest cheeses in the United Kingdom and Ireland and sharing them with the world. Jessica participated in one of their weekly cheese maker visits and was put hard to work in the aging caves, turning and brushing to ensure that each and every cheeses ages properly. Oh, and she of course had to taste, taste and taste again as part of quality control. New hand-selected cheeses will arrive at Venissimo Mission Hills in the fall!
"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.