Join us on our 14th birthday for a walk down memory lane. There are so many great stories of how the shop started, how it's grown and who has helped us spread the goodness and glory of cheese.
2017 was an amazing year in the wonderful world of cheese! We thought it would be fun to look at our top-selling cheeses in each category and have the mongers vote for their favorites. The results included spectacular Americans, interestingly all from the Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont.
Cheese Wiz Gina shares her tips for easy peasy cheesy holiday entertaining. For cheese boards, always include a sweet and savory accoutrement (something you already have in your refrigerator). Keep puff pastry handy at all times so you can bake a wheel of cheese and wow your guests (be sure to freeze the cheese before baking). Edible chevre ornaments are fun for kids to make and super fun to eat (using anything you can find in your pantry). And finally, the best fondue comes from leftover bits of cheese, all flavors and styles will do. Happy holidaze to you...
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board hosted two Venissimo mongers, Vanessa and Flo, on a tour of Wisconsin creameries, from the very small Uplands Cheese, to the very large Emmi. We learned that maple syrup spooned over Carr Valley's Bread Cheese is to die for. And one of the most important things we learned: you can't carry on Widmer's Brick Spread on an airplane!
Janet Fletcher is not only a cheese lover, but an author of 30 food-related books and writer of the weekly blog Planet Cheese. We spoke to her from her home in Napa, California, where we learned that young Cabernet Sauvignon is her favorite wine to go with her favorite cheeses, which are aged sheep. Since spending a college semester in France, she has dedicated her life to learning and writing about farm fresh foods and champion cheeses.
Rachel Dutton is Assistant Professor at UCSD Biological Sciences and the country's leading expert in cheese microbiology. Her focus has always been on communities of organisms that populate cheese and make it great. Learn all about the molds, mites and fungus that live among us. Discover that good bacteria are what change plain "milk jello" into something that has aroma, texture and flavor. You can also learn more on her website at www.theduttonlab.com. While all this may sound frightening, it's actually the fascinating miracle of nature.
Queso Diego is San Diego's club for turophiles (aka, cheese lovers). Whether you are an avid cheese maker or simply a cheese lover, the club has monthly events, educational opportunities and tastings to share ideas and enjoy comaraderie. Incoming president and lover of all things fermented, Curt Wittenberg, said there is even a Library of Cheese Making to help members learn to make cheese without having to spend a lot of money.
Will Gustwiller is the founder and head candyman of Eclipse Chocolat, a company that not only hand-makes truffles and bars and other such treats, but also operates a restaurant that features a menu full of artistic dishes, all of which include something sweet (naturally). One favorite pairing is Kokos coconut gouda with dark chocolate, which is reminiscent of Almond Joy candy. He often uses fresh chevre instead of cream and believes that the order of eating is the key to any successful pairing. Tune in to learn more about this artist turned maker.
Cypress Grove is the company behind the magical Humboldt Fog cheese, arguably America's most well-known and beloved artisinal cheese. And did you know that it's made almost completely by hand (check out this video when I visited on my Vespa tour)? Bob McCall, the creamery's Trade Development Director, joined us to share the story of founder Mary Keehn and her exquisite line of cheeses. In this episode, you'll learn which cheeses make the best wedding cakes, which one pairs best with Coca-Cola and what you get when you combine a lamb with a chopper.
"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.