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Yep, we’ve got another cheese fest to point you towards this weekend: the Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival will be held Saturday, October 12, at the Seattle Design Center. We get the chance to dabble in Pacific Northwest c...
Yep, we’ve got another cheese fest to point you towards this weekend: the Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival will be held Saturday, October 12, at the Seattle Design Center. We get the chance to dabble in Pacific Northwest cheeses every once in a while, but for some hot new cheeses to seek out we turned to friend-of-the-blog Tami Parr, author of the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project and two books on the subject. (Stay tuned for a review of her latest book.) Here’s what Parr recommends: Francesca’s Cheese from Kurtwood Farms would definitely be one – he’s known for Dinah’s cheese, which is a lovely bloomy rinded cheese. Francesca is aged approximately 1 year and it’s a harder, nuttier cheese on the sharp side. Also getting a lot of attention lately is Glendale Shepherd – they are a sheep dairy on Whidbey Island. Their Island Brebis is seriously amazing, rich and unctuous like the best sheep’s milk cheeses, kind of reminds me of Ossau Iraty. They age it for varying amounts of time, 3 months or so to a year. And more recently they have started marketing their sheep’s milk yogurt, which Lynn had been only making for the family. It’s killer! The last one I’d put in there is Glacier Blue from Cascadia Creamery. John Shuman is doing great things with cheese up in the Trout Lake area and Glacier Blue is a new one from him. I’m amazed at the depth and complexity of this blue cheese – carmel notes, blue sharpness, all of the great flavors of Stilton, but from Washington. Very cool! Incidentally, Parr will lead a seminar on the history of Washington’s artisan cheesemakers at the festival. Get your tickets today and report back after the festival to let us know what new Evergreen State cheeses you discover!
about 5 hours ago
I am taking a bit of a diversion on the blog for this post, as it has nothing at all to do with food. However it does explain my long absence! Many people have asked me if I would share my birth experience and I can’t think of anywhere e...
I am taking a bit of a diversion on the blog for this post, as it has nothing at all to do with food. However it does explain my long absence! Many people have asked me if I would share my birth experience and I can’t think of anywhere else to share it, so it will live here. Keep in mind while reading this that some experiences are hard to put into words, even for a writer. I think most people asked to hear the story because I chose to have Alba Rose at home in the company of midwives, something that is thought of as quite unconventional in this day and age, despite millennia of precedence. During my pregnancy people would tell me I was brave, and sometimes people were concerned for me when I told them my plans to have my baby at home. My response was always that I thought people who had babies in hospitals were the brave ones, surrounded by strangers in a strange place going through one of the most truly awesome experiences in life in the hands of doctors. Not that doctors are bad, just for me they didn’t belong in my vision as a part of my sacred transformation from maiden to mother (unless there was something wrong with me or the baby that made it medically necessary for their expertise). For me, having a child is one of the most monumental and natural acts in the world. Women have been doing it since the beginning of time, and always at home, attended by midwives. This has been the norm for a very long time. Our culture in modern times has relegated giving birth to the realm of doctors, medicine and medical intervention, sending women the message that giving birth is in the same category as having a disease or a medical problem and that they cannot birth a child on their own. Personally, I never bought into that for myself and was always confident that when the time came, my body would take over and know exactly what needed to be done. So my birth plan was a simple one, to labor and give birth at home in a birthing tub with very little intervention. I have always loved the water, being an avid competitive swimmer once and the idea of giving birth in water felt comforting. We were all set up a few days ahead of time, I had an intuition that the baby was going to arrive in week 39 and that is what ended up happening. One night as we were lying in bed, wondering when the wee one was going to arrive we heard something we had never heard before in the 4 years we have lived in this house, an owl on our roof hooting loudly. I will preface this by saying that all during my pregnancy I have been drawn to anything with owls on it, and had bought a few owl themed items for the baby, so when we heard the owl, we wondered if it was a herald of labor beginning soon. I found out later, that my cousin Michelle, who is like a sister to me, had an encounter with an owl on the same night. The next morning I woke up to some cramping. I was getting these cramps about every half an hour. They didn’t feel at all like the Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been experiencing, so I didn’t pay too much attention to them. We woke leisurely and then decided to go into town and have brunch and take the dogs on a nice long walk. As we enjoyed our day, the time between cramps got shorter and by the time we got home and had prepared a snack for dinner, they were coming about 5 minutes apart. We were just relaxing and watching TV and at 9:40 PM my water broke. It really wasn’t until that moment I realized that this was for real and I was in labor and had been in early labor all day! We called the midwives and within the hour they were here. For the next two hours the contractions started getting more intense, but I was lucid and in my normal frame of mind, chatting it up with everyone in between contractions and taking a minute or so to concentrate when they came on again. Around 1 am things started to change, the contractions were very strong at this point and I was having a difficult time noticing my surroundings, my attention was drawn inward, into my bre
about 18 hours ago
Purchased Price: $5.99 (on sale) Size: 4 sandwiches Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 6 out of 10 Pros: A decent, somewhat tasty way to start your morning. Just 230 calories. Made with real eggs, real cheese, and bacon. Cheesy was melty. Bac...
Purchased Price: $5.99 (on sale) Size: 4 sandwiches Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 6 out of 10 Pros: A decent, somewhat tasty way to start your morning. Just 230 calories. Made with real eggs, real cheese, and bacon. Cheesy was melty. Bacon, egg, and cheese in every bite. Good source of fiber. Flatbread had a nice, mild sweetness. Cons: Jimmy Dean Delights is supposed to be a healthier option, but a sandwich has 5 grams of saturated fat which is 25% of your daily recommended intake. Egg was a bit dry. Most of the bacon’s flavor gets lost within the other ingredients. They look like they’ve been run over by a car. Flatness makes them look smaller than they really are. I wish this line was called Jimmy Dean Deanlights. Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich – 230 cal, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 135 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.
about 19 hours ago
Epcot is celebrating its eighteenth annual Food & Wine Festival this year and we are proud to have been a part of this gourmet celebration since 1998. Each year we have presented seminars every weekend, each session highlighting the...
Epcot is celebrating its eighteenth annual Food & Wine Festival this year and we are proud to have been a part of this gourmet celebration since 1998. Each year we have presented seminars every weekend, each session highlighting the cheeses and wines of a country: France, Italy, Spain and the United States. A couple of years ago we added a few other themes to the Saturday morning events so that we could include other countries known less for their wines but held in high regard tor cheese, such as Switzerland, England, Holland and others. We also wanted to expand the options so that guests would keep coming back for more. We have long witnessed the growing popularity of cheese and wine in the United States, and more recently, the fast-growing popularity of craft beers. We debated the idea of switching one of the seven Saturday sessions from wine and cheese to beer and cheese. This year we finally made the leap and judging from the way last weekend’s session was received, the craft beer week will be around for quite awhile. And if it was going to be our first beer week, why not make it in October, especially if it’s early October in central Florida, temperatures outside reaching the mid-80’s? As is often the case, the beers paired very well with all the cheeses. This is usually the case with wines as well but a good beer is almost a “given” when paired with a good cheese. Why so few mismatches with beer? There are a couple reasons why beers rarely miss with cheese. Most beers are a little less acid than most wines; this gives beers better pH harmony with cheeses. Cheeses are also a little acid, but not nearly as acid as most wines. Beers also lack the astringency that red wines possess – the tannin factor that can disrupt what might have been a good match with a cheese. Beers also have their effervescence that refreshes the palate when cheese is in the mix. Those bubbles lift up the butterfats, swirl them around, and the gentle acidity breaks them down delightfully. All this is not to discount the “size” consideration, as in the overall flavor profile of a cheese or beer. The lighter flavored cheeses paired better with the lighter beer, while the bigger flavored cheeses paired better with the bigger beer. Like the CheeseClock™ indicates, the bigger the cheese, the bigger the beer should be. - Max McCalman The post October Fest at Epcot appeared first on News From The Cheese Caves.
about 23 hours ago
This interview with Bohemian Creamery kicks off a series that I’m very excited about here on It’s Not You, It’s Brie. Called, (well…. I’m a little behind on this part, recs are welcome!…) the series wi...
This interview with Bohemian Creamery kicks off a series that I’m very excited about here on It’s Not You, It’s Brie. Called, (well…. I’m a little behind on this part, recs are welcome!…) the series will follow and detail the lives of those involved in the varied and vast cheese world. I’ll interview cheesemakers, cheesemongers, educators, […] [[ Click for more... ]]
about 23 hours ago
During the second week of American Cheese Month, we’re tipping our hat to the goat ladies – the pioneers of goat-cheese making whose names are whispered in reverent tones among the cheese community. Names like Keehn, Schad an...
During the second week of American Cheese Month, we’re tipping our hat to the goat ladies – the pioneers of goat-cheese making whose names are whispered in reverent tones among the cheese community. Names like Keehn, Schad and Fondiller – by which we mean Laini Fondilier of Lazy Lady Farm in Vermont. Colleen was lucky enough to snare a sample of Fondiller’s cheekily named Barick Obama almost five years on the eve of the president’s inauguration, but I hadn’t been able to locate any in my neck of the woods until last month, when the Cheese Shop at France 44 sold me its last tiny wedge of Tomme Delay. Yes, Fondiller obviously loves political puns, and though my views run about 180 degrees from this cheese’s namesake, I’d still vote for it in a cheese election. A raw-milk, natural-rind hunk of a cheese, Tomme Delay starts off with a salty kick – it may be too strong for some, but I love salt almost as much as I love sugar, so it works for me. Later, the cheese’s milkiness cuts through the palate, followed by a few notes of slight stony must. I didn’t detect any tell-tale barnyard flavor, which is so common with goat-milk cheeses, in my Tomme Delay, but it has a sense of cragginess that distinguishes it from your typical clean chevre. Though Tomme Delay definitely is partisan by name, its nature covers both sides of the aisle – the wine aisle, that is. Equally at home with a dry white or light- to medium-bodied red, the cheese acts as a solid cheeseboard anchor or a light snacker. Though these days, perhaps its sister cheese, Fil-A-Buster, is a more appropriate choice.
1 day ago
Last night a journalist asked me about the relative digestibility of goat milk cheese: was it true that goat milk cheeses are easier to digest, and if so was it because they contain less lactose? Love those questions… Yes and no. Goat mi...
Last night a journalist asked me about the relative digestibility of goat milk cheese: was it true that goat milk cheeses are easier to digest, and if so was it because they contain less lactose? Love those questions… Yes and no. Goat milk cheeses may be a little easier to digest but not because they contain less lactose. All the many comparisons among the three major dairy animals’ milks average out to the conclusion that goat milk has just a little less lactose than cow or sheep. The averages I see for cow and sheep milks are around 4.8% of total weight, with goat milks averaging about 4.5%. However this is the milk, and not the cheese. The lactose is what ferments in the production of cheese. The cultures added at the beginning of cheesemaking is what starts the fermentation process, the digestion of the lactose by lactic acid bacteria, so named because of the by-product of the fermentation, lactic acid. In this first step of cheesemaking (which in many ways overlaps with other steps of the process) much of the lactose is lost. When the whey is drained off, most of the remaining lactose goes with it. This leaves a lactose-reduced curd from which most all cheeses are made. This fermentation process continues at a slow pace until the cheese, no matter the species, becomes virtually lactose-free. As for the relative digestibility of goat milk, we cannot credit the lactose factor. A goat milk cheese could actually have more lactose than a cheese made from the milk of cow or sheep. If it is not the lactose, what is it that might make goat milk cheeses easier on the tummy than the others? The strongest case for goat milk cheese digestibility is the relative size of the fat globules. Fat globules in goat milk are smaller than cow, about the same size as sheep. A smaller fat globule will cross the stomach lining more easily than a larger one. The stomach has to work a little harder to break down a bigger globule. Yet this is also relative and dependent upon other factors. As fats metabolize the size of the globule is less important. The metabolism of fats starts at the beginning of the cheesemaking process, making them easier to digest – one reason why an aged cheese may be easier on the tummy than a younger one. Different breeds of goat will have different sized globules too. This does not mean that goat milk cheeses are necessarily less fattening. The fat globules in goat milk may be smaller than cow milk but there are more of them. Another point of digestibility is something that may be quite different from what occurs in the stomach but after the milk is broken down and absorbed into the blood stream, or in some cases, even before the milk makes it way into the stomach. This would be an issue of tolerance, not lactose intolerance, but tolerance of certain caseins – the proteins found in dairy animals’ milk. This intolerance of certain proteins (found mostly in new cow breeds) is sometimes called cow milk allergy, or CMA. Goat milk cheeses have a lot going for them anyway, regardless of the relative ease of digestion and tolerance. Goat milk cheeses have many fans. As a group they are similar to sheep in some ways but quite different in others. The milks of both of these small ruminants have relatively higher amounts of short chain fatty acids, beneficial in some ways but their “animal” aromatics problematic for some people. One consideration on behalf of goat milk, as well as sheep, as well as another species’ milk, is the relative amounts of nutrients in the different milks. For example, a sheep milk cheese may have a little more vitamin B2, while a similarly made cow milk cheese may have more folic acid – a good argument for including a variety of cheese types in your week. There are many styles of goat milk cheeses available today; it’s not just fresh chèvre in a plastic wrap. If this is the only goat milk cheese a goat-cheese abhorrer has ever experienced, then it is understandable that they may avoid them. I will be a judg
2 days ago
Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments. If these came in the classic red...
Here are some interesting new and limited edition products found on store shelves by us and your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments. If these came in the classic red Banquet boxes, I probably wouldn’t touch them because everything in those red boxes are horrible. Oh, who am I kidding? It says Banquet on them, I probably won’t touch them even with their prettier boxes. (Spotted by Kassie at King Soopers.) If Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts are available throughout the year, this Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread shouldn’t be a limited edition. Or Kraft should figure out a way to prevent them from expiring so people can hoard them. (Spotted by Kassie at King Soopers.) Kellogg’s Eggo Seasons Limited Edition S’mores Waffles are back! Poke a stick through them and toast them over a campfire while singing Kumbaya. Here’s our review. (Spotted by Sara at an Air Force Base Commissary.) Land O Lakes needs to start selling some bread to spread their product on. (Spotted by Kris at Rainbow.) I just looked up Godiva on Wikipedia and it directed me to Lady Godiva who, “rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants.” Knowledge gained. (Spotted by Sara at Target.) If I’m at a tailgate party, I don’t think my meat-filled stomach is going to have room for nuts. (Spotted by Claire at Weis.) Thank you to all the photo contributors! If you’re out shopping and see an interesting new or limited edition product on the shelf, snap a picture of it, and send us an email (theimpulsivebuy@gmail.com) with where you found it and “Spotted” in the subject line. If you do so, you might see your picture in our next Spotted on Shelves post.
2 days ago
In 2009, I met Rhonda Gothberg on Facebook and in 2010 at the American Cheese Society’s “Meet The Cheesemaker” Seattle Event, she invited me to be her “assistant”. It was the beginning of a great friendship....
In 2009, I met Rhonda Gothberg on Facebook and in 2010 at the American Cheese Society’s “Meet The Cheesemaker” Seattle Event, she invited me to be her “assistant”. It was the beginning of a great friendship. Now as we grow closer to knowing each other 5 years, returning to her beloved Gothberg Farms for a visit, was indeed a treat for me. (You can read about our first visit to Gothberg Farms by clicking here.) Check out Spaulding’s reviews of her cheeses. Rhonda, ever gracious, welcomed our group of Fred Meyer Cheesemongers and gave us the royal tour. She began by telling us her background, growing up in Texas, her first career as a Registered Nurse and moving to the PNW with her husband to satisfy his love of sailing. Finding the farm re-ignited the farm girl in her and now 10 years later she’s creating some of the best goat’s milk cheese I have ever tasted. She developed her own feed ratio for her goats and she studies the bloodlines when deciding which doe will breed which buck. She doesn’t like bloomy cheeses, so she doesn’t make them; she’s not getting rich, but she’s doing what she loves… working with the animals, making cheese, growing veggies and enjoying her life… It doesn’t get much better than that. During the tour, we got to see the milking room, but were not allowed in the cut and wrap room or the make room; Rhonda is so aware of sanitation issues that she asked us not to pet the does. This almost made young Kellan crazy; but he got to pet Sophie… Kellan and Sophie The milking season is winding down; breeding season is starting and soon it will be kidding season; a time when Rhonda and her assistant, Debbie, are “on-call” 24/7. As it is now, their days and much shorter… usually only about 12 to 14 hours… We met the bucks, who were far more interested in the does; we saw the garden, still in full swing with its fall bounty and checked out the “caves”, a converted Tombstone refrigerator truck unit. And then Rhonda treated us to a cheese plate of her wonderful cheeses:  As Spaulding would say… another 4 Paws’ Cheese Plate and Day at Gothberg Farms… on behalf of us all, a big thanks filled with passion for cheese to Rhonda and Debbie for taking time from their busy day to entertain us.
3 days ago
Here are five recent fast food news bites: A three cheese stuffed crust pizza? A three cheese stuffed crust pizza! A three cheese stuffed crust pizza! Come on, Pizza Hut! Get stupid! Get crazy! Stuff your crust with something that doesn&...
Here are five recent fast food news bites: A three cheese stuffed crust pizza? A three cheese stuffed crust pizza! A three cheese stuffed crust pizza! Come on, Pizza Hut! Get stupid! Get crazy! Stuff your crust with something that doesn’t bore my eyes, tongue, and stomach! (via Grub Grade) Get ready for an increase in KFC crumbs in automobiles. (via Businesswire) Also, get ready for an increase in Sonic Drive-In crumbs in automobiles. (via Businesswire) Is there a popular flavor that hasn’t made its way into a Rita’s Italian ice? It turns out there is. (via PR Newswire) Booghnuts! Krispy Skremes have returned! (via Grub Grade) Image via flickr user Tadson / CC BY ND 2.0
3 days ago