Does cheese taste differently when it’s sonicated with classical music versus hard rock? Do sound waves influence the metabolic process of cheese in such a way that the bioacoustic effects are palpable? The students at Germany’s College of Arts Bern and the cheese house K3 in Burgdorf wanted to find out.
Held twice a year around the Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Food Shows in San Francisco in January and New York City in June, and a recently added Chicago competition in April, the Cheesemonger Invitational has become an iconic competition to separate the best from the best cheesemongers from across the country.
The Brits take their cheddar seriously, and this is definitely the case at UK clothbound cheesemaker Quicke’s.
“Our philosophy is to see farming as a great responsibility,” says Mary Quicke, who runs her family-owned company. “Not only are we committed to doing right by the land, but we take great pride in creating things for the enjoyment of others. Our cheese is the perfect expression of this; it is our crown.”
It was a calculated risk opening up a gourmet cheese shop in Uptown New Orleans soon after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, but it was one that Danielle Sutton and her husband Richard were willing to take.
There aren’t many Michelin-starred restaurants in New York that offer a private dining room and another for dinner for two or 20 as well as one that gives you a bird’s eye view into the kitchen’s magic. And, still, there are two other spots here for times when you just want to stop by for cocktails and appetizers or add a sweet ending to an evening with a nightcap and dessert.
Feta cheese has been a part of Greece for nearly as long as humanity itself. It comes from the very first cheese around 8,000 years ago, which was made soon after people began domesticating animals. Historians believe that milk began to ferment while being transported in the stomach of a goat or sheep. The shepherds noticed that the new product lasted much longer than fresh milk—and cheese was born.
The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW), formerly the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, in Madison, has officially set a new Guiness Book of World Records title by creating the world’s largest cheese board. This is not surprising, as Wisconsin produces 48 percent of the specialty cheeses in the U.S.
Named after the caves in which it is aged, St. Pete’s Select from Caves of Faribault in Faribault, MN, has quite a history behind it.
It was 1936 when a series of 13 sandstone caves in Minnesota were commandeered by Felix Frederiksen for Blue cheese aging. The conditions were ideal. Because the caves’ stone was 99 percent quartzite and there were no stalactite or stalagmite formations, water moved vertically as opposed to horizontally, contrary to most caves. The environment also was perfect, with 99 percent humidity and a temperature of 52 degrees F all year.
The planet is blessed with over 7,000 varieties of apples. From the ancient fruit-bearing trees of Britain and France to the northern most regions of Scandinavia to the far regions of Australia to the frostier parts of North America, apples cover the earth. It’s easy to see after biting into a sweet and juicy Pink Lady or a full of flavor Fuji, how every apple must be a good cider-making contender. Not so. Surprisingly, what tastes good might not be a good candidate for producing a delicious hard apple cider.
Coordinating the shipment of containers full of cheese from France, introducing new cheeses from Australia to the U.S. market, and forecasting future cheese trends—it’s all in a day’s work for Stephanie Ciano. As the vice president of international purchasing for Armonk, NY-based World’s Best Cheese, one of the United States’ leading cheese distributors, Ciano is responsible for bringing quality and cutting-edge cheeses into the United States. It’s quite possible that you can thank her for the selection at your local cheese shop.
Laura Chenel’s was founded by its namesake in 1979, though starting a cheese company was not her initial goal. As a young woman, Chenel was someone who traveled a great deal and was an early adaptor of the belief that one should provide their own food. She grew and made what she could, and acquired some goats, too, in the process.
Margaret Cicogna is one of the United States’ leading authorities on Italian cheese. “People call me the Cheese Lady,” she told Cheese Connoisseur over coffee in New York City. “But I do a lot more than cheese. I went to school. I have a family.” Still, Cicogna’s deep knowledge and passion for cheese, and close relationships with the producers she’s worked with over many decades, have more than earned her the title.
Some would say that biting into a sweet, sticky, squishy fig has been a gastronomic pleasure since the beginning of time. Fig trees purportedly shaded Adam and Eve and provided them with their first hint of clothing. Archaeologists have found fig branches next to human remains that date from more than 7,000 years ago. Some scientists believe the fruit trees may have been among the first domesticated crops.
We don’t have to tell you that Mozzarella di Bufala is a miraculous food. One bite of its milky, sweet, pure, gooey, silky perfection is all it takes to convert chefs, diners, consumers and foodies.
After a fire ravaged the tiny greek village of Kefalas in 1997—endangering the olive trees that have stood for more than 150 years and the livelihood of its 21 farms that produce a variety of olives making up the local co-op, the word ‘cooperative’ took on a truer meaning. The frightening experience inspired villagers to work together to ensure the town would not face this kind of peril again. They converted their vehicles into hybrid fire trucks—with pumps that could be fitted with water hoses—just in case a similar blaze threatened the groves of Kefalas again.
Cheese is truly amazing—from only milk, salt, culture and rennet, thousands of unique cheeses come to life. But what really makes cheese so fascinating is its stories, which sprout from generations of culture, tradition and innovation. Telling the stories of cheeses means telling the story of people, places and lives.
The corners was one of the original names of Boonville, the tiny Mendocino County, California enclave first located at the corner of Highways 128 and 253. Due to the small size of the town, one could easily miss it driving through the area. That is not the case for its namesake cheese, 2 Month Boont Corners Tomme from Pennyroyal Farms, an award-winner made from fresh, raw milk. The 3-pound wheels are distinguishable, as these are aged on wooden planks to promote their unique flavor profile.