Margaret Cicogna is one of the united state’s 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.
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.
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.
When Jenny Zheng traveled to southern china two years ago, she witnessed the popularity of a beverage not commonly seen in the United States.
“When I first heard of cheese tea, I had no idea what it was,” she says. “Like any Millennial, I had to try it, so I went to a cheese tea shop while I was in China, and I fell in love with the taste immediately.”
Celebrated wine aficionado, Ron Kapon, who is known in wine circles as the Peripatetic Oenophile — the traveling wine expert — answers questions that Cheese Connoisseur readers have asked.
Cheese Connoisseur: What sparked your interest in Austrian wine?
When people think about seasonal eating, fruits and vegetables are the first foods that spring to mind. There’s a world of difference between the plump ripe tomato plucked from the vine in July and the pale anemic import offered at the supermarket in the depths of winter. There are other produce changes in flavor and texture throughout the growing season — consider the new potatoes of early summer and their heftier autumn cousins, or compare the tender leaves of young kale to its robust, more mature version.
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Rory Stamp of Burling, VT’S Dedalus Wine Shop describes his preparation for the 2018 Cheesemonger Invitational as “a lot of work,” but when speaking with him, his dedication to the craft and passion for cheese become quite evident, bordering on the heroic in this cut-throat competition.
The central markets in spain’s rural countryside begin at the same time each day. Around 7 a.m., the sun makes quick work of drying the dew off the wild oregano, bringing with it a dusty heat that coats the thistles. Vendors bend the hinges of folding tables and erect tents to protect their heads from the midday burn. Some set up in town squares, others on the lawns of ancient monasteries crawling with vines.