Carlos Yescas has been a diplomat, professor and united nations expert. He still juggles a number of jobs, including raw milk cheese advocate, cheese judge and researcher. Born in Mexico, Yescas, 40, also distributes Mexican cheeses and is currently setting up a Latin American cheesemaker network to connect producers there with “scientists, gastronomers, chefs, researchers and historians,” from around the world. He hopes to keep traditional cheesemaking going and growing in Latin America and around the globe, which he explains is in danger of disappearing. Oh, and he also throws clay in his spare time.
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 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.
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.
Joseph Gallo Farms, Atwater, CA, has announced that its family of organic cheeses has earned verification by the Non-GMO Project. This verification confirms that Joseph Farms organic cheeses are produced in compliance with rigorous standards for GMO avoidance.
“GMO” stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and refers to plants, animals or other organisms whose genetic material has been changed in ways that do not occur naturally. The “non-GMO” claim means that the food is made without ingredients that were derived from genetically engineered organisms. For meat, poultry, dairy and eggs, the “non-GMO” claim means animals were not fed a diet containing genetically engineered crops.
The Non-GMO Project’s Verification Program is North America’s most trusted third-party program for verifying a product’s ingredients. Its seal gives shoppers the assurance that a product has completed comprehensive third-party verification for compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Comté PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), although the cheese’s history goes back almost 1,000 years. Comitй Interprofessionnel de Gestion du Comtй (CIGC) held a four-day celebration at the Royal Salt works at in Arc-et-Senans, France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This event was a moment of sharing among those who craft Comté cheese and the consumers who enjoy it. In addition, it provided the opportunity to salute the history, future and the pursuit of excellence embodied by the Comté PDO as well as recognize the contributions the organization has made to the community, the environment and the vitality of the region.
The festivities, which commenced on October 19th, included events for Comté professionals from farmers to affineurs, school children as well as for the general public. These included a giant fondue with 1,500 participants, a mini-comice (cattle exhibition and contest) and a Comté village with cheese tasting workshops, demonstrations, historic exhibits and a bookstore featuring local authors.
The anniversary can also be enjoyed virtually, through a series of videos that showcase everyone in the production of Comté and beyond. These can be viewed at http://vismavie-comte.com/ or for more information contact [email protected].
Consumers are encouraged to look for the special green plate that has been affixed on wheels of Comté, to commemorate the occasion.
Forever Cheese, Long Island City, NY, has announced its role as a sponsor of aMona Presents Panga Ibérica, a documentary that features six chefs on a culinary adventure in Panama. A group of esteemed chefs from Spain, Portugal, Guatemala and Panama came together to collaborate, forage, meet local artisans and cook for a week. The culmination was a dinner prepared together at Restaurant Panga in Playa Venao.
As a featured partner of Panga Ibérica, Forever Cheese provided a variety of its cheeses and special accompaniments from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia for chefs to use. Co-owner Michelle Buster accompanied the group in Panama. She helped the chefs handpick products to complement what they foraged locally. At the film’s premier, they prepared dishes featuring Forever Cheese’s Ibérico meats and artisan cheese.
Emmi Roth, Platteville, WI, announced the completion of a solar panel installation at its Platteville plant. Initiated by a new sustainability goal, Emmi Roth implemented 1,602 JA 330 watt panels on the roof of its cheese production facility. The installation will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by eliminating 14,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the environment – equal to saving 1.4 million gallons of gas, recycling 43,000 tons of waste or reducing coal usage by 13 million pounds.
The solar panels will supply 15 percent of the annual electric use of the cheese making plant.
“We want to have the lowest possible carbon footprint we could have in the industry,” said Tim Omer, president and managing director at Emmi Roth. “This is another step in our commitment to focus on sustainable initiatives, so it’s very exciting for all of us here at Emmi Roth.”
The company also recently invested in a new anaerobic digester at the same location in Platteville in an effort to lower operational costs and remain environmentally responsible for the waste being produced during their cheesemaking operations. Their investment in the anaerobic technology will also allow them to utilize biogas as a source of energy in the future.
Gouda From The Netherlands is one of the world’s most popular cheeses, and one of Holland’s most renowned exports. It’s also a huge category that encompasses many styles, from artisanally-produced farmhouse cheeses to factory-made wheels. The format of Gouda can be small, gigantic or somewhere in between. Wheels can be crafted with cow, sheep or goat’s milk. For a cheese with such truly diverse varieties, one thing is consistent when it comes to Gouda—it’s a true crowd-pleaser. Kids, grownups, cheese lovers and devoted curd nerds seem to agree that this cheese is often fantastic and definitely craveable.
For years, I’ve served dishes that were spontaneously created from my refrigerator or made with food—sometimes slightly dried or in need of trimming—that otherwise might get thrown away. My kids ate countless minestrones, chilies and even tossed salads that were never the same from one version to the next. The fact is, I disdain wasting food, plus I think those bits can add style, texture, color and taste.