From Brooklyn’s Bergen street, Crown Finish Caves looks like any other funky old brick building. But as you descend 30 feet down a narrow spiral staircase, the temperature drops suddenly, and you’re greeted by something magnificent — 26,000 pounds of cheeses in various states of aging, sitting on shelves in a repurposed “lagering tunnel” originally built in the 1850’s for brewing beer. You’re still in New York City, but it feels like a different universe.
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.
Portions of this article are excerpted from “Discovering The World of Wine”, an online course offered by Fairleigh Dickinson University that I co-authored. It is used with the permission of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Anyone that would like to register for the online course at a special rate can contact FDU’s Continuing Education Department at (201) 692-6500; http://www.fdu.edu/academic/wineonline/.
Searching for cheese options to serve with a nice merlot or pinot noir? There’s an app for that.
A group of computer scientists and molecular biologists at the University of Toronto recently created a new app and website that is based on scientific technology to map relationships within data sets.
Macaroni and cheese is as American as hot dogs, burgers and apple pie. You would be hard-pressed to find a citizen in any part of the country that has not spooned up the creamy cheesy dish at least once, with most developing a fondness or downright addiction for the rich dish in early childhood. For many parents, the pasta and cheese dish was the original easy-to-make, nutritious fast food that the whole family could enjoy in just a matter of minutes.
Said to be one of the first cheeses ever made, Ossau-Iraty is a beloved gem with a rich history. Once upon a time, or so the story goes, the Greek God Apollo had a son named Aristee, a shepherd, who turned the milk from his herd of sheep into this delicious cheese. Although an actual Greek God may not have invented Ossau-Iraty, the wheels are made according to a tradition that dates back some 3,000 years. This means Ossau-Iraty predates the English alphabet.
While the Netherlands is renowned for its 17th century old master paintings, IJmuiden-born Betty Koster is famous these days for refining another local art form with 12th century antecedents. In the realm of Dutch masterpieces, cheeses from Koster’s Fromagerie L’Amuse — including her signature two-year warm-cellar-aged Gouda L’Amuse and Brabander, an uncommon goat Gouda — are celebrated as among the very finest cheeses in Holland and beyond. Only a few are imported into the U.S.
For innovative holiday gifting with a cheesy twist, look no further. These selections are sure to surprise and delight the cheese lovers in your life.
Doug Smith, co-owner and operations manager of Vancouver Island’s Natural Pastures Cheese Co., shares the perfect anecdote to illustrate the growth of Victoria, British Columbia’s cheese culture. “When we started at our local farmers market, we presented a Brie to people they had never really tried it before,” he says. “They would ask things like, ‘Can I eat the mold?’ Now 15 years later, I’ll ask little kids what they want to try, and they’ll say Brie because they love the taste. That’s a very short time period where people didn’t even know what this cheese was and now their children love Brie.”
The beauty of having a first-class cheese and wine store in Arlington, VA, is that it can serve customers from Washington D.C., Maryland and northern Virginia, as the Beltway passes right by and tens of thousands of people are driving in its direction each day.
For most consumers, the day is long past where the only place to purchase specialty cheese is a high-end specialty store. The news reports are filled with speculation as to how Amazon’s expected takeover of Whole Foods might impact both organizations and their offerings. That is for the future… immediately, though, consumers are being offered a new opportunity to shop at “deep-discounter” retailers.