On The Oregon Cheese Trail

Award-winning offerings wow patrons coast to coast

On The Oregon Cheese Trail

Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to taste a smoky, sweet, fudgy piece of rogue creamery’s smokey blue, cold-smoked for 16 hours over local hazelnut shells in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Or savor some Lorelei, a small square loosely inspired by a robiola, but made in Dundee, OR by Briar Rose Creamery. It’s washed in Steam Fire Stout, a beer made at nearby Fire Mountain Brewery, and exhibits funky, citrusy, balanced and lovely notes. Or perhaps you wisely stock your fridge with Tillamook’s Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar, made from their own high-quality, super fresh milk and aged for about 15 months to coax out tons of complex savory, nutty flavors. Continue reading →

Running of the Bulls: A Spanish Tradition

Cheese takes center stage during Pamplona’s festival

Running of the Bulls:  A Spanish Tradition

It’s a little before dawn on July 7 and already thousands of spectators are jockeying for a spot behind newly-erected safety fences along Calle Santo Domingo in Pamplona, Spain for the Running of the Bulls. Those lucky enough to live on the street in apartments with balconies don’t need to appear quite that early. Well before 8 a.m., all are cheering the hundreds of runners, called ‘mozos,’ that have gathered in the Palaza de Santa Domingo to hear the church of San Cernin strike the starting hour of the traditional event. Continue reading →

Spicing Up Artisanal French Butter


A decadent mixology awaits

Spicing Up Artisanal French Butter

While the average, mass-produced American butters contain about 80 percent butterfat and aren’t particularly distinctive, French butters are required to have at least 82 percent butterfat, a maximum of 16 percent water, and 2 percent vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals. Although the difference is a mere 2 percent, the higher fat content found in French butter serves to create a final product that has a richer taste and a more malleable texture.

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Lebanon Cheesemaking Traditions

Simple recipes and sophisticated 
production characterize its 
cheese production

Lebanon Cheesemaking Traditions

Recently, I made a spontaneous decision to travel to Lebanon, which turned out to be a revelation in cheesemaking. This was prompted by my partner, who was attending a last-minute wine trip in the country during a week we were planning to spend together.

After he asked me what I thought about joining him on an excursion to this Middle Eastern country, it took just a split second of consideration before I booked my flights. Prior to leaving, however, I began my research and discovered that Lebanon was richer in its food and wine culture than I could ever imagine. Of course, being a cheese professional, my vested interest was in this region’s cheese scene.

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Perfect Pear Preparations

Diverse flavors for multiple pairing possibilities

Perfect Pear Preparations

It’s been said that Eve offered Adam the apple just so she could keep the pear for herself. I admit, it’s a bit apocryphal, but in my book, totally understandable. Of all the orchard fruits, pears are the most versatile in varieties and culinary prowess. Not to mention, also can be found in two separate species — European and Asian.

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