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.
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.
Every spring, hundreds of families across switzerland leave the modern amenities at their valley homes and herd their livestock up mountains carpeted in thick spring grass. They will spend the summer in pursuit of an ancient treasure: nutrient-rich milk that serves as the raw ingredient for some of Switzerland’s most authentic and healthy cheeses.
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.
One island of 10,000 inhabitants, one special wind, 17 herbs and milk from 30,000 Paška Pramenka sheep contribute to making the award-winning Paški Sir (pronounced Pashki Seer), unique to the island of Pag in Croatia. By law, only milk from sheep on that island can be used to make this unique cheese.