As an internationally renowned heavyweight, Wisconsin is the Midwest’s undisputed champion of cheese. But don’t overlook its scrappy western neighbor. In Minneapolis, an urban creamery, a vibrant dining scene and bustling cheese shops put Minnesota on the cheese enthusiast’s map. True, winters can be brisk, but that’s nothing a locally-sourced cheese plate or a bubbling pot of fondue can’t fix.
It’s a rainy Wednesday night in New Orleans, and the cheese shop is packed. We’re here at St. James, a retailer located on the edge of the city’s business district, sandwiched between a surf-themed dive bar and slick, remodeled hotels. Inside the glassy front of St. James, well-appointed New Orleanians, from girls on a night out to older couples, sit at a couple dozen tables, their attention focused on a tray of four cheeses in the middle of each table. It’s a full house at the Alpine cheese tasting night, and a great night to be a cheese connoisseur in New Orleans.
Tuscany, known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, is a land of cultural traditions, stunning landscapes, museums and all things artistic. About 9,000 square miles with a population of 3.9 million, the capital is the romantic, charming city of Florence. With seven World Heritage Sites and a simple yet pure cuisine, Tuscany is beautiful, charming and quite tasty. Continue reading →
Everybody knows that New York City is the great melting pot. When it comes to looking for cheese, the whole world is, quite literally, a subway ride away. Manhattan’s cheese sellers have some of the most diverse and delicious selections of famous fromage from all over the world.
FORTY YEARS AGO, when most Americans thought there was no better place to shop than the supermarket, Lancaster County promoted itself as a center of local foods and traditional dishes. Then, as the rest of the world became more and more interested in these things, Lancaster became less so. Amish families that had been farming for generations were suddenly working in retail stores and factories and their land gradually became subdivisions and shopping centers. Now, just when you thought that the area had been turned into an endless mall, a whole new generation of farmers is bringing back the idea of local food. Produce is organic, livestock is grass-fed, and a growing number of people are creating cheeses that are world-class.
I have a dear friend who calls Manhattan home. We share a passion for all things culinary and anything involving curds and whey. She visited Denver a decade ago during the National Western Stock Show and saw a Grand Champion steer corralled in the lobby of the Brown Palace Hotel. The only cheese she recalls tasting here was florescent orange and poured over nachos at a Denver Broncos game.
Since then she has referred to Denver as “that cowtown,” and visited only long enough to change planes for Aspen.