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.”
If you don’t already have plans for July 2 through July 24 this year, I have a suggestion. The Tour de France — the greatest bicycle race in the world and the third-most popular sporting event, drawing close to 4 million TV viewers worldwide — takes place during those three weeks. Even if you can’t be among the thousands of spectators cheering the competitors on along the 2,200-mile route, you can still join in the excitement of the race. Continue reading →
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.
The Zingerman’s Reuben is the quintessential destination sandwich. The corned beef is cured just for the famous Michigan deli and sliced to order in thin, juicy, warm pink ribbons. Crusty Jewish rye is cut from loaves, grilled and spread with thick, scratch-made Russian dressing. To crown it, only locally fermented kraut and slices of nutty, brown buttery Swiss Emmentaler will do.
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.