Thursday, November 27, 2014

Day 1065 : Let's all give thanks to cheese!

When planning cheese selections these days, I feel it is most important to gear your choices to your host - are they a stinky cheese person? Do they adore blue cheeses? Only like firm crystallized tangy cheeses like a nice Parmesan? Or are they like my Mother, fans of cheeses made with goat's milk?

Since my Mother always does the cooking for Thanksgiving supper, I figure the obvious way to go is with a selection of goat cheeses. All American and all purchased at my go-to spot for American cheese -- Lucy's Whey.

Cheese #1 - Cremont, crafted by Vermont Creamery. Vermont Creamery is one of my absolute favorite American goat cheese producers. Their geotrichum rinded, aged goat's cheeses changed the landscape of American aged goat's cheeses. In every morsel of their cheeses, you feel like you are tasting a morsel of France and French cheesemaking. Good cheese making if you ask me!

So what's Cremont? 

A Double Cream mixed goat and cow's milk cheese with a hint of cream. This is the sort of cheese that just melts in your mouth -- decadent and sweet in all the right sort of ways. Perfect with a glass of Cremant de Bourgogne or if you are not feeling bubbles, a Riesling cuts right through that creaminess in the best of ways.

Cheese # 2 - Madeleine, crafted by Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie. Before getting to the cheese, just a quick little note about Sprout Creek Farm. It is an educational farm, offering year round and summertime programs teaching children about farming practices, cheesemaking, and living off the land. The ultimate in farm to table education.

So what's Madeleine?

A raw goat's milk cheese that is firm and dense with dainty milky and herbaceous notes. This is a crowd pleasing cheese - easily paired with a wide variety of foods, wines, cocktails, and even beers. You simply cannot go wrong with this cheese.

Cheese # 3 - Caguya Blue, crafted by Lively Run in Interlacken. 

Most blue cheeses are made with sheep or cow's milk, both of which are milks much higher in fat content with lead to the creamy, rich, roundness that one tends to find paired with the spicy piquance of a blue cheese. 

So what's the flavor profile of Cayuga Blue?

Dense and flaky but with a bright, milky, grassiness and a citrusy tangy finish. Enjoy with cranberry sauce and a glass of Pinot Noir.

Happy Thanksgiving one and all! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 1064 : Giving Thanks

Gosh, it's been forever and an eternity. Life got busy and my musings dissipated, then dwindled, and then just all together vanished. But in walking through Chelsea Market en route home on a rainy, cold, Thanksgiving Eve, I got to thinking, gosh I miss my musings. I really started Fromagical as a journey and a discovery about cheese, about flavors, about how simple ingredients create thousands of different taste sensations. It was culinary art, my expression of that particular moment of creativity in my life - cheese was it. Discoveries, pairings, taste sensations, I shared thousands of stories and life moments through my cheeses. And although I still write, teach, make, and eat plenty of cheese, I decided this afternoon that my art was not just about cheese, but about food, about ingredients, about the sensations of bringing people together to as the old fashioned expression says, "to break bread." Well I don't do so much of that bread breaking literally anymore but I look back at my fondest memories over the past years and you guessed it, food features pretty strongly in those memories.

Moving forward, there will be more musings - cheese and otherwise because what is life without the ability to share the smiles and laughs with those around you.

Starting afresh, on this Thanksgiving Eve, I would like to give thanks. Thanks to all my friends and family for making each day brighter, for being there through the good times and the bad, and for  sharing in all those morsels of cheese!

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