It has been a while since my last post. A LONG while if you want to get technical. A lot has happened in the past year. Moving and buying a house, becoming a father… Although I have been away, I have missed this blog, missed writing, and missed making cheese.
The plan is to end that trend starting now. I ran a guided beer and cheese tasting event a couple of weekends ago, and used that as a catalyst to kick-start my return.
A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of conducting a beer and cheese pairing workshop at Empire State Cellars. This occasion marked a fresh start back in the cheese world as my past year was a chaotic whirlwind of buying a house and becoming a father. Although I had certainly consumed plenty of cheese during my time off from NYCR and other cheese-related activities, this was my first opportunity in a while to lead a group of people through a guided cheese and beer tasting with New York cheeses and Port Jeff Brewing Company.
Expect future cheese reviews and stories. Expect future cheesemaking experimentation. Expect more content in this space, as well as at the NYCR.
You can read the rest of my “Blackbert” post here.
There is a new cheesemaker out on Long Island that I have read about for the past year. Goodale Farms has generated quite a bit of buzz in the local community of Aquebogue, NY, due to the awards that they won at the American Dairy Goat Association’s 2011 national convention. I haven’t had a chance to visit the farm as of yet, but I was finally able to get my hands on some of their cheese from the Village Cheese Shop out in Mattituck, NY.
Goodale Farms in Aquebogue places a strong emphasis on milk quality and the natural farming practices required to support it. They don’t use pesticides and the fertilizer is primarily made of compost mixed with manure from their own animals. Practices such as this are incredibly demanding, but the results outweigh the effort for most who are dedicated to sustainable farming.
In addition to award-winning cheese, the farm also sells a variety of products from their land such as fruit, vegetables, and other dairy products.
You can read the rest of my post for the NYCR here.
I was emcee for a cheese tasting event for Peconic Bay Wineryout on Long Island where I helped lead a controlled tasting, while leading discussions alongside a panel of experts from the fields of beer/wine/cheese.
As a cheese geek I am continually preoccupied with the age-old question that plagues the majority of the cheese obsessed here in New York and elsewhere: “What makes the better cheese pairing? Wine or Beer?” I am clearly not alone in this as a sold-out crowd was on hand at the Artisanal Cheese wine and beer pairing event this past weekend, hosted by Peconic Bay Winery. Working with The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck, and Greenport Harbor Brewing, the staff at Peconic Bay chose four cheeses and subsequently paired them with complementary beer and wine. It was a pretty perfect setup. Each taster was given the opportunity to taste in a controlled setting with the winemaker, brewmaster, and cheesemonger on hand to answer any related questions.
You can read the rest of my post here.
This weekend marks the annual “Wine of the Year” event at the NY Cork Report. The regional wine, beer (and cheese) editors come from far and wide to blindly taste the nominations made in each category. It’s always good to get together with other like-minded people to eat, drink, and share.
I don’t submit any nominations or categories for NY cheese of the year. It doesn’t seem to fit in this instance. Cheesemakers constantly tweak their recipes from year to year depending on the season, the quality of the milk, etc… A particular growing season has a profound affect on wine, but doesn’t really apply in the cheese world. In my opinion. Some may disagree, and I welcome the discourse, but it doesn’t seem to fit in this case.
So rather than select a single cheese at the exclusion of others, I use this weekend to introduce the others to some cheeses and makers that they aren’t familiar with. I will have some additional posts based on the weekend, as well as the reaction to the cheeses from the pic.
See anything you recognize?
It has been a while since I have posted anything more from lack of time than anything else. I aim to change that in 2012 as best I can. Cheese is still a big part of my life, regardless if I have devoted time to write about it or not. My plans for the early part of this year include more blogging, a return to cheesemaking, and farm visits once again.
In order to kick off this year, I visited a shop on Long Island just minutes away from our friend’s house where we were visiting.
Artisanal cheese has made its way to the forefront of the local food movement. Farmstead cheesemakers elevate the milk from their farms, and the rock star cheesemonger expounds upon the history, the background, and unique qualities of that particular cheese. So what is the best way to accomplish this?
Specialty cheese shops are all over New York City and surrounding areas to bring a piece of the farm to your table, but is that enough to distinguish one shop from another? If the quality of the product is essentially the same across the board, and the level of care is (in a good shop) similar as well, then what sets one shop apart from another?
You can read the rest of my post here.