Very few meals remind me of my childhood as much as a tuna melt. My mother was the primary chef in our household, and she excelled (still does) in all areas of Italian cuisine. On the rare occasion that my father cooked, my brother and I were treated to distinctly American dinners.
Waking up in Amsterdam for the first time is like waking up on Christmas day. The excitement was palpable and expectations were high as I rolled out of bed and meandered through the morning routine. Today, we are touring Friesland with Betty Koster. Betty is the owner of the L'Amuse Cheese Shop, the finest in Amsterdam, and is an international ambassador for all Dutch cheeses.
The day began with a trip to the Fruitiere a Comte de Gellin. A fruitiere is where the cheese is produced before it is transferred to an affineur for maturation. Being in peak season, this particular fruitiere is making eight wheels of Comte per day, approximately 550 pounds.
I am sitting across from the Hertz kiosk at the Geneva airport, propping myself up on my luggage. In the past 30 hours, I have not slept or changed clothes, and exhaustion is forcing its inevitability on me. But as weary as I feel, the excitement of this trip offers constant rejuvenation.
Throughout the course of the day, we mongers routinely taste twenty to thirty cheeses. Opening a new wheel? Sample it. Can't recall the subtleties of that obscure cheese from the Italian Alps? Better take a reminder-nibble. Just received a batch of samples from a northwest Pennsylvania farm? You get the idea.
Last night, Di Bruno Bros was proud to participate in Feastival, a charity event benefiting Philadelphia Live Arts. While donations, auctions and raffles are still being calculated, it is not too early to conclude that the event was a huge success. Mayor Nutter and Governor Rendell each auctioned a pair of Phillies playoff tickets in […]
Last night we tried something a little different for Happy Hour...gotta keep those regulars on their toes! Instead of pairing three cheeses with three beers, we paired three cheeses with one beer. Using Cigar City's Jai Alai, we explored how one style of beer reacts differently to different styles of cheese. Forcing ourselves to think outside the box, we discovered some successful pairings in places we least expected to find them.
Many thanks to Gordon and Curt from Nodding Head Brewery for bringing three outstanding beers to play with. Of course, they seem to find themselves here every Wednesday night, regardless of brewery, so the only real difference is that they now stood on the other side of the counter. Anyway, onto the pairings.
Day four in Seattle was all about repeating to myself "I am not worthy, I am not worthy..." Our first class was a charcuterie tasting with the following quartet: Herb Eckhouse of La Quercia in Iowa, Christiano Creminelli of Creminelli Fine Meats in Utah, Paul Bertolli of Fra'Mani in California, and Armandino Batali from Salumi Artisan Cured Meats here in Seattle.