I was intimidated by the sheer amount of cheese Di Bruno Bros. carries. But everyone’s collective knowledge contributes to a great learning atmosphere behind the counter, and I’ve been amazed at how quickly I’ve learned the difference between very similar cheeses.
Kimchi and cheese? Take that puzzled look off your face! It’s not any more bizarre than drizzling balsamic vinegar on a wedge of Parm. Or tipping back a fermented beverage, like beer or wine, with pizza. Or, at least that was our premise when Amanda Feifer and I presented KIMCHEESE! for the Philadelphia Science Festival. Sixty [...]
A couple recipes from the evening will be in your hands soon – the Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese book comes out in just three weeks! Until then, you’ll have to wing it as you crack open your first Hopfish, your first Exit 16 (made with wild rice, and just glorious!). As I read through my hasty tasting notes, a few favorites jumped out. I am writing them here for you – but also to commit them to memory myself, as a summer mantra.
This spring, I’ve had a love affair with brainy goat cheeses. They appear this time of year – wrinkly, rumpled, as if they’ve just rolled out of bed – which may explain why I adore them for breakfast. Put on a pot of tea, grab the honey, pop in some toast, and prepare to be awakened with a rise-and-shiny little cheese.
“Puits d’Astier,” Rocco whispered. It sounded like a new frangrance. Pwee d’awz-tee-eh. And it might as well be. Since Saturday, I’ve been patting Puits d’Astier on the insides of my wrists, and wherever I go in the world I leave the aroma of sweet sheep’s milk and hazelnuts. It’s true. Riders of SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transit system, know me and thank me. Expect men who peddle scented oils from duffle bags to pursue you with bottles of faux Puits d’Astier soon.
March brings the Flower Show to Philadelphia, and with this year’s “British Landscapes” it seems only proper to offer you a selection of Britain’s best wedges. Should you overdose on the smell of hyacinths, you may wish to pop into Di Bruno Bros. for a sniff and nibble. (Di Bruno Bros. will be a vendor at the show, but the flagship store at 18th and Chestnut is within walking distance.)
Nothing puts me in the mood for love like mushrooms. I know, I know – they’re a far cry from oysters or caviar, but aphrodisiacs rely on individual appeal and I happen to be mad for forest smells: wet earth, moss, the vaguely cabbage-y smell of tree rot. These are what led me to a special Valentine’s Day threesome: roasted mushrooms stuffed with Nancy’s Camembert and a spot of Brussels sprout relish.
If you’re working on your resolutions, allow me to weigh in. There’s never been a better time to explore American cheese, and with the bounty available to you from small artisans it’s high time to move beyond Cheddar and Brie. In the spirit of newness, here are five types of American cheese to try in 2013.
If you find yourself heading to a swish party without a holiday sweater, you can always make up for it with a wedge of Rogue River Blue. It’s the elusive wedge everyone’s been looking for since it won the coveted “Best of Show” award from the American Cheese Society last year. Now it’s in season, just in time to nuzzle pears and sidle up to your most intoxicating eau de vie.
Remember this: birds migrate in the fall, and so do great cheeses. The holiday season draws rare imports, and you can count on cheese shop shelves to be bountiful and bright. If you’re a caseophile, now is a great time to look to the sky and ask yourself, “What amazing cheese is in store for me tonight?”