People are always asking you questions, so you have to learn stuff constantly. For example, when I started I didn’t know about vegetarian rennet [a coagulant used in cheesemaking], but customers would come to the counter and ask for “vegetarian cheese.” Now I know to point them toward Portuguese cheeses, like La Serena, Gardunha, and Azeitao. They’re all made with rennet from cardoons, which are like thistles.
Until I really got into cheese a few years ago, I never considered eating a hunk of the hard stuff, like Parm or Pecorino, unless it was grated. Now I know better. Some of the tastiest cheeses are relegated to “accents” in part because they have so much flavor. Eat them just as they are, without starches or sauces, and you’ll be surprised how delicious they are.
One of the most enjoyable perks of being a Di Bruno's cheese monger is what we like to refer to as culinary pioneering. Sniffing down leads and gathering information (and the occasional sample) of new and exciting cheese is a constantly rewarding and exciting process. If being at Di Bruno's gives an enterprising cheese lover a chance to be a culinary pioneer then the constantly expanding and always changing world of Artisan cheese represents the frontier of the gourmet food world which a cheese monger has to move toward to stay on top of their game.
I have decided to do a blog post about cheeseburgers, the ultimate in summertime grill traditions. The plan is to reinvent the American classic, ranging from super gourmet, to the down right greasy and delicious. Un-notch your belt and get ready enter flavor country with my salute to cheeseburgers.
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.
Homemade pizza is one of my favorite dishes to prepare and I love experimenting with different cheeses and toppings. This week I decided to make a three cheese pizza. I started with my two staple cheeses, Di Bruno’s handmade mozzarella and 30 month Parmigiano-Reggiano.
On the first sticky day of summer, I walked down to Philadelphia’s Italian Market in search of something cool, and I came home with burrata. Cheese and humidity don’t always mix, but then, burrata isn’t ordinary cheese. It’s a fresh mozzarella compress wrapped around a scoop of glorious cream and bound together with leeks.
As the weather gets hotter many cheese lovers take a respite from the meaty, hearty cheeses that so many of us enjoy in colder weather. If a savory piece of Stilton or a pungent, runny little Epoisses doesn't seem like your sort of thing on a muggy 80 degree day I can think of no better place to turn than the wide world of Goat's milk cheeses. Their cleaner, brighter flavors might be just the thing to refresh your palette on a summer day and they tend to work wonderfully with summery wines such as Vinho Verde and Rose.
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.