I love the smell of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar – it smells like the woods in fall. Like sweet soil and apple trees, with a hint of woodfire wafting above the limbs. It’s the kind of cheese you should eat in a leaf pile, sliver by sliver, with a pocket knife. Take a hunk of hearty bread and a pocket flask, and you’ll never want to return from the wilds.
Meet Jodi Stoudt of Stoudt's Brewery (The Brewer), Carla Grownley of 7th Heaven Farm (The Farmer), and Chef Rob Sidor of Di Bruno Bros (The Chef).
Aside from my annual 5 or 6 cannollis from Isgro's during the Italian Market festival and the occasional Reese’s peanut butter cup (my weakness) I really don't have much of a sweet tooth. The one area that I stray from my general malaise with sweets is honey. For tea when I have a sore throat, for hot toddies when I pretend to have a sore throat, for making my own mead, and especially for drizzling on any variety of awesome cheeses.
It’s not often that you get a farmer, a brewer, a chef, and a cheesemonger to join together for dinner. The farmer has her animals to milk in the evenings. The brewer has beers to pour. The chef usually stays in the kitchen, and the cheesemonger…well, you know where he’d rather be. In the cave, of course.
I headed out to Chester County to visit two new cheese makers at a farm Di Bruno’s has been working with for almost two years. Amazing Acres goat Dairy was the project of Cheese Maker Debbie Mikulak and Farm Manager Fred Bloom. They made a variety of delicious fresh and soft ripened cheeses from their flock of Nubian Goats. We loved them, as did a lot of other people, and the demands the farm proved to be quite a bit to handle as new customers continued to emerge, requiring more cheese and more goats to care for to keep up with demand.
Stoudt's Brewery, 7th Heaven Farm and Di Bruno Bros. present: An Evening with The Brewer, The Farmer, The Chef and The Goat. On Tuesday September 20th 2011 - World renowned Stoudt's Brewing Company and local livestock farm, 7th Heaven Farm, will come together with culinary master Chef Rob Sidor of Di Bruno Bros. to honor THE GOAT - in all its glory - nose to tail.
On appearance, Scamorza (ska-MORT-sa) is one of the ugliest cheeses. It looks like the belly button of a giant baby – dried out, pale, and slightly waxy. For years, I avoided it. No one I knew ate it, and the only person I ever saw order it in the cheese line was an old man with very large ears.
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.
Authentic Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the greatest inventions. For me, it’s always been the cashmere socks of the cheese case. It can dress up anything, even an egg. I like it plain, too, to suck on after a good meal. Those caramel notes are all the sweetness I need, and I like the way Parm crumbles like rock candy.
If you're the type of cheese enthusiast who takes their love of cheese beyond the shop and starts to do a little research of your own, there's a pretty good chance you've seen the word affinage thrown around a bit. Affinage translates as refining and it refers to the crucial last steps in cheese making that deliver a huge reward for a little extra time and attention. It is a process that requires more than a passing knowledge of cheese and takes years to perfect.