I have a tendency to look past small, hard cheeses in favor of washed rinds, blues, and anything wrapped in lace or bark. On a recent cheese plate, however, Garrotxa – a vibrant Spanish goat cheese – caught my eye. It’s my new little velvetine rabbit.
With the possible exception of Cheddar, no cheese is as misunderstood as Gouda. Nascent cheese enthusiasts are encumbered with the misconception that Gouda is some lesser form of cheese, one that either comes smoked or “regular.” This perception of commodity has hampered Gouda’s reputation in America, but the reality is that the nation’s best cheese shops offer Goudas that rival the best cheeses in the world.
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.