So I’m a sucker for celebratory and/or themed drinking. Hark, is it Cinco de Mayo (give or take 3 weeks)? Celebramos con tequila! The Oscars? Let’s open that $9 bottle of whatever has bubbles in it and put on bow ties and eat hot dips. Tuesday? Probably going to need to theme the night “Vodka,” and put on Robyn as I vacuum for the next 3 hours in my underwear.
So, because it’s finally summer time in the city, I’m going to touch on the topic that everyone has on their mind. Two words. Pink. Wine. That’s right. I’m declaring it GLOBAL ROSÉ MONTH! Cue chorus of scantily clad angels fluttering down from above, gently cooing Stevie Nicks, and presenting you with a glowing bottle of something chilled and pink. Yeah, so it’s already three weeks into June, so you probably haven’t actually realized that this is an officially themed month. But don’t worry! You have 10 days to catch up with me, because I’ve been sucking down the stuff like there is no tomorrow.
So this blog is going to be about cheese that comes in a can. Yes, yes, I know. The headline is unabashedly cheesy(<——SEE WHAT I DID THERE?! The fun never ends.) but I can’t apologize for every piece of innuendo I stumble across out there.
Currently, in the late May era of 2011, I’ve noticed a customer trend. I’m not sure where it started or how (but I have my suspicions…) but there has been a huge influx of visitors to the shop that all pose a similar question: “Hey, have you guys heard of that one cheese. You know. That cheese that comes in a can?!” Yes, customer, I have. Do I know or care to know anything about it? No. But, alas, when researching the term “world news cheese,” this can-cheese popped up over and over again. So, I decided to get down to the bottom of it and learn EVERYTHING I COULD ABOUT IT. That’ll show you and your questions.
Then you’ll love this movie. Or as Neal’s Yard Dairy calls it, a “film.” (You like that? The word “FILM” do it for ya?)
But in actuality, this is a really beautiful short movie about where some of the most famous British cheeses come from. Farm to market. Shot on 16mm film (Seriously, do you have a boner yet? Put down your copy of Rilke, take off your beret, and just watch the movie already) it took 2 years to make and really is a great visual for the cheese making process.
It came out a while ago, but I’m just discovering it now. Behind the times. But cheese is pretty much always in style so who cares. Enjoy lovies!
Have you been outside recently!? It’s pretty perfect outside in the great borough of Brooklyn these days. Breezy, sunny, full of good vibes, and usually over caffeinated! Yesssss. So what did I decide to do when it’s 75 and sunny outside?
Go to the Farmer’s Market and buy seasonal produce to create a fresh, seasonal feast for all my friends and family? No!
Privately read the next installment in the Twilight series by the water so that I can openly weep and think about the lonely life of a vampire while ignoring the smell of garbage and staring at the Manhattan skyline? No way, totally boring!
Think about going on a picnic and decided to sit in a coffee shop and command y’all to go for me?! YESSSSSS.
Totally my life. In France. In the 19th century. Except I'd probably bring my cat along with me...
So today we are putting on our finest cardigans, our coke-bottled glasses, and popping an XR Adderall, because today, Blog-o-sphere, we are going back to Cheese University. Sweet. First stop? Soft serve machine in the dining hall.
Well, not really. But today, I thought I’d gather all of you guys around in a semi-circle of those little desks where the writing surface and the chair is connected (remember those?!) and give you a talkin’ to ’bout the chemical universe behind cheese making. Specifically the world of RENNET. Which is a small galaxy owned by Cher and a group of Swiss cheese makers.
At this point, RENNET is holding me together. Cheese humor!
This guy is so excited about his cheese it hurts. People are a little calmer in Wisconsin, but they never forget the power of a good montage ballad.
This video is a great, brief visual reference for the creation of CHEESE. Which is what this blog is all about. Pleasant Ridge Reserve is also a delicious staple to know and love, and since this brief power presentation was made, the dairy has won lots of other awards. AND this farm came out with another cheese, the Rush Creek Reserve. Which is also totally delicious and badass.
So, get to know Uplands Cheese Company. And their cheeses. And this Youtube clip has totally inspired me to go put on a sweatsuit and run up some stairs, punching and flailing wildly into the air. GO TEAM.
This week’s blog post is all about the four words above. That’s right. Ok, five words. (I said I knew about cheese, not how to count.)
When you think about different types of cheeses, there are certain flavor profiles that are associated with them. A manchego is going to be salty, nutty, and buttery. A Saint-Nectaire is going to be a gray little tomme that tastes like the vegetal nether regions of a mushroom that you found on the slope of a volcano. A comte is going to be nutty with hints of berries and shallots and come in 80 lb. wheels.
But why? Why do these cheeses always taste the same? How do people know what they taste like? It’s not like they just magically taste that way. They are made by human beings with independent thoughts and ideas who believe variety is the spice of life and want things to taste new and exciting! So how come the order of Vacherin Mont D’Or we got in December of 2009 tastes just like the Vacherin Mont D’Or we got in December of 2010? WHY, I ASK YOU? WHY?
I can tell you my, children. So pull up your toadstools and listen. The answer is simple and can be summed up in one word. More like an idea. More like a state of mind and being: Appellation.
…and more blogging. Hooray! It’s 2011! Did you miss us? Did you think we had gotten sucked into a void of cheese curds and customer service and got eaten alive by the boogeyman of Bedford Avenue?! Because we kind of did. And survived to tell the tale. But now that the mayhem of Holiday-geddon 2011 is over, we can resume our friendly and informative blog posts. Great. Super.
So while all you guys were opening presents and wearing bright and shiny Holiday sweaters and spilling egg nog all over yourself, I was here, contemplating cheese. What else? And I realized that I couldn’t stop thinking about one particular cheese we have in the shop. It’s like the QB of the cheese shop team…throwing that pig skin long and far and has perfect aim and is going to take the team to semi-finals and then is going to get a scholarship and go and play college ball…Ok. So maybe I was watching a lot of Friday Night Lights AND thinking about cheese (but seriously, I didn’t think NBC could actually create a show about football that sucked me in so fast…bravo NBC, bravo. And can we talk ’bout Tim Riggins for a second?!? Oh. My God.)
Anyways, I’m going to get to the point here. The cheese I was thinking about was none other than the Essex Street Cheese Marcel Petite 16 month Comte. Yeah, that’s right. The one. The only. The classic. The best. It’s like the perfect holiday cheese. You can use it to cook with, you can use it to snack, and you can cover it in mayo and cream cheese and serve it to your friends and they will LOVE you for it.
Do they still make this? Because I'm putting a case of it in my bomb shelter.
Alright, so maybe my intro isn’t that strong this week. I went straight to the fart jokes before I could even give you guys any warning. Usually I make at least one mention of unicorns and Switzerland before I get to the potty humor. Sorry about that.
But, despite this little blog hiatus (Where did 3 weeks go?!!!? I really have lost all track of time. Ay yi yi. Five words y’all: eggnog, turkey, peppermint bark…eggnog.) the band got back together for one last jam. On the blog. And this week, I wanted to explain the differences between two important catchphrases in the cheeseworld. “Artisan” vs. “Farmstead.” Related? Important? Do I care?
So we’ve tried some different things since mid-summer. We’ve talked about grocery items. We’ve talked about fondue. We’ve talked about designer cats dressed up as apples that are EATING apples. We’ve covered it all. But sometimes, when late early winter is upon us, we realize that we have to get back to our roots. Where did we come from? How did it all begin? Well, if you are a loyal reader of the blog, you’ll know that this all started with a little feature I like to call….CHEESEPINIONS. And we have a lot of cheese right now. I mean…Jesus, it’s kind of overwhelming. (And don’t even get me started on our butter selection. We have so much butter right now it kind of makes me want to run around the store announcing it in an Oprah voice to get people all riled up over it…) So I thought I’d do what I do best: irritate my coworkers long enough for them to tell me about their favorite cheeses of the moment. Precious.
As precious as this baby bobcat?!?!? Well...no. Also, not as delicious.