Friday, April 30, 2010

The Dawn of a New Cheese Age As Evidenced at the Tillamook's 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational

Grilled cheese sandwiches are the ultimate in easy comfort food, requiring only 3 basic ingredients really: cheese, bread and butter. If you always have an extra wedge and loaf on hand, whipping up a delicious meal is maybe just ten minutes away.

Nowadays, grilled cheese sandwiches can be taken to a whole new level with the availability of so many varieties of quality cheeses from regions as far reaching as Argentina, New Zealand to The Netherlands. Add the fact that the United States has jumped on the cheesemaking bandwagon, in force, and we have a virtual cheese revolution on our hands.

And not only are there a plethora of cheeses, literally anything can be added to this basic sandwich as was demonstrated at the Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles on April 24th. Examples of such creativity: Gago Avaneszadea's grilled Ricotta, Cayenne and Chocolate cheese sandwich; or 10-year-old Jake Feldman's "The Jakester" combining potato bread, Tillamook cheese, queso fresco, grilled portabello mushrooms, sauteed onions, tomato, butter, ground spicy cheetos and sauteed chorizo.

Taking top honors, a Short-Ribs-and-Taleggio on raisin bread with a piquant apricot-caper schmear from celebrity chef Eric Greenspan. The former Iron Chef plans to bring the beloved comfort food to a new level. Grilled cheese's popularity and new possibilities have sparked a renewed interest. Greenspan has plans to open up a grilled-cheese-sandwich restaurant on Melrose Place in LA next door to his current roost, The Foundry.

Heidi Gibson is also leading the bandwagon. She plans to open up The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco later this year. Of the grilled cheese fad she says, "I think the trend is cyclical, based on what’s going on in our economy and culture. When people feel unsettled and uneasy, they reach for comforting things — but their tastes have grown up, so they’re open to experimenting with different ingredients.” She quit her 15 year reign as a webmaster to open a grilled cheese restaurant... yes, you read that correctly.

Congratulations to cheese diviners and cheese chefs alike. We, your cheese-eating audience, thank you.

"Raclette" Google Search Engine Finds It

Unsurpassable, Google's Search Engine can even find "Raclette".

Still not sure?-- You can google it, or read about it here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pure Sex and Romance in a Bottle

The new evocative fragrance from England captures one of the stinkiest cheeses of the world, Stilton Blue...

"The earthy and fruity aroma of Blue Stilton cheese in an eminently wearable perfume."
(shamelessly taken from NuSkoolBreaks Radio forum).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You Can Buy Italian Cheeses Of Many Flavors

By: Luigi DeMarco

If you are looking for great cheeses Italy has hundreds on offer, so buy Italian cheese and take a gastronomic journey via its regional offerings. Cheeses made by add another distinction. Go online and explore the expanding number or venture into retail specialty stores to see how many cheeses are now available.

Regional flavor

Piedmont region has the widest selection. These range from the blue cheese Castelmagno to the Tomme cheese produced from milk produces by cow, sheep and goat and other cheeses in between. Cheeses from the region more available in the market include the soft cheeses like Fontina and the Seiras ricotta.

The northern region of Trentino Alto-Adige has cheeses demonstrating an Austrian influence. The slightly sharp and peppery Vezzena which has a hard granular texture, the mild and delicate Dobbiaco, the fragrant and delicate Grana Padano from Val di Non, the Puzzone di Moena with its intense aromatic perfume are amongst those hailing from this region. From the northeast Val Brembana in Lombardy near the Swiss border is the warm buttery tasting Mandriano di Zambla that is available in the United States and approximates to a cheese not available yet, the Formai de Mut produced in limited amounts that has a delicate aromatic herbal flavor reflecting the cows diet on the alpine pastures.

Lombardy has other standouts that include the savory spice of the Valpadana Provolones, the Taleggio which is a semi soft cheese with a meaty tone and a fruity finish, the rich and creamy Crescenza, the cheese curd Mascarpone used in deserts and Gorgonzola, the Quartiolo Lombardo that can be consumed at different maturities. When young, the cheese has a lemony acidity. After two months, the taste reveals a fruity character.

The seasoned gratable Bagoss and the uncooked low in fat and soft Quartirolo are amongst notable cheeses from this region. In Veneto, home to Venice and Verona, there is the Ubriaco, one type of the area specialty wine washed cheeses, or the Monte Veronese. The Asiago and the Piave named after a river with the flavor profile of a more intense Parmigiano Reggiano are amongst cheeses from here.

Italian grape varieties exceed even the cheese varieties. Hence, wine cheese go particularly well together, which you should keep in mind when you buy Italian cheese! Italian restaurateur Mauro Cirilli, who is a qualified Sommelier suggests trying pairing wine and cheese from the same region. An example is a mozzarella from Campania region and a regional white wine. Another is the tangy pecorino sardo the Sardinian sheep milk cheese enjoyed with the zest of the local Vermentino di Gallura.

Cirilli also suggests that people should not limit themselves to red wines with cheese, even when the cheese is strong like the Parmigiano Reggiano which he recommends trying with a vintage spumante, which has the complex flavor that blends well with the potent cheese. The Mandriano di Zambla recently available has also reported to be a good match for both reds and whites. To take trip down flavor lane will be quite an adventure if tastings progress from light to more robust cheeses and their wine accompaniments which can start when you buy Italian cheeses.

Looking to find the best deal on buy Italian cheese, then visit to find the best advice on cheese for you.

Article Courtesy of

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wine Yes, and South Africa Has Cheese Too

Located centrally in the heart of wine country Bien Donné, comes the "most loved foodie festival" in South Africa. The townships of Paarl, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Franschhoek are known for their superior wines, and it's no wonder that this annual Cheese Fest has become so popular, growing from 12,000 visitors in 2002 to 29,000 last year in 2009.

For more information for the 9th Annual South African Cheese Festival April 24-27, 2010 go here.

Flaming Feta: A Delicious Homeschool Experiment

Moms who love homeschooling will love this delicious little science experiment. Saganaki is a common Greek meal-starter, traditionally spread on bread, made from a feta-type cheese but like no other cheese spread-- in that it is on fire.

You will need: Kefalotiri cheese and Bacardi 151 (more here).

Feta cheese, Greece's cheese superstar, is made from a combination of sheep and goats milk. Kefalotiri cheese has the same origins but it's a harder, more dense cheese that doesn't melt.

What a great way for homeschooling moms to combine studies on country, culture, geography, science, language and have a tasty lunch! 

πόσο νόστιμα!

Cheese-ism of the Day, Color Your World with Words

Out of the Cambridge dictionary comes a briticism: to be like chalk and cheese. Use this phrase to describe when two things are completely different or unlike the other ( 
For example:  My mother and I are like chalk and cheese.
To eat chalk would be quite a different matter than eating cheese. Chalk is dry, powdery, pasty, tasteless, inedible. Cheese, on the other hand (especially good cheese), is rich, buttery, creamy, densely-flavoured and a pleasure for the palate. One you want to immediately spit out, the other you can't get enough of.

There you have it... The cheese expression for the day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Everybody Loves Cheese; Everybody Loves Wine"

Experiencing a cultural rennaisance, upper Michigan can proudly boast of a new recreation, gastronomic and shopping destination for mid-westerners. What was formerly known as the Northern Michigan Asylum has undergone a massive renovation and now the centuries-old Victorian-Italinate buildings sprawling some 63 wooded acres is home to some of the most chic retail shops, restaurants and condos in the Great Lakes region, called The Village at Traverse Commons in Traverse, Michigan.

Fitting in nicely with the European feel of the architecture is the Old World-style restaurant, Tastes of Black Star Farms, offering authentic Swiss raclette and award-winning wines from Black Star Farms Winery.

Local Leelanau Cheese Company supplies the raclette cheese for their Matterhorn Grill Dinners, which provide the perfect backdrop to accompany the highly-prized local wines.

"Everybody loves cheese, everybody loves wine," as tasting manager Kevin Culloty so accurately sums up. For a little taste of some classic Old World tradition, head on up to The Village at Traverse Commons.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Need a New "American Cheese"

How lazy have we become if we can’t get the grater out of the drawer and shred a little cheese? (Source: The Sun Herald)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cheese-Flavored Bubblegum Proudly Made in USA

The United States' penchant for experimentation sometimes results in great innovation... and sometimes, not. In this case, perhaps not.

To be fair, I haven't tried the string-cheese, bubble-blowing wonder yet-- but how could this flavor be anything but a great April Fool's joke or gag or perhaps, a White Elephant gift? (read a bit more here.)

Americans love cheese, and their rising fascination with the dairy miracle sometimes overtakes their sensibilities. In any case, we thank you Wisconsin cheesemaker Roger Krohn, for expanding and affirming our cheese obsession.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rachel Ray's Advice on Freezing Cheese

When it comes to Italian cheeses, which cheeses are best to freeze? Well, according to our favorite Italian homecooking goddess Rachel Ray the answer would be, "None."

Some cheeses do freeze better than others. Ricotta, for example and other soft-ripened, semi-soft cheeses do not freeze well at all.

Cheddar, on the other hand, can be frozen and used for recipes requiring the cheese to melt but you sacrifice some of the creamy rich flavor in the freeze-dried process. When I lived overseas, in fact, it was cheaper to buy the huge block of cheese, take it home, cut off smaller blocks, wrap them up and freeze what wasn't needed immediately. This rendered the delicate cheese crumbly to eat it plain (such a shame since it was fine cheddar from Holland), but worked fine to cook with. But the macaroni and cheese made from the freshly cut cheese always tasted better than when made with the thawed-out version.

In general Rachel's advice is to buy cheese for what you need for the week, with the exceptions of Parmigiano Reggiano or a Pecorino Romano which keeps for weeks in the fridge and she considers staples in her food pantry.

In other words, don't go out and buy the whole wheel. Just get the amount of cheese you need for your week.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

This Year, Express Mother's Day Love with Taste

The perfect Mother's Day present... a fully customized, gorgeously printed, professionally designed cookbook that you create yourself. TasteBook is offering Free Shipping until April 27, 2010 when you purchase two custom cookbooks: one for mom and one for you!

Starting at $19.95, you can choose from a vast library of all the best recipes. I can't think of a more perfect gift for mom!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Win a Cheese Party Catered by President(R)

Savvy consumers are spending less money on eating out, but enjoying the luxuries of good food, like, wine and cheese, nontheless.
Cheese is playing an increasingly larger role in this phenomenon. According to IRI data from a new Packaged Facts report, "Natural and Specialty Cheeses: The U.S. Market and a Global Perspective," consumers are buying more cheese at both "value" and premium levels, in part because of the continuing trend for more people eating at home (source:
President Cheese is taking the lead, showing how the dairy delight can make for a relaxed, enjoyable social evening by offering a Cheese Party Sweepstakes. Enter here for your chance to win and sample a wide range of speciality cheeses by a world-renowned cheesemaker.

Lincolnshire, England Innovating Wedding Cakes

Planning for a wedding this summer, or later in the year? Consider this new fad in cheese and weddings. In Lincolnshire, England the traditional wedding cake has taken on new meaning and substance. Instead of flour, eggs and sugar, statuesque rounds of cheese take the shape of wedding cakes these days.

Not only gorgeous in its presentation, cheese serves dual purposes in that it serves either as hor d'oeurve, or, a main part of the banquet. Little else is needed to accompany such a luscious "cake". Perhaps some bread, and a few varieties of fruit pesto on the side, like quince paste, will not only satisfy guests but also pique curiosities and start conversations. Labels with the various "layers" and types of cheese will captivate your guests, and provide a bit of memorable entertainment as well.

Cheese wedding cakes are surprisingly more affordable than a standard wedding cake, priced at £275 rather a more likely £400 for the standard sugary fare. The Lincoln's Cheese Society will adorn your cheesecake according to your fancy. (Source:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wholesome and Delicious on a Budget: Cheese Potato Mash Recipe

One of those ultimate comfort foods especially in the United Kingdom, Cheese and Potato Pie is to the British what Macaroni and Cheese is to Americans. And, after reading about it I can see why-- easy to make, wholesome, warm and satisfying.

8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons of milk
2 tablespoons of butter
175 grams of grated aged cheese (1 1/2 cups*)

1. Wash, peel, dice potatoes and onion.
2. Boil both potatoes and onions in salted water until potatoes are tender.
3. Drain, and mash together with milk and butter.
4. Gradually add the grated cheese, reserving a handful for the top.
4. Spoon mash in greased baking dish and top with remaining grated cheese.
5. Garnish with sliced tomatoes (optional).
6. Bake until cheese is golden brown.

*The Gourmet Sleuth has an excellent conversion tool for cooking.

To look at a stunning photo of this wondrous creation go here.

Any strong, maturely-flavored cheese will work well in this recipe. Try a Raclette, Gruyere, a bleu, a Gran Padano and see which you like best. But if what you got is mild cheddar, do that!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not Chocolate, But Eggs Made Out of Cheese

 The UK's Asda supermarket chain, in a stoke of genius, have come up with an entirely new Easter gift idea:  waxed eggs made of cheese.
"Asda's cheese buyer Alex Bradbury commissioned eggs from producer Norseland, made from Wensleydale cheese with cranberries, caramel and organic maple syrup."
 The new Easter cheese eggs sell for £1 for each 100g egg as stated in the supermarket industry's online publication International Supermarket News.