Skip to content

Happy Father’s Day To Me!

June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!The day has finally arrived.  After several months on hiatus from cheesemaking, I have been given the perfect opportunity.  My wife and daughter (4 month old Nora) took me on a bit of an excursion yesterday.  The secret destination kept me guessing throughout our trip in the car until we finally arrived at a small farm in eastern Long Island.  When I turned to wife wondering what we were doing on a farm in the middle of wine country, I saw a sign on the barn door indicating the spot for raw milk pick up…

I have made cheese a few times with raw milk, but I have never had a reliable and consistent source to draw from.  This was a HUGE surprise!  I began to run through styles in my head, leading me to my lack of supplies back at home.  Turns out that all of my cultures, rennet, cheese cloth, and a new thermometer were waiting at home…  She thought if everything.  Nothing to do but make a style decision, brush off my notes, and take the plunge.

Cannot wait.  More to come…

“Margie” from Sprout Creek Farm

June 5, 2013

Margie #2 This review will mark a brief hiatus from my cheese review posts for a while.  Now that we are in a house with a great deal more space, I can begin to explore my foray back into cheesemaking and aging.  I will still write about cheese, and will still keep up my cork report obligations, but I want to get back to the “hands on” aspect of this.  It has been way too long…  I miss it.

While visiting my in-laws a couple of weeks ago, I came across the latest offering from Sprout Creek: A cheese by the name of Margie.  This cheese won “best in class” at the United States Cheese Championship this past year, and has made the rounds in the Hudson Valley as an exciting new offering from head cheesemaker, Colin  McGrath.

You can read the rest of my post here.

Mother’s Day Cheese Board

May 14, 2013

Mother's Day Cheese BoardQuick Picture of the cheese board we had for my wife’s first Mother’s Day.

Cheeses on the board:

Willoughby and Landaff – Jasper Hill

Humboldt Fog – Cypress Grove

Margie – Sprout Creek.

More on these cheeses later…

“Blackbert” from R&G Cheesemakers

April 11, 2013

BlackbertWell hello there…we meet again…

It has been a while since my last post.  A LONG while if you want to get technical.  A lot has happened in the past year.  Moving and buying a house, becoming a father…  Although I have been away, I have missed this blog, missed writing, and missed making cheese.

The plan is to end that trend starting now.  I ran a guided beer and cheese tasting event a couple of weekends ago, and used that as a catalyst to kick-start my return.

A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of conducting a beer and cheese pairing workshop at Empire State Cellars.  This occasion marked a fresh start back in the cheese world as my past year was a chaotic whirlwind of buying a house and becoming a father.  Although I had certainly consumed plenty of cheese during my time off from NYCR and other cheese-related activities, this was my first opportunity in a while to lead a group of people through a guided cheese and beer tasting with New York cheeses and Port Jeff Brewing Company.

Expect future cheese reviews and stories.  Expect future cheesemaking experimentation.  Expect more content in this space, as well as at the NYCR.

You can read the rest of my “Blackbert” post here.

Goodale Farms

May 3, 2012

There is a new cheesemaker out on Long Island that I have read about for the past year.  Goodale Farms has generated quite a bit of buzz in the local community of Aquebogue, NY, due to the awards that they won at the American Dairy Goat Association’s 2011 national convention.  I haven’t had a chance to visit the farm as of yet, but I was finally able to get my hands on some of their cheese from the Village Cheese Shop out in Mattituck, NY.

Goodale Farms in Aquebogue places a strong emphasis on milk quality and the natural farming practices required to support it.  They don’t use pesticides and the fertilizer is primarily made of compost mixed with manure from their own animals.  Practices such as this are incredibly demanding, but the results outweigh the effort for most who are dedicated to sustainable farming.

In addition to award-winning cheese, the farm also sells a variety of products from their land such as fruit, vegetables, and other dairy products.

You can read the rest of my post for the NYCR here.

Cheese Counter Overrun

May 1, 2012

When is too much choice detrimental to the overall quality?  I find it hard to believe that the mongers here have the time and wherewithal to take care of all this cheeses.  And that isn’t counting what is not shown in this picture…

Cheese Pairing Event at Peconic Bay

April 5, 2012

Time to dust the cheese mites off this site and get back to work…

I was emcee for a cheese tasting event for Peconic Bay Wineryout on Long Island where I helped lead a controlled tasting, while leading discussions alongside a panel of experts from the fields of beer/wine/cheese.

As a cheese geek I am continually preoccupied with the age-old question that plagues the majority of the cheese obsessed here in New York and elsewhere:  “What makes the better cheese pairing?  Wine or Beer?”  I am clearly not alone in this as a sold-out crowd was on hand at the Artisanal Cheese wine and beer pairing event this past weekend, hosted by Peconic Bay Winery.  Working with The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck, and Greenport Harbor Brewing, the staff at Peconic Bay chose four cheeses and subsequently paired them with complementary beer and wine. It was a pretty perfect setup. Each taster was given the opportunity to taste in a controlled setting with the winemaker, brewmaster, and cheesemonger on hand to answer any related questions.

You can read the rest of my post here.

NY Cork Report Cheeseboard

February 9, 2012

This weekend marks the annual “Wine of the Year” event at the NY Cork Report.  The regional wine, beer (and cheese) editors come from far and wide to blindly taste the nominations made in each category.  It’s always good to get together with other like-minded people to eat, drink, and share.

I don’t submit any nominations or categories for NY cheese of the year.  It doesn’t seem to fit in this instance.  Cheesemakers constantly tweak their recipes from year to year depending on the season, the quality of the milk, etc… A particular growing season has a profound affect on wine, but doesn’t really apply in the cheese world.  In my opinion.  Some may disagree, and I welcome the discourse, but it doesn’t seem to fit in this case.

So rather than select a single cheese at the exclusion of others, I use this weekend to introduce the others to some cheeses and makers that they aren’t familiar with.  I will have some additional posts based on the weekend, as well as the reaction to the cheeses from the pic.

See anything you recognize?

C’est Cheese

January 23, 2012

It has been a while since I have posted anything more from lack of time than anything else.  I aim to change that in 2012 as best I can.  Cheese is still a big part of my life, regardless if I have devoted time to write about it or not.  My plans for the early part of this year include more blogging, a return to cheesemaking, and farm visits once again.

In order to kick off this year, I visited a shop on Long Island just minutes away from our friend’s house where we were visiting.

Artisanal cheese has made its way to the forefront of the local food movement. Farmstead cheesemakers elevate the milk from their farms, and the rock star cheesemonger expounds upon the history, the background, and unique qualities of that particular cheese. So what is the best way to accomplish this?

Specialty cheese shops are all over New York City and surrounding areas to bring a piece of the farm to your table, but is that enough to distinguish one shop from another? If the quality of the product is essentially the same across the board, and the level of care is (in a good shop) similar as well, then what sets one shop apart from another?

You can read the rest of my post here.

Your Ultimate Guide to Pairing Beer and Cheese

December 2, 2011

I am at my happiest when I have wedge of cheese and cool beer in hand.  For my money, this pairing speaks to me above and beyond the classic wine and cheese.  I realize that this classic pairing is romanticized as the end all be all, but beer and cheese is where it is at people.

Some say the best match for cheese is wine. We say those people are probably the ones who thought Buttercup should’ve stuck with Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride.

Beer and cheese is where it’s at, folks and with the holidays approaching, you may want to treat your guests and family to this killer combination. But pairing is always a challenge, and you may be asking yourselves, “But doesn’t all beer go with all cheese? Aren’t they both delicious and snackable? Why should I care about specific pairings?”

As your friendly Cork Report beer and cheese editors, we are here to demonstrate the awesome power of a fantastic beer and cheese match with a list of must-try ideas. Julia’s well versed in the classic beer and cheese matchups, but with Aaron’s off-the-hook cheese expertise are are also able to suggest more adventurous matches too. Of course, we list New York examples of all beers and mostly New York cheeses, though we did include a few out-of-state cheeses for educational purposes and diversity’s sake.

Here is the rest of this jointly written post for the NYCR: Your Ultimate Guide to Pairing Beer and Cheese

%d bloggers like this: