April 6, 2011

TASTES: Le Zephyr

By Kara and Erica

Preface: In this video, we lied. Canada and the U.S. have the same laws w.r.t. raw milk cheese. In both countries, raw milk cheeses must be aged at least 60 days.


September 27, 2010

LINKS: The Great British Cheese Festival

By Erica

Why are the British so much more awesome than us when it comes to cheese? It seems like we import all great cheese news from England. Here some more!

The Great British Cheese Festival of 2010 happened last week at Cardiff Castle. It involved lots of sampling, making and rolling. There's a nice slide show of the event over at The Guardian.

Maybe one day Madison will have an event as cool as this. Or maybe Kara and I could plan one....

September 17, 2010

LINKS: What will YOU do for National Cheeseburger Day?

By Erica

Tomorrow, September 18th, is National Cheeseburger Day! ...maybe. According to a website dedicated to holidays, there is no documented origin for this day, nor is it technically an official National holiday. But I don't care!

The cheeseburger was supposedly invented between 1924 and 1926 when a homeless man told chef Lionel Sternberger to put a slice of cheese on his burger. Sternberger then put "cheeseburger" on his menu, and the rest is history. According to a recent survey, 44% of Americans prefer American Cheese on their burgers, while 38% prefer Cheddar cheese.

Happy (unofficial) Cheeseburger Day!

September 15, 2010

TASTES: Edelweiss Swiss

Here's another C:AJ tasting from the vault. It's a swiss cheese that we did not like. To quote myself, "it tastes like dirt." I'll let you watch the vid (below) to find out the whole story.

This tasting also resulted in some of our finest cheese photography:

I hope you enjoy watching the tasting more than we enjoyed eating the cheese!

September 10, 2010

LINKS: The Most Expensive Cheese Sandwich

By Erica

At the Frome Cheese show in England, chef Martin Blunos (above) announced his latest creation: a cheese sandwich that costs £111! That's about $171.50 for us Americans. The large cost comes from the addition of white truffle cheddar cheese (although flecks of gold add a few unnecessary pounds, too). Cheese sandwiches are all the rage in England, apparently, and Blunos is applying to the Guiness Book of World Records to get his pricey sandwich officially on the books.

Here's a full list of the ingredients (with their prices):

Black tomato – £1.51
Balsamic vinegar – £2.25
Pea shoots – 60p
Red mustard frill – 55p
Red amaranth – 55p
Two fresh figs – 1.36p
Apple – 34p
Sourdough loaf – £5
Extra virgin olive oil – £1.60
Quail eggs – £1.53
Edible gold dust – £3.30
West Country vintage farmhouse cheddar blended with white truffle – £92

September 9, 2010

LINKS: British Cheese Awards

By Kara

It was judgment day for British cheesemongerers. The 17th annual British Cheese Awards - known, apparently, as "the 'Oscars' of the cheese world" - began today in Kingham, Oxfordshire. (Can you imagine a more aptly-name venue for this sort of event?)

According to The Cheese Web, "In 16 years the number of British cheesemakers has more than doubled and there are now over 600 unique British cheeses made from cow, goat, ewe and even buffalo milk."

Categories include "Best English (Patrick Rance Trophy)," "Best Welsh (Douglas Campbell Trophy)," "Best Scottish," and "Best Irish (Eugene Burns Trophy)" - the best Scotts are apparently anonymous. Personally, I'm interested to see the results for "Cheese Person of the Year" (is this the British equivalent of "Miss Congeniality"?), and to learn more about the difference between "Best Modern British Cheese" and "Best Traditional British Cheese."

Judging will continue on Friday, September 24th - "Trade Day" - where judges will turn their attention to cheese exports for the first time in the history of the awards. That is also the day that the winners in all categories will be revealed - so check back then!

September 7, 2010

RECIPES: Apple Pie with Cheese Crust

This weekend, C:AJ had a potluck to go to, and we decided to bring a pie. Not a regular pie, though-- a CHEESEY pie.

As we've talked about before on this blog, cheese and apple pie are a common pair. In fact, many restaurants in Wisconsin, including The Old Fashioned on the square in Madison, serve their apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese. The pie that we made got a bit more fancy than that and incorporated cheese into the crust.

For those of you who want to try this out, remember that when you're making a pie crust, try to handle the dough as little as possible and only add enough water to just keep the dough together. Also, using half shortening and half butter is important for the perfect combo of flakiness and deliciousness, so don't substitute! One last tip: you can roll the crust out between two pieces of wax/parchment paper, which is much less messy and easier than flouring the surface of a table.

Here's the recipe (directly from epicurious) and some pictures of the pie in progress!

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 tablespoons chilled pure vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup (firmly packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water

1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 6- to 7-ounce Jonathan, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced

For crust:
Place flour, sugar, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter and shortening. Using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles fine meal. Add cheese; mix in using 4 on/off turns. Transfer dry ingredients to large bowl. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons water over. Using fork, toss until moist clumps form, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
For filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix sugar and cornstarch in large bowl. Mix in apples, lemon juice, and salt.
Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish; brush overhang with water. Transfer filling to dough-lined dish; dot with butter. Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Place dough atop filling. Press overhang of bottom and top dough pieces together to seal. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang under; crimp decoratively, forming high-standing rim. Cut several small slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.
Bake pie until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cover crust edge with foil. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake pie until filling bubbles thickly in center, about 30 minutes. Cool pie on rack 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

P.S. The pie was a hit!