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Archive for the ‘Cheese’ Category

Toasted Orzo Parmigiano Reggiano Mac and Cheese

A couple of months ago, I had the good fortune to have a late afternoon lunch at B&G Oysters in the South End. With a natural affinity for all things dairy and, in particular, for a good mac and cheese, I ordered the orzo from their list of “sides” to go with my lobster roll.

It arrived in a small ceramic dish, hot from the oven. I pierced the crumb topping with my spoon and scooped up a bite. A little puzzled because there were some darker colored bits in amongst the cheesy creaminess, I thought that there was a little prosciutto surprise in there. (more…)

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Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (note the batch date at right)

Every two months or so, Tripp, our domestic cheese buyer in Cambridge, and I, domestic cheese buyer for our South End location, drive up to Greensboro, Vermont and visit with our friends at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. The purpose of these trips is primarily to select new wheels of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.

Artisan cheeses, like Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, tend to differ slightly from one batch to another – even wheels made one day apart and aged under the same conditions, can be surprisingly different. These variations can be attributed to the season, to changes in the weather and to what the cows might have munched on the day they were milked. I like to think of it as a sort of time capsule, a way of capturing a moment of the farm’s existence in time. (more…)

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Lake's Edge - Blue Ledge Farm

Lake’s Edge – Blue Ledge Farm

Celebrate Independence Day with a cheese plate that is “Made in the USA!” Tripp, domestic cheese buyer in our Cambridge shop, is recommending four cheeses for this July 4th (“four for the fourth!”). All of the cheeses hail from Vermont and represent varying textures, styles and milk types. Whether you try one or all of these cheeses, we think you’ll be as impressed with what is happening on the American cheese scene as we are! (more…)

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Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud

Not long ago, a fellow cheesemonger and I were talking about the way we describe food – specifically, in selling cheese to our customers. “Like ‘nutty,’” she said. “Nuts really have nothing to do with the production of cheese.”

Why do I think of the flavor of sesame seeds when I taste Moses Sleeper, from Jasper Hill Farm, in Vermont? Why Brazil nuts with a recent Taleggio or pistachio when tasting Caprotto? Why do we describe specific tastes, or hints of taste, with things that are most certainly uncheese-like? Because these metaphors help people understand what to expect from a cheese. (more…)

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Spring Brook Farm Cheeses - Reading and Tarentaise

Spring Brook Farm Cheeses – Reading (L) and Tarentaise (R – progressing in age from the youngest, to the Reserve)

At the end of March, Jeremy Stephenson, head cheesemaker at Spring Brook Farm in Vermont, visited our Cambridge shop. He led a staff tasting on the Friday evening, sampled out to customers on Saturday and, along with several other amazing domestic cheese and beer producers, taught a class that afternoon. It was a busy weekend! (more…)

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Grazing GoatTraditionally, spring is a time of the year when farms pause in their milking cycle so that newly-arrived, baby animals get the milk they need to start a healthy life. In late spring to early summer, milking for the purpose of cheesemaking resumes, and our shops start to receive an abundance of delicious, fresh and lightly-aged cheeses. This is a wonderful time of year to taste the best of seasonal cheese both locally and from afar. (more…)

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Stan Biasini and Brad at Mt. Mansfield Creamery

L-R: Stan Biasini and Brad

I recently had the great fortune to visit with Stan Biasini and his family at Mt. Mansfield Creamery in Morristown, Vermont. I arrived bright and early, just as Stan was pooling the milk from the morning milking into a heating vat to begin making his cheese: Inspiration. Here at the shop, we only began carrying Inspiration this year – it is a washed-rind cow milk cheese based on a Corsican recipe and has quickly become a staff favorite. (more…)

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Grilled Cheese: Comté and Fieschi's Confettura di Cipolline Borretane

Grilled Cheese: Comté and Fieschi’s Confettura di Cipolline Borretane

Grilled cheese sandwiches are classic American fare. Many of us associate this archetypal melty sandwich with childhood and/or with camping trips. I recall one particularly memorable camping trip when, after a hard day of canoeing, we finally reached our camp site. Situated on a beautiful Maine lake, the spot was picturesque and well-poised for swimming. We were hungry when we arrived but absolutely famished by the time we got camp set up. First thing on the agenda? Dinner. We made grilled cheese and tomato soup and, boy, did it taste like the best thing ever! That was the day when I became a firm believer in the saying, “hunger is the best sauce.” However, our enjoyment was also, undoubtedly, due to the inherent deliciousness of grilled cheese itself and the classic pairing with tomato soup. (more…)

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Julie’s freshly linked Italian sauasges.

I first joined Formaggio Kitchen as an assistant to Julie, our charcutière. As she taught me to make the shop’s range of sausages, pâté, and other cured meats, she talked a lot about sourcing—what she buys from farms in Connecticut, the turnaround time needed for an order of rabbit from Vermont, the best uses for bellies from Massachusetts-raised Berkshire hogs, and the like. For Julie, small, local farms are a natural and non-negotiable part of her work. (more…)

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Goat KidFor many, Easter and Passover confirm that spring has truly arrived. Here at the shop, spring means we can prop the front doors open, visit more local farms and it means an increase in our supply of fresh goat milk cheeses. Spring is kidding season at many of the farms we work with and involves some seriously hard work. It is also some of the most enjoyable to witness. Personally, we’ve been caught watching this video several times. Taken at Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont at the start of the season, baby goats never lose their charm! (more…)

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