Reuilly is a wine growing appellation in the eastern Loire Valley, not far from Sancerre. The three main grapes grown there are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and a tiny amount of Pinot Gris (also known as Pinot Grigio). Pinot Gris is a sub-clone of Pinot Noir that has a very pale, blueish-grey skin. Much of the soil in Reuilly consists of Kimmeridgian marl, a type of limestone perfect for the production of aromatic, delicate wines.
Domaine de Reuilly is a 17 hectare organic estate in the heart of this commune. Denis Jamain’s grandfather first planted vines here in 1935, when he also purchased a small parcel in the local forest. Denis has been managing the estate since 1990 and has the luck of being able to select oak trees from his grandfather’s forest to be made into barrels for aging his own wines! Continue Reading »
Posted in France, Wine | Tagged jamain, Loire Valley, pinot gris, reuilly, rosé, summer, Wine | Leave a Comment »
Pot stickers, shumai, mandu, momos, pierogi, tortelli, ravioli, even tamales – dumplings come in lots of different shapes and sizes, all of them delicious. That’s why I was so excited this spring when we hosted Karen Akunowicz, executive chef at Myers + Chang, to talk about the art of crafting the perfect dumpling here in the Formaggio Kitchen classroom. Continue Reading »
Posted in Classes | Tagged classes, dumplings, food education, Karen Akunowicz, mandu, momos, Myers + Chang, pierogi, pot stickers, ravioli, shumai, tamales, tortelli | Leave a Comment »
Last fall, I had the opportunity to travel to the Jura with Ihsan and Valerie, owners of the Formaggio Kitchen shops, and visit Fromageries Marcel Petite, affineur (or ager) of Comté cheese.
All cheesemongers on our counters hear a tremendous amount about Fort Saint Antoine where Marcel Petite ages their finest wheels – it is a storied and highly respected place for us – where Philippe Goux, General Manager, and Claude Querry, Chef de Cave, bring wheels of this extraordinary mountain cheese to its full potential. Here are a few photos from my first visit – a very special experience for me as a cheesemonger and cheese lover. (please click on one of the photos to open the slideshow)
Entrance to the Fort – Few moments have impressed me as much as when I saw the entrance to the Fort. Unidentifiable from the other side of the peak, the structure, and the history of this facility is amazing – having heard so much about it, to be there myself was an extraordinary feeling.
Looking Up – The caves at the Fort are vast and beautiful. This cave is one of many and by far the largest.
Mark the Spot – A variety of symbols and initials are found on the Comté rinds. Each time a sample is taken from a wheel, a memo is left in its place. Though these symbols serve a purpose, they are also artful both in appearance, and in the movements the men take to scratch them into the rinds.
Claude’s Art – It is difficult to recall a time when I have seen someone so intensely focused on the specific moment he or she is in. Claude, the Chef de Cave at the Fort is so intense and passionate about his job, it is astounding. Here, he smells his core sample before tasting it, and then passing it around for us to try and discuss.
Mutual Respect – Seeing Ihsan and Valerie interact with their lifelong friends and colleagues made me truly appreciate the grand nature of what we do here at Formaggio Kitchen. The men and women we interacted with throughout the course of our trip absolutely adored Ihsan and Valerie. The mutual respect found in these relationships, particularly in the Jura, is wonderfully endearing, humbling, and also empowering.
Inside the Fort – A more cavernous aging room. Each room has a different humidity level and temperature to maximize the flavor of each cheese.
Remnants of Soldiers – I am unsure how anyone ever found these writing, as the hallway was pitch black, but these are the scribblings of soldiers who lived here well before the cheeses did.
The Business of Wine – Business does not happen unless there is wine! Here, we discuss our order over exquisite wines Philippe, General Manager of Marcel Petite, and Ihsan’s dear friend, has chosen for us.
Fleurie – Philippe and his wife, Christine, welcomed us, as they have so many mongers before us, into their home for a beautiful meal and wonderful conversation about Comté, France, wine and their dog Fleurie!
Meredith Rottersmann is the General Manager and Classroom Coordinator at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.
Posted in Cheese, France, Travelogues | Tagged Cheese, Claude Querry, Comté, Fromageries Marcel Petite, Ihsan Gurdal, Jura, Philippe Goux, Valerie Gurdal | 2 Comments »
Big Orange Tomatoes – Red Fire Farm
Spring has finally snuck back into town and I am getting excited about the local, organic produce that will soon be gracing our shelves! On one especially stunning Monday morning, I had the chance to chat with Max Jiusto, the Harvest Manager at Red Fire Farm‘s Montague, MA location (they also have land in Granby, MA).
So what about this winter? Max explained that the extension of winter that we have all been bemoaning set Red Fire back about two weeks in their planting schedule. Even when the top layer of soil started to thaw, the lower layers remained frozen, so water couldn’t drain down into the ground and would just pool in the fields, making planting impossible. They started the plants in the greenhouse at the normal time, however, so even though they will be going into the ground about two weeks late, Max is hopeful that with a little cooperation from the weather, the plants will be able to catch up in their growth and end up maturing right on schedule. Continue Reading »
Posted in Local, Produce, Producer Profile | Tagged food, Granby, heirloom, heirloom varieties, Jerusalem artichokes, local produce, MA, Montague, organic, organic farming, organic produce, Produce, Red Fire Farm, tomatoes | Leave a Comment »
For the past few years, Gobelsburger Cistercian Rosé has been one of our bestselling, most loved rosés, and a consistent favorite at staff tastings. This past weekend, my neighbors and I shared our first bottle of the new 2013 vintage at the end of a long, humid day. The cramped apartment was hot and the kids were sticky and grumpy, but as soon as we tasted that cool, crisp wine we all sighed and relaxed into our seats. It didn’t hurt that on the first pour there was a bright little bit of effervescence to perk up tired taste buds! Continue Reading »
Posted in Wine | Tagged 2013, 2013 rosé, Austria, Austrian wine, Cistercian, Cistercian Rosé, Gobelsburg, Gobelsburger, Michael Moosbrugger, rosé, Wine | Leave a Comment »
As those of you have been by our South End store during the past few weeks may have noticed, despite the slow drag as spring gradually gains ground in the battle to wrest our weather from winter’s claws, we have been fortunate to have a bit of sunshine gracing our shelves. This sunshine comes in the form of produce from the small, organic farms we work with in California. Continue Reading »
Posted in Produce, United States | Tagged blood oranges, California produce, citrus, Golden Nugget, kumquat, kumquats, organic produce, peel, pith, Produce, seasonal produce, tangerines | 2 Comments »
A big welcome to the newest cheesemaker on our wall – Spoonwood Cabin Creamery! Spoonwood is a teeny-tiny 1,000 square foot “nano-creamery” in the town of Jacksonville, Vermont, 25 minutes west of Brattleboro – it is owned by Nancy Bergman and Kyle Frey. The name “Spoonwood” refers to the common name for the Mountain Laurel, which is prevalent in the region. Continue Reading »
Posted in Cheese, Producer Profile | Tagged Cafe Luxembourg, Casellula, Cheese, cheese pairing, cheese pairings, food, Jacksonville, Kyle Frey, Nancy Bergman, organic cheese, Saint-Marcellin, Spoonwood Cabin Creamery, St. Em, St. Marcellin, Vermont | 1 Comment »