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Posts Tagged ‘cheese pairings’

Spoonwood Cabin Creamery

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. (more…)

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Ekiola Sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains

Ekiola Sheep in the Pyrénées Mountains

A trip through the French Basque country is one of distinct sights, scents, and flavors. Rolling hills of green pastures are punctuated by craggy mountain peaks and deep valleys, and sheep are everywhere! When Ihsan, Valerie and I traveled through the area in the fall, we tasted a huge array of sheep milk cheeses and an assortment of intense but beautiful wines. Here, we’re featuring a few of our favorite tastes: Ardi Gasnas from Fromagerie Pardou and Ekiola, and a killer red wine from Domaine Ilarria of Irouléguy. Ardi Gasna (or gazna) is Basque for “sheep cheese,” and these smooth, rich sheep cheeses are a specialty in the Pyrénées mountains.

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Three Domestic Honeys - Ames Buckwheat, Smiley Tupelo and Hawaiian Winter

L-R in back: Ames Buckwheat, Hawaiian Winter and Smiley’s Tupelo. In front is an open, mini jar of the Ames Buckwheat honey.

Although we are known for having a vast international honey selection at the shop, I think that this year’s selection of domestic honey particularly stands out. Over the years, I have gotten to know our domestic honey producers quite well and, while the stories behind their passions are different, they each strive to produce beautiful, unique and delicious honey. Here are a few that will knock your socks off! (more…)

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In 75 A.D. the Romans picked a nice spot in what is today southern Wales to build a fort or caer. A few hundred years later Saint Cenydd entrusted the monastery he started there to his son Ffilli, and thus was born the beginnings of the town of Caerphilly. (more…)

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Before the advent of modern brewing, the traditional German brewing season would finish in March just as the temperatures got high enough to create uncertainty in the brewing process. Because these beers (known as Märzenbier) would be cellared through the summer, they needed to be heartier brews that could hold up until the next brewing season began in September. These malty, robust lagers with their deep copper color and higher alcohol content are traditionally enjoyed during Oktoberfest in the final month before the new brews arrive.

Today, Oktoberfest is a massive party with 6 million people enjoying 7 million liters of beer over the span of 16 days. Despite the lure of such a gathering, we prefer to stay States-side and enjoy our beer buyer Eric’s selection of special seasonal beers available in our stores from September through October.

Our Favorite Oktober Fest Beers

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Cabot Clothbound cheddar and heirloom applesSpring may be the season of rebirth, but we can’t help a similar feeling of renewal when September rolls around: new season, new school year, cooler temperatures (at least in the northeast). Autumn is also the time to celebrate the harvest – particularly the new batch of apples, that most emblematic of fall crops. Fresh or preserved, apples are a simple and versatile addition to any cheese plate. (more…)

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Membrillo, quince paste, cotognata, marmeladaIf you love cheese, you’ve likely come across the sweet, tangy condiment called membrillo. Membrillo is the Spanish word for the quince fruit and is commonly used to refer to the sweet quince paste also known as cotognata in Italian and marmelada in Portuguese. Even though recipes vary, quince and sugar — cooked to a thick consistency, molded and cooled — are the primary ingredients. The resulting quince paste is a traditional accompaniment to many cheeses including the famous Manchego.

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