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    looking out on the Atlantic

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  1. Vento d'Estate literally means "wind of summer". The cheesemaker was supposedly walking in the countryside in early summer when the air was full of the smell of cut hay. He was inspired to create a cheese to capture the experience...and voila!
  2. Amen to that, Brother! On the other hand, my balance between fat-free and then occasional great cheese has resulted in a 20 lb weight loss over the last year. Not too painful, and the real thing is a great reward. Lindsay - are you saying that your new hubby made you buy a mini-fridge just for your smelly cheese? I think that is hilarious! I agree about Pastoral - great shop and great guys.
  3. Dave, I'm also really sorry to hear about your health problems - you are our lifeline to French cheeses! I am a Rubenesque woman who has always had to monitor what I most love to eat. I also follow a routine much like Katie's below. Because I cannot stop eating cheese, I generally use fat-free cheese (this may not even be an option in France) as my regular cheese. Kraft makes FF shreds of mozz and ched that are palatable and melt when heated. I am not suggesting that this is a substitute for real cheese - it is just a way to have the flavor of cheese when y can't eat cheese. Then, once every 2 weeks or so, I too have some tastes of the real deal and choose them wisely. My cheesemonger sells me very small (1-2 oz) cuts of a couple of great cheeses and I take them home and savor them. I do also have to taste and eat cheese as part of my job, and I try to just have one small piece when I am called upon to do so. Cheese is absolutely my favorite food and I could never totally abstain, so this is the best solution I can come up with. Good luck - let us know how you are doing...
  4. Agreed - Winnemere is a delicious cheese, with big flavors! Tell yr spouse to put a clothespin on his nose while you enjoy your treasures - life is too short to not eat smelly cheese. Plus, did you find out the identity of the mystery cheese?
  5. Cowgirl cheeses rock! Most WF stores will carry at least the Mt. Tam and the Red Hawk. I was visiting San Francisco last week and made the obligatory stop at their cheese shop in the Ferry Terminal Bldg. It is one of the nicest cheese shops I know.
  6. Re:all the Vt cheesemakers Thanks for the recap - good to use for next trip to Vt. I LOVE the Tarentaise - it is a beautiful cheese. I once served it to a bunch of French people, who tend to look down their noses at American cheeses - they were very impressed.
  7. Yes, it is certainly pasteurized - I don't know much about it either. It is a likable cheese and probably mass-produced. Try to find Delice de Bourgogne - it is also a commerical cheese in that same, soft-ripened style, but I think it is more flavorful.
  8. http://www.montchevre.com/products/darsonval.html I am an idiot and can't copy pix, but look at this cheese and see if it is close. Congrats on your marriage, LindsayAnn!
  9. If it looks sort of like pix that Rossy posted, it could be a domestic washed-rind goat made in Wisconsin named Darsonval. Was the paste white like that, and it was cut from a bigger wheel? That's one of my pet peeves about chain supermarket cheese depts - they do not believe that it is important to have staff behind the counter. They just cut & wrap and leave it be. How are you - weren't you getting married? Hope you served cheese!
  10. While I"ll admit she's pretty, she's about the only cheese I just do not like....she can be mean and nasty, like she's got a chip on her shoulder and always has to prove how tough she is. I'll take her nicer cousin Valdeon any day of the week.
  11. Is the Mindoro blue from Australia? I can't quite place it, but remember the name. Pls tell us how you made the membrillo....from fresh quince?
  12. Can I come and look out on the Atlantic with you? Cheese platter between us of course. I'll even bring the wine. ←
  13. That's because you speak French!
  14. What a bluey blue piece of Stilton, Dave! Still no camera, but here's what I am serving at my New Year's gathering tonite: Chevre Noir - wonderful goat ched from Canada and I got it at Costco! Roquefort La Serena - Spanish sheep's milk, sometimes gets very soft and spoonable, but this wheel, while delicious, stayed fairly firm Comte Cabot cloth-wrap ched - if you see this anywhere, but it. It is a special reserve ched, aged in a cave in Vt, and really great. It won Best of Show at the American Cheese Society last year. Lastly, I am going to make bruschetta w/halloumi - smear the bread w/a little olive paste, lay on the toasty halloumi, top w/roasted tomatos. Happy New Year to all Cheeseheads!
  15. For what it is worth, I received this from a colleague in the cheese industry: According to the news, President Elect Obama has chosen former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Vilsack is not a friend to family agriculture, nor to sustainable agriculture, and the choice represents at its core business as usual in Washington. Food policy, which by its nature is mostly farm policy, is at the core of every major challenge we face today from environmental degredation to energy to public health. We must help save the new President from this horrible decision, because until we face the spectre of agribusiness, we will never be able to solve global warming, public health, and a dependence on fossil fuels. As a city guy, I suspect Obama had to rely on others, and they never took the time to speak to the sustainable, family farm and organic agricultural communities, only to the big boys. Corn and Soy based mono-cropping, of which, Vilsack is a staunch defender is the one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases, some say as much as 30% if you include the fuel needed to deliver thousands of miles away. It is a huge consumer of petroleum based energy. Vilsack is a huge supporter of Corn based ethanol, in fact, the "spin" is that he supports alternative "fuels," by which he means corn based ethanol, coming from Iowa where hundreds of family farms are lost each year to the consolidation of the states farmland into gmo corn production. Corn based ethanol production, if you don't know, is unsustainable as it needs more energy to make it than it produces. Sugar based ethanol, like in Brazil, is a much better. "Corn gas" production benefits few farm families, mostly very rich farmers who do not live on their farms, and collect huge subsidies. The UN and most world food experts blame the recent mania for corn gas for increasing the starvation of people worldwide by driving up prices beyond what they can afford. Corn based agriculture benefits mostly the companies who process the corn into "food ingredients" that are at the core of our national epidemic in adult onset diabetes and other dietary diseases, (additives like citric acid and high fructose corn syrup drive the low price of fast food, pushing americans by government policies into high calorie, low nutrition foods, leading to obesity and heart disease, swamping the health care system and driving up costs.) Vilsack is a strong ally of Monsanto. Years ago, I spoke at a small natural food chain in Portland Oregon in support of the small artisan cheesemakers of California for the CMAB. A question came up about Rgbh, the hormone injected into cows to increase milk production made by Monsanto. I answered fairly, saying that the issue for those who were passionately against its use was not so much related to health, as to quality of life for the animals, since it greatly shortens their usable life span and makes them prone to mastitis, and infection of the teats. I did not discuss the quality of milk though the cheesemakers I have worked with who have used this milk have told me it does not react the same as normal milk in spite of what the Department of Ag was paid to say. Two weeks later the CMAB got a letter telling them to stop me from making comments on rGBH or they would sue. Good heavens, was Monsanto paying spies dressed like hippies to work in Natural Food stores and report any negative comments about their products. I have know way of knowing, but how else would they know about my rather balanced comments given to a group of people who all had multiple earrings, except me? And now, after fighting for years for a more sane, sustainable Ag policy that balances the needs to rebuild small family farms, and diverse agriculture, with big AG, many of us in the food community are crushed by this decision. If you agree with me, I am personally asking you to take a minute of your time and write the Presidents transition team expressing dissapproval of the Vilsack choice at; http://www.fooddemocracynow.org .
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