Cheese of the month October 2017: Pecorino di Farindola, Abruzzo/Italy

It wasn’t easy to settle on a candidate for this month, after a whole row of wonderfully packed weeks traveling from cheese to cheese! But I’ll be working on that long list, promised. For October, let’s go south, once more, to Abruzzo, between the Gran Sasso mountains and Pescara on the Adriatic Sea, for a lesson on rennet: Pecorino di Farindola. » Weiterlesen…

Cheese of the month September 2017: Pultost from Avdem in Lesja, Gudbrandsdalen/Norway

Anybody with even a fleeting idea of Norwegian cheese history might wonder about the combination of Pultost and Gudbrandsdalen. This long-stretched valley surrounded by high mountains in the southern heart of Norway is commonly associated with brunost. Brunost, literally brown cheese and also known as geitost, goat cheese, is part of the Norwegian identity, just like elk, reindeer and snow. » Weiterlesen…

Cheese of the month August 2017: Kars Kaşar from Boğatepe/Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Two things about Anatolia’s traditional cheeses fascinate me in particular: the link to the beginnings of our nomadic history and culture that is still so very much alive in them, and that they are an expression of all the layers and mingling of our cultural formation. We are all migrants, influenced by many cultures, even if we’re not always aware of it.
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My cheese of the month for July 2017: Mature goat cheese from Kozia Łąka Sery Łomnickie, Łomnica/Poland

On my first research trip to Poland in August 2014, in an organic grocery store in Warsaw, I came across cheeses made by Bożena and Daniel Sokołowscy. They keep around a hundred goats on their organic farm Kozia Łąka Sery Łomnickie not far south from Jelenia Góra in Lower Silesia, overlooking the Giant Mountains with the Schneekoppe peak.
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Cheese of the month June 2017: Urban Blue from Blue Harbour Cheese in Halifax, Nova Scotia/Canada

Small artisan cheese producer – that tends to sound oh so romantic and politically correct, evoking picturesque images of bucolic landscapes – but on closer inspection it so often is about sheer survival, stress, sacrifices, and (at least seen from my urban perspective) borderline chaos. I have encountered scenarios so extreme that I had to actively keep knowing about them separate from the resulting cheese and its quality… But it doesn’t need to be that way. » Weiterlesen…

Terroir Symposium 2017 in Toronto: Celebrating Canadian Gastronomy – and Riesling!

It’s been ten years since Torontonian Arlene Stein started the Terroir Symposium in her native city. About one year ago, Arlene moved to Berlin, and we met, and she invited me to speak at this year’s event (of which she also created a more intimate satellite version in Berlin in mid-May, but that’s a different story). Me being travel-insatiable me took this as a wonderful excuse to be on the road for a whole month, going to New York, Cambridge, upper Vermont, Québec, Nova Scotia, and, extensively, Ontario. For wine, for cheese, for friends, for…life as such!
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Cheese of the month May 2017: Kamakh Rijal from Persia

Yes, no, I haven’t been to Iran or Kurdistan, Azerbaidjan or Armenia. Unfortunately, because my friend and colleague Naomi Duguid’s latest cookbook (which is as much about people and landscapes and history as it is about recipes) is pure temptation. However I don’t think I would have encountered Kamakh Rijal if food historian and Persia specialist Charles Perry who made me aware of it, is right (and he mostly is): this old cheese spread recipe seems to have gone extinct. » Weiterlesen…

A new cheese place: Alte Milch at Markthalle Neun in Berlin

„There is somebody who wants to start a cheese cave here at the market.“ That was the first thing I heard about Matthias Becker and his Alte Milch project, literally old milk. I admit, I didn’t take that very serious. I can’t remember if the tall lanky guy back then wore the same wooly hat like today, but it wouldn’t have done anything for my expectations. Since then I have long recanted, and today the Alte Milch stall for me presents one of the market’s highlights. » Weiterlesen…

The cheese of the month April 2017: Calle de cabreddu from Sardinia

In Sardinia three things are really abundant: sheep (three million of them, who get along pretty well with about half as many human beings), thistles (in an amazing number of varieties, from edible artichokes to just beautiful but pretty thorny), and stones (which in the course of the millennia have been arranged to all kinds of things, such as round Nuraghe temples and endless walls, but there are still plenty left lying around).
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My cheese of the month March 2017 is Rollright from King Stone Dairy – and a cheese place: the Jericho Cheese Company in Oxford

Round, glowing in a warm yellow orange and surrounded by a thin stripe of spruce bark, the paste a beguiling, spoonable runniness, that surely must be a perfectly ripened Vacherin from the Jura end of the Alps. And yet it isn’t. Instead of centuries of tradition the Rollright’s history goes back less than two years, and it is neither French nor Swiss, but English, from Oxfordshire. » Weiterlesen…