Cheese of the month February 2018: Balaki from Tinos, Cyclades/GR

It’s February and at least in Berlin winter will last another two months, pretty reliably. That’s fine, till now it’s been mild, and eternal summer would be unbearable, and I just returned from a long week in San Francisco with its glorious light. Still, a little more sun won’t do any harm to help the daily winter dose of vitamin D. My wonderful Heinzelcheese network in late summer had a white ball from Tinos landing in my cheese stocks, and with the help of modern wrapping and storing this made its way onto the cheese board only now, in the depth of winter. And there it shone and sparkled, just like the Aegian sun! » Weiterlesen…

Cheese of the month January 2018: Naturkäse from Thilo Metzger-Petersen, Hof Backensholz/D

So: the last research trip in 2017 for my new book (to be out in time for the Frankfurt book fair in mid-October, but manuscript still in the making) took me to Hof Backensholz in the very north of Germany, on the Danish border. Backensholz is a pioneer of raw milk farmhouse cheese, Thilo’s mother started in the early 1990s to work her husband’s milk into cheese instead of keeping calm and being optimistic about the milk price. » Weiterlesen…

Cheese of the month December 2017: St Jude from Julie Cheyney, White Wood Dairy/NE Suffolk, UK

„I’d like to make that milk sing in the cheese.“ Julie Cheyney is no romanticising back-to-the-land hippie (and nothing against those!), but a solid, experienced specialist (she was married to a Hampshire farmer for almost 30 years). Since five years she is above all busy with cheese making and for that purpose even moved with her White Wood Dairy from Hampshire to Bungay in the northeast of Suffolk, in search of really good, singing milk. » Weiterlesen…

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 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…

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…