Gramercy Park in May meant cherry blossoms were long over, but the green oh so lush when I was invited for a Heinzelcheese talk and tasting at the venerable association of Culinary Historians of New York, hosting me at the formidable National Arts Club. With a group of 80 (!) we explored German food history and discussed some of the changes in German cheese making as well as Riesling.
The artisanal cheese movement has, since the 1990s, increasingly found its footing, with new cheesemakers exploring Alpine mountains, valleys and meadows to create tantalizing offerings redolent of German terroir. I talked about how this German gastronomic renaissance has many parallels to the artisanal cheese movement in the United States; a delicious example of the technological, social, and cultural changes in German and American food ways.
Rather than a dry talk, my experiential lecture included a guided tasting of some of the best artisanal cheeses, courtesy of Kaeskuche, with a bunch of superb Rieslings, most of them dry. I had the rare luxury of a dedicated team of cheese-cutters and wine-pourers courtesy of the Culinary Historians under the custody of Renée Marton and Cathy Kaufman (I bow my head in gratitude). The wines, after usual confusions and hiccups, arrived in time and were chilled (huge thanks to everybody), and here is what we savored and explored together:
2013 Riesling Dry – from Villa Wolf, Wachenheim/Pfalz
2013 Riesling trocken Kiedrich Gräfenberg GG – from Robert Weil, Kiedrich/Rheingau
2012 Riesling Spätlese trocken St Remigiusberg – from Tesch, Langenlonsheim/Nahe
2011 Riesling Kabinett Trittenheimer Apotheke – from Ansgar Clüsserath, Trittenheim/Mosel
The cheeses (which are all imported to the US through Kaeskuche/Columbia Cheese – ask your cheesemonger for them):
1. Ziegenbergkäse (goat mountain cheese), goat’s milk, approx 4 months – from Robert Maul, Wertach/Allgäu
2. Sternschnuppe (shooting star), cow’s milk, approx 3 months – from Evelyn Wild, Kaesküche Isny/Allgäu
3. Hubaner, cow’s milk, approx 6 months – from Sennerei Huban/Bregenzerwald, Austria
4. Ur-Bergkäse (Ur mountain cheese), cow’s milk, approx 6 months – from Evelyn Wild, Kaesküche Isny/Allgäu
5. Adelegger, cow’s milk, approx 17 months – from Evelyn Wild, Kaesküche Isny/Allgäu
6. Alpe Spicherhalde, cow’s milk, approx 12 months – from the Vögele family, Baderschwang/Allgäu