Plaintain Wrapped Goat Cheese

This amazing looking recipe is reprinted here courtesy of, a wonderful blog written by chef and Gothamist Food contributor Joe DeSalazar

FinalplantainhollowI promised I'd check back as I looked to perfect the plantain crusted goat cheese dish.  You may have read the first edition already, where I discuss how I recently came up with this idea.     While I loved the flavors behind the original dish I made, I couldn't crack the presentation - I needed to find a better plantain to goat cheese ratio for each bite.

The solution came to me randomly while walking home from work the other day.  I'd cut long chunks of the ripe plantain while raw.  With a long sharp knife tip, I turned the plantain chunk on its end and created a hole through the entire piece.  I stuffed the hole with a mixture of goat cheese, chopped rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. The best way to get the cheese into the plantain was to push the cheese mixture into a single corner of a small ziplock bag.  After rolling the bag tight into a pastry bag shape, I clipped the corner of the bag with scissors and piped the cheese through the hole and into the plantain. 

Video: Choosing Cheeses with Steven Jenkins

From Serious Eats, a great new website for "serious eaters," here's a nice little video about how to choose cheeses, featuring Fairway's legendary cheesemonger Steven Jenkins. Click on the image above or the link here to view the video.

The Udder Truth

Today's has a thoughtful and balanced article about the benefits and the dangers of consuming raw milk. The only downside to the article is that it doesn't explore the benefits of using raw milk for cheese production. While the case can definitely made that drinking raw milk is a somewhat dangerous proposition, eating raw milk cheeses that are made in clean environments under strict practices is considered safe[1]. In an age where eating spinach is more dangerous than eating cheese, journalists would do well to investigate issues of food safety much more deeply, and bring out exactly what foods are safe to eat and why.

Link to the full article from

Meet the Curd Nerd - Jim Wallace

Jim Wallace teaches the advanced cheesemaking workshops offered by New England Cheesemaking Supply. We spoke with him recently about his love of cheese and cheese making.

CN: Tell us a little bit about your background.
JW: It has been a long road traveling in many directions (sometimes simultaneous .. sound familiar?). I began in pre-med but wound up teaching environmental biology which led to 25+ years of photographing and selling fine print photographs from wild places ( .. during this time I became fascinated by the traditional aspect of beer and brewing the old ways and began visiting brewers in the UK and Belgium and we all know what they eat with their beer.

Recipe: Carchof Jiben (Syrian Artichoke & Cheese Frittata)

  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 pkg or 10 oz. frozen or fresh-cooked artichoke hearts
  • 1 lb. cottage or ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated/crumbled hard cheese, can be Cheddar, Mozzarella, Feta, or anything else that can be grated or crumbled
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste
  • In a large skillet over a medium flame, sweat the onion in the olive oil and cumin. When onion becomes translucent, add the artichoke hearts (still frozen is fine) and cook, covered, until the artichokes thaw. Remove from heat and salt to taste (if you're using Feta or another very salty cheese, use less salt here).

    In a separate bowl, combine the cottage cheese, grated/crumbled cheese, eggs, and pepper. Add the artichoke/onion mixture and stir until combined. Pour all ingredients into a 9 x 9 baking pan, and bake at 350ºF until the top is browned (or about 45 minutes). Serves 4.

Slow Food NYC Event: New World Cheese, Old World Wine

Just heard about this upcoming event from Slow Food NYC. Sounds interesting:

American Cheese once meant processed, unnaturally yellow, plastic-wrapped gummy squares. But, a "stinky" revolution has occurred. A growing group of artisans, dedicated to sustainable practices and delicious results, have redefined American Cheese.

Sherri Brooks Vinton, author and Real Food Advocate, will provide a brief history of American cheese, Anne Saxelby, of Saxelby Cheesemongers, will guide a tasting of some of the best examples of American cheese, and Greg Moore, of Moore Bros. Wine Co., will pour wines specially selected to compliment Anne's cheeses.

February 1st
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Moore Bros' Classroom
$20 for SF members / $25 for others

Dairy Products and Phlegm

Yesterday I went for the first time ever to an acupuncturist. I highly recommend going to one if you ever want to feel what it's like to be a just-pressed blue cheese. One of the ailments I wanted him to address was chronic sinus infections. The first question he asked when I mentioned that was, "Do you eat a lot of dairy?" How does a curd nerd who writes a cheese blog answer a question like that? Honestly, it turns out...

Gluten-free Blue Cheese

I received the following question in our feedback section, maybe someone out there knows the answer:

I am informed that "Roquefort" is made using stale bread or bread crumbs. Is this true? Are there other blue cheeses that do not use any bread in the cheesemaking process?

I replied that blue cheeses are generally made with the Penicillium Roqueforti mold, which is usually grown on stale bread. I'm not sure if any of the gluten from the bread makes it into the cheese, but I imagine it's possible. There are some other blue cheeses not made from P. Roqueforti, such as Gorgonzola, but I do not know whether the mold used for that cheese (P. Glaucum) is also grown on bread.

Anyone know the answers to these queries? Reply to this in the forums or simply enter your reply below as a comment!

The return of the forums!

I have been a member of the Artisan Cheesemakers Yahoo Group for a while now, and I just received the following email in my inbox:

From today, January 1, 2007, Artisan_Cheesemakers list will be on permanent hiatus. Messages will no longer be posted, and new members will not be added, but the Archives will remain open for the moment, while I figure out if there's any way (or reason) to save them.

This decision is final. Please don't write me. All good things come to an end, and its always best to move on when they do. Best wishes to those who followed me through this adventure. Good luck to all with your cheesemaking,
Julia Farmer

I've always felt that this was one of more informative, active mailing lists out there, and it's a shame that it's gone. In response, though, we are bringing back the discussion forums to These bulletin boards were up (in a somewhat different form) when we first launched the site, but we took them down due to lack of interest. However, now that the Artisan Cheesemakers list is gone, we thought maybe there would be a place for forums like this. Obviously forums are different than a mailing list, but our hunch is that most people prefer checking discussions online rather than getting a slew of emails in their inbox every day.

So, please go check out the forums, post a topic or two, and definitely let us know if you have any problems, questions or suggestions!


West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers, an association of small British cheddar producers whose ranks include some of the best in the world, has announced one of the greatest website ideas ever. Beginning January 1, 2007, visitors to will be treated to a live webcam of an actively aging West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. Since these cheeses are aged for one year, the cheese will be ready to eat on January 1, 2008!

Now I know what you're going to say: watching a cheese age is quite a soporific endeavor. In fact, the West Country Cheesemakers acknowledge this very notion in their press release: "Some might say this is the most boring website of 2007, but our cheese is worth waiting for so it’s better than watching paint dry...just.”

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