curdnerd's blog

Weird Parmigiano-Reggiano TV Ads

I'd like to believe that this strange set of television ads for Parmigiano-Reggiano is something only native Italians can understand, but I also suspect that there are far weirder things appearing on American television every minute of every day. In any case, this video should make for a couple of minutes of bewildering fun.

Via Big Cheese Stories.

Best Egg and Cheese Sandwich Ever?

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Head over to Saxelby Cheese this week for the "best egg and cheese ever." I've been contemplating publishing a recipe for the best egg and cheese sandwich, but I've always struggled with picking the perfect cheese to use. The most common permutation you can find uses Kraft American Singles, my feelings for which have been made amply clear on this blog. In fact I've spoken to some people who cite egg and cheese sandwiches as the perfect vehicle for processed cheese. I beg to differ, and I've always believed a better cheese makes for a better egg and cheese sandwich.

A Cheese Plate for Breakfast

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Proving my theory that cheese is great any time of day, this weekend we did a breakfast cheese plate for some family who were in for a visit. I went with cheeses that were on the lighter side of things, and I also chose with my guests' tastes in mind. I did my shopping at a store I really trust (Stinky Bklyn), and they also helped me pick these out by making some really great suggestions.

Umami

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If you're like me, you grew up learning that the tongue has taste buds for each of the four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Moreover you learned that each of these taste bud groups are localized on the tongue, with sweet being on the tip, salty on the sides, sour on the sides as well but farther back, and bitter at the back of the tongue. It turns out that not only do these locales not exist, but also that there is at least one additional basic taste and probably several more.

Video: Choosing Cheeses with Steven Jenkins

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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 Salon.com 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 Salon.com

Meet the Curd Nerd - Jim Wallace

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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 (www.loganandwallace.com) .. 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.

Dairy Products and Phlegm

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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...

The return of the forums!

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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
Listowner

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 Curdnerds.com. 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!

CheddarVision

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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 Cheddarvision.tv 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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