Cheese Blog

Featuring Jamon Iberico and Rogue River Blue Cheese!

He Said....
Arriving at the perfect time for our Spanish Wine tasting Friday Night, Cinco Jotas Jamon Iberico de Bellota ham is back! The Jamon Iberico is widely recognized as the finest cured ham in the world. The reason is based on several factors. Firstly, the breed of the pig. Unlike Serrano Hams who use a standard white pig, this ham is created from the Black Iberian pig. The Iberian pig is a descendent from the wild Mediterranean boar, which was a great forager and athletically built. This breed of pig is expensive, has smaller litters, and because of their diet take a long to cure. What helps enhance the incredibly unique flavor of the Iberian pigs is their lifestyle. Unlike most commercially raised pigs these are 100% free range pigs. They grow up on farms called dehesas where they spend their time foraging and grazing on grasses, mushrooms, bugs, herbs and most importantly acorns. The acorns, the pigs favorite food, have a high percentage of unsaturated oleic fatty acid that creates the amazingly soft fat and intensely nutty, sweet, and floral aroma. In fact, the fat basically melts in your mouth. However, not all Iberico hams are created equally. Of the commercially raised Iberico pigs only around 5% are pure bred and acorn fed. Cinco Jotas, where we get our Iberico ham, is one of the companies that works with 100% pure bred and acorn fed pigs. We are always excited to share this amazing product with you all. Enjoy!

She Said...
Another American Cheese Classic has arrived!  Rogue River Blue from Rogue Creamery in Central Point Oregon is a fall seasonal favorite.  It is one of those cheeses that has a complexity that requires several bites because you just can't pick up all of the flavors in one taste.  Much of this is due to the pear brandy soaked grape leaves that are wrapped around the cheese for 9-12 months of cave aging.  The cheese itself is rich and creamy with a healthy dose of spicy blue mold.  Along with flavors of brandy, fruit, hazelnuts, and burnt cream the raw milk brings subtle flavors of herbs and pine that are common in the cow's diet.  David Gremmels and Cary Bryant have won several awards for their great cheesemaking skills including Best of Show in 2009 and 2011 at the American Cheese Society Competition.  In my opinion Rogue River Blue is a little to special for crumbling onto a burger or over a salad because I feel like you might miss the subtle flavors. No shame, however, if thats what you wish to do with it.  I recommend pairing it with a strong beer like a Barleywine or an off-dry white wine like Riesling or Gewurtztraminer with a little fresh bread and maybe a touch of honey.  Come in and try it! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Blythedale Farm Camembert
Wagon Wheel
Rogue River Blue
Mt. Tam
Red Hawk
Tarentaise
Reading Raclette
Di Stefano Burrata
Beemster XO
Humboldt Fog
Apple Smoked Cheddar  
Saint Angel 
Chimay Grand Cru 
Sole Gran Queso 
Eiger Mountain Gouda 
Green Hill 
Grand Cru Gruyere Reserve 
Asiago Pressato 

Meat: 

Creminelli Bresaola 
Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon
Salumeria Bielese Finnochiona 
Pata Negra Iberico de Bellota 
La Belle Duck Fat 7oz 


Wine:
Conde de Subirats Rose Cava
Bula 
Telmo Rodriguez Rioja 
Mano a Mano 
BWise Wisdom
BWise Trios 
Bugey-Cerdon Sparkling 
Champalou Vouvray Brut
Bisol Crede Prosecco
Paul Bara Bouzy Brut Rose
Deusa Nai Albarino 
Sand Reckoner Rose 

Beer: 
New Belgium Hop the Pond
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
Monk's Cafe Flemish

Other: 
Raincoast Crisp 
-Original 
-Rosemary Raison
Belinda's Pickles 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!

Featuring American Washed-Rind Cheeses and Smoking Goose Lamb Bacon!

He Said....
Here is our bacon update. Jowl Bacon is back! Nueske's Applewood Bacon is here! Also, Lamb Bacon from Smoking Goose Meatery has returned! The Lamb Bacon starts as pure grass fed lamb bellies before being generously seasoned with sea salt and brown sugar. From there it is coated with maple sugar and hot smoked over real Applewood. the result is something truly original, a lean, salty, sweet, smokey, gamey bacon. We cut it in thick pieces to be used in recipes or as part of fantastic BLT. Smoking Goose suggests teaming it up with some Taleggio (which we have in stock), carmalized onions, and a bit of rosemary for an ultimate melted cheese sandwich. I will actually have to try this one because it sounds divine. So, come on in to celebrate American Cheese Month and don't forget the bacon. Enjoy!

She Said...
We have lots of new arrivals this week for American Cheese Month so I am featuring 3 of our new washed rind cheeses that you will definitely want to taste.  The first is Oma (pictured) made by the von Trapp Farmstead and then aged at Jasper Hill in Vermont.  Oma is made from organic raw cow's milk.  It is a tomme style cheese washed with brine and aged 2-3 months.  It has a buttery flavor with a rich nutty and meaty finish.   The second cheese is Sequatichie Cove Farm's Dancing Fern from Tennessee.  Dancing Fern is inspired by French Reblochon.  It is a true treasure in the United States because it is made from quality raw milk and aged 60 days.  French Reblochon that comes to the states is always pasturized and lacks complexity.  Dancing Fern has soft and velvety texture that at room temperature is runny and perfect for spreading onto good bread.  Flavors are bold and nutty with mushroom undertones.  Last we have what has become a staple in our cheese case,  Meadow Creek Dairy's Grayson from Virginia.  Grayson has a firmer texture and stronger flavor than the other two examples.  What I love about Grayson is the grassy beefy flavors infused into the cheese from the raw milk and the Jersey cows who graze in the mountains.  Grayson is great on its own but we usually enjoy it when we want to punch up a melted cheese dish.  These cheeses all pair well with Belgian inspired beers, off-dry white wines,  dried fruit, and fig jam.  See you soon! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Cremont 
Midnight Moon
Manchego 
Garrotxa 
Moses Sleeper 
Oma 
Baetje Bloomsdale Pyramide
Kunik 
Cumberland
Dancing Fern
Grayson 
Strawbridge Bloomy Sheep 
White Stilton with Blueberry
Bellwether Pepato 

Meat: 

Fra'Mani Salami Toscano

Country Pate with Black Pepper

Wine:
3 Wine Co Zinfandel 
Durigutti Bonarda
Urban Riesling Mosel
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc
Fattoria Viticcio Bere Rosa
Il Casolare Rossa
Rimber Mas au Schist 
Novelty Hill Syrah
Novelty Hill Chardonnay
Revelry Vintners 'Reveler'
Revelry Vintners Cabernet
Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir 
Grayson Zinfandel
Three Pears Pinot Grigio 

Beer: 
Wild Pumpkin Cider
Bell's Best Brown
Hess Grazias 

Other: 
Pistol Whipped Pastry! 
-Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies 
-Peanut Butter Gluten Free Cookies
-Mini Cheesecakes

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon!

Featuring Bellwether Ricotta & Limburger Cheese!

He Said....
It is truly a special occasion when we are able to bring in some wonderful Bellwether Farm Sheep's Milk Ricotta and this is one of those times. If you have only been exposed to supermarket ricotta then this is a must. Bellwether Farms is out of Petaluma, CA and was conceived when owner Cindy Callahan bought some sheep in order to help manage her pasture. A few milkings later, and with help from her son, Bellwether Cheese was born. They specialize in Italian-style sheep and cow's milk cheeses. Not wanting to waste anything in the creation of cheese they began using the whey from their sheep's milk cheese to make ricotta. Her ricotta is delicate, buttery, milky, with a nice balance of sweet and savory. There are a lot of uses for ricotta but some of my favorites are enjoying it simply with local honey, as a pizza topping, or in lasagna. Lately, I have been making a no-cook ricotta sauce where you combine cooked noodles, Parmesiano-Reggiano, coarsely ground black pepper, high quality olive oil, thawed frozen spinach or sauteed spinach, and lemon juice. Thin it out with a touch of pasta cooking liquid and dinner is served. Enjoy!

She Said...
October is American Cheese Month!  This is the time of year where all of our focus is done to support all of the wonderful American Cheese producers. The point is to raise awareness of the quality and diversity of North American Cheese!  Since Cheese Month Starts right at the end of Oktoberfest we decided we would start with classic Limburger.  Perhaps not the most original, because it was a recipe brought by German Americans to the Midwest but was made by several producers in the Mid-West until recently.  Today, there are only 2 producers left in the States.  Limburger is known for it's stinky feet aroma and we have heard many customer stories about Fathers and Grandfathers having to store their Limburger Cheese in the garage fridge.  It has developed quite a reputation.  Looking at taste, Limburger is much milder than some of our other washed rind cheeses like Meadow Creek Dairy's Grayson.  When melted into a sandwich between rye bread Limburger gets gooey and stands up to hearty ingredients like mustard, pickles, onion, and rye bread.  Add a cold beer to your Limburger sandwich and you have a perfect meal to celebrate Oktoberfest and American Cheese Month!  Stop by Saturday for both! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Limburger
Moses Sleeper
Saint Angel 
Barber's Cheddar 
Di Stefano Buratta 

Meat: 

Fra'Mani Salami Toscano

Smoking Goose
-Dodge City
-Jowl Bacon
-Lamb Bacon
-Gin & Juice
-Saucisson Rouge
-Salame Piccante
-Delaware Fireball


Wine:
Vera Vino Verde 
Bodegas LAN Rioja
Hedges Independent Producers Merlot
Hedges Independent Producers Syrah
Hedges C.M.S. White 
Lioco Indica 
Purato Nero d'Avola 
Bieler Pere Et Fils Rose
Zarpara Sangiovese
Zarpara Sauvignon Blanc
Zarpara Lozano 
Zarpara Origen
Tooth & Nail The Possessor 
Tooth & Nail The Stand
Force of Nature Tempranillo
Force of Nature Cabernet 
Novelty Hill Syrah
Novelty Hill Chardonnay
Revelry "Reveler" Red Blend
Revelry Cabernet 

Beer: 
Anchorage Lovebeer Saison
Struisse Panneport Grand Reserve
Ribela Cider 
New Belgium Le Terroir 
Avery Pumpklyn 

Other: 
The Girl & The Fig
-Red Onion Confit
-Black Mission Fig Jam 
-Nana Mae's Apple/Raison/Fig Mostarda 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

Featuring Spanish Cheese & Charcuterie!

He Said....
Since we are focusing on Spain this week I wanted to mention 2 Spanish inspired meats that we have available. They both come from La Espanola Meats, which was founded in 1982 by Juana Faraone (a native of Valenica, Spain) and her husband Frank Faraone. The couple serve as a great link to Spain's rich food culture, serving as importers, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, and creators of Spanish products. The 2 charcuterie treasuries we currently carry from them are Salchicon de Vic and Chorizo Cantimpalo. The Salchicon de Vic is a mixture of marbled beef and pork in a style similar to Genoa salami. It was originally from the town of Vic, hence its name. It is expertly seasoned with whole black peppercorns and nutmeg. This is a "easy eating" salami with defined and crisp flavors that are not overpowering. Meant to be enjoyed sliced thin as tapas. The next salami is chorizo cantimpalo. This is made with coarsely ground pork and beef flavored with both sweet and smoked paprika. The sweet and smokey paprika lending the salami a unique essence and acidity. This chorizo can be enjoyed sliced thin or diced thicker to add depth to many dishes. One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is diced and cooked with eggs for breakfast. Enjoy!

She Said...
With our fun and tasty Sangria this weekend we have coordinated the cheese & meat plates on our menu to include all Spanish Cheese and Meats.  Fruity Sangria is a great compliment to many different types of cheeses.  Here is what we chose for our Spanish Cheese plate.  Tetilla is a soft cow's milk cheese from Galicia.  Depending on how your spanish is you might have guessed it is named for it's shape which looks like a boob.  The cheese is buttery soft with a bit of a tangy bite in the finish.  It goes great with olives and nuts as a snack but will also melt really well.  Mahon is a semi-firm cow's milk cheese from the Island of Menorca. It is also a great melting cheese but I could snack on this buttery sharp cheese all day long. We would disappoint many customers without including the widely popular sheep's milk Manchego cheese which comes from La Mancha. The sweet nutty flavors of Manchego never get old. Not on the plate but available to add if you want to punch things up a bit is Monte Enebro from Castilla y Leon.  It is a goat's milk log that is aged with blue cheese molds and ash on it's exterior.  The result is an unusual salty blue cheese tangy flavor.  Hope to see you this weekend for a little refreshment as we wave goodbye to the 100 degree weather (I'm crossing my fingers!). 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Monte Enebro 
Mizithra
White Stilton with Mango & Ginger
Mt. Tam 
Red Hawk 
Reading Raclette
Bellwether Ricotta
Beemster XO
Lamb Chopper
Flory's Truckle 

Meat: 
Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon 
La Quercia Prosciutto 
Angel's Duck Salami 


Wine:
Sean Minor Pinot Noir 
Grayson Zinfandel 
Three Pears Pinot Grigio 
The Ned Pinot Gris 
Cune Crianza 
Alberti 154 Malbec
Boci Dolce 
Cane & Fable Cabernet
Novelty Hill Syrah 

Beer: 
New Belgium Transatlantic Kriek 
Port Santa's Little Helper 

Other: 
Rustic Bakery Crackers
-Olive Oil & Sel Gris 
-Rosemary & Olive Oil 
Grate Roots Horseradish
Good Faith Organic Olives 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

Featuring Angel's Duck Salami and Carr Valley Gran Carnaria Cheese!

He Said....
Duck Salami is back! It has been far too long since we have been able to get our duck fetished hands on this awesome salami. The salami comes from Angel's Salami company out of Southern, California. The story, however, begins in Europe where cured meat maestro Pascal J-F Besset was trained in the art of Charcuterie in some of the most prestigious hotels in the world. Pascal is now involved in the food scene in Southern California where he continues to create slow cured goodness. I believe duck meat, in almost all of its forms, can be some of the best meat out there. It carries with it a particular deep umami taste that is simple but sexy and the smooth velvety feel to this salami is no exception. It is made with red wine, black pepper, and aged 2 months. Come on in for a taste and have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy!

She Said...
We bring in a lot of cheese from Carr Valley in Wisconsin.  Cheesemaker Sid Cook's family has been taking advantage of Wisconsin's quality milk production and making cheese since 1883.  The company started with traditional Wisconsin style cheddar, big surprise, but now have a large variety of cheeses including those made from goat and sheep's milk.  Our newest Carr Valley Cheese, Gran Carnaria is made from the milk of cows, goat's, and sheep.  It is aged for 2 years and cured in olive oil.  The cheese is semi-soft and crumbly with with a sharp fruity, nutty, and sweet flavor.  It won Best in show at the American Cheese Society Conference in 2004.  To me the strong flavor and texture that reminds me of many Italian mixed milk cheeses make this a great red wine cheese.  Carr Valley also recommends it with with Belgian style beers.  

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Moses Sleeper 
Manchego 
Beemster XO 
Point Reyes Blue Cheese 
Mahon
Saint Angel 
Barber's Cheddar
Widmer 10 Year Cheddar 
Sartori Bellavitano Espresso
Crow's Dairy
-Colby Cheese Curds 
Asiago Pressato

Meat: 
Chorizo Cantimpalo 
Salumeria Bielese 
-Petit Jesu 
-Sopressata
La Espanola Salchicon de Vic 
Fra'Mani Salami Toscano
Angel's Duck Salami 


Wine:
Sercial Charleston Madeira
Scarpetta Pinot Grigio
Dos Cabezas Red
Dos Cabezas El Norte  
GC The Traveler White 
GC The Traveler Red  
Three Pears Pinot Grigio
Grayson Zinfandel 
St. Urban Riesling 
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc
Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir 
Fattoria Viticcio Bere Rosa 
Cloisonne Chardonnay
Bwise Wisdom 
Bwise Trios 
Il Casolare Rossa 
Cune Crianza 
GR-174 
Saint-Hillaire 

Other: 
Mitica Marcona Almonds 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

Honey & Cheese Pairing this Saturday!

She Said...
We often say that we love cheese and all that goes with it.  Honey is also a favorite of ours for this reason.  The sweetness of honey can balance the pungent quality in cheese in the most wonderful way.  As with anything that is carefully controlled and made in small batches there are many variations and complexities found in the endless types of honey.  For this week's honey & cheese pairing plate we wanted to show you what cheese we felt best paired with a range of different honey.  We will admit, all of the honeys taste great with all of the cheeses selected.  However, we did feel that certain honeys paired better than others with certain cheeses.  Here are the 5 Honeys that we chose:
Elliot's Edibles - Bees in the Trees Peach with Honey Jam 
Made by Bees - Orange Blossom Honey 
Big Island Bees - Macademia Nut Blossom Honey from Hawaii 
Turkey Hill Apiary - Bourbon Barrel Aged Honey from Minnesota 
Made by Bees - Mesquite Blossom Honey 
The Honey and Cheese Pairing plate includes the 5 honeys, 5 cheeses, and bread for $20.  We can pack it up to go or serve it here on a cheese board.  

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Up in Smoke Chevre
Mt. Tam
Grayson
Colston Basses Stilton 
Bellwether Sheep Ricotta 
Saint Angel 
Beemster XO
Carr Valley Gran Carnaria 
Barely Buzzed 
Bayley Hazen Blue

Crow's Dairy
-Peppercorn Chevre
-Natural Chevre
-Cheese Curds 


Wine:
Trios 
Groundworks Grenache 
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 

Other: 
Dr. Brown's Cream Soda
Dr. Brown's Diet Cream Soda
Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Soda
John's Premium Tonic Syrup 
Tracy Dempsey's Bacon Brittle 
Elliot's Edibles
-Peach Honey Jam 
-Say Hello Tomato Jam 
-Wedge of Wood Jam 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

Marcona Almonds and Moses Sleeper Cheese!

He Said... 
This week my column will be short but sweet as we gear up for a fantastic fall. We just received some blanched and unsalted Marcona Almonds. This almond is one of Spain's greatest exports and is known as the "Queen of Almonds" for its nutty, plump, and meaty taste and texture. We, however, have never received them naked before, typically they are salted and briefly cooked in sunflower oil. So, the question was how to best showcase these almonds with a little embellishment that could be easily replicated at home. I first heated up about 1/4 cup of some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and added some arlic, basically creating garlic oil. After lightly browning the garlic I added the some rosemary and few cups of Marcona Almonds. I wanted to get the rosemary a bit crispy so you get that nice little herbal crunch. I quickly fried everything up till the almonds got a little color before hitting them with sea salt and little red pepper flakes for a little spice. You could easily add your own twist to this recipe adding your own favorite herbs and spices. Enjoy!

She Said...
We have a new arrival for the bloomy rind cheese lovers from Jasper Hill called Moses Sleeper.  Jasper Hill is a very cool operation in Greensboro, Vermont.  Their motto is to bring "A Taste of Place" to all of their cheeses.  Jasper Hill started with a herd of their own well treated Ayrshire Cows with a heavily pasture fed diet.  They make several American Original cheeses that are aged in their state of the art aging facilities.  They also age cheese for several local producers in the area which makes them one of the few American affineurs.  They offer many educational opportunities while remaining sustainable and distributing their wonderful cheeses across the country.  If you ever find yourself in Vermont, we believe Jasper Hill would be a must see stop.  Moses Sleeper is named after a local revolutionary war scout who was killed in battle.  It is a soft-ripened or bloomy rind cheese similar to French Brie.  The gooey milky paste has subtle flavors of nuts, mushroom, and vegetal cauliflower.  It makes a great addition to any cheese board.  We love it simply with fresh crusty bread.  Come in and have a taste!  

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Crow's Dairy
-Cheese Curds
-Feta
-Fresh Chevre 
Tetilla 
Parmigiano Reggiano
Manchego 
Roquefort 
Kunik
Red Witch

Meat: 
 
Prosciutto Creminelli 
Jamon Serrano 
Ortiz Tuna Belly 

Wine:
Dektown Cellars 
-Knuckle Down
-Shesha
-Fallout
-Ceratina
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 
Alberti 154 Malbec
Fattoria Bere Rosa 

Other: 
Marcona Almonds 
Rustic Bakery Crackers 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

Featuring Black Mesa Ranch Aged Cheese & Troy's Favorite Smoked Products!

He Said... 
Coming into this holiday weekend I wanted to list a couple of my current favorite things, and befitting of the end of summer they are all smoked! For the first time we have brought in Smoking Goose Meatery's Applewood BACON. Their quality pork belly is dry cured with sea salt, brown sugar, and maple sugar before blessing it with a hefty dose of 100% Applewood smoke. The result is a well balanced bacon with wonderful natural sweet, smokey, and porky flavors. Next up is the return of Jowl BACON from Smoking Goose. This intense bacon is one of my ultimate piggy delights. The Jowl BACON comes from the fatty cheeks and neck of the pig lending it a deep and rich flavor. Before they smoke it over hickory they rub it with coarse black pepper to add a little welcome spice to the brown sugar and sea salt cure. Cook it up to enjoy just like bacon and use the rendered fat to cook up some vegetables. Next up is from a new local company that we are proud to carry called Elliott's Edibles. It is a Smoked Tomato Jam called Wedge of Wood. The smoke mingles perfectly with the spicy tomato jam. We love this on just about anything but pairs nicely with sheep milk cheeses. We are also featuring it on a sandwich this week accompanied by Serrano Ham, Manchego, and arguala on baquette. Lastly, is  a smoked imperial rye porter from The Bruery that has been aged in Bourbon Barrels. This one blew me away and is definitely a sipper to be enjoyed slowly. It is packed with flavors like vanilla, caramel, roasted meats, and dried figs. Enjoy! 

She Said...
This week I am very excited to announce that Black Mesa Ranch, an Arizona Goat Dairy in Snowflake Arizona has started selling 3 new aged cheeses.  When we went to visit their beautiful off-grid farm  before the shop opened we were dazzeled by their herd of Nubian goats.  David and Kathryn offer tours throughout the year.  Their goats browse on tasty wildflowers, Juniper, and mesquite which makes for delicious tasting milk.  Cheesemaker David told us that he was making all kinds of aged cheeses for him and Kathryn’s enjoyment but wasn’t ready to sell yet.  I was practically jumping up and down when 3 years later we got the e-mail that they were producing 3 new cheeses for the public.  It is tough for a dairy to take on aged cheese for many reasons and a big part of it is cost.  When a cheesemaker makes fresh cheeses like delicious spreadable chevre, they can sell it right away and get their money back soon after milking.  To take on an aged cheese means holding onto your inventory longer and taking more of your time to ensure the cheese is safe and delicious.  This is why many new dairies begin with fresh cheese.  The three aged cheeses we have from Black Mesa Ranch are Dutchess, inspired by Gouda, Ementhraller, inspired by nutty-sweet Alpine cheese, and Blue Goat a salty crumbly spicy blue.  All are made with 100% goat’s milk and have a complexity that only comes from well cared for certified humane goats.  The cheeses are much different than cow’s milk versions because they are a little less creamy due to less fat than cow’s milk but they are extremely flavorful and we are very impressed.  Please come in to check them out this weekend.  We are excited to share them with you! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Jasper Hill Moses Sleeper 
Grayson
Fat Bottom Girl 
Mt. Tam
Red Hawk 
Humboldt Fog 
Nancy's Camembert 
Carmody
Carr Valley Marisa 
Saint Angel 

Meat: 
 
From Smoking Goose! 
-Dodge City Salami 
-Jowl Bacon 
-Bacon 
Salumeria Bielese 
Sopressata 
Finnochiona 

Beer: 
Anderson Valley Pumpkin 
Bear Republic Cafe Racer
The Bruery Smoking Wood 

Wine:
Three Pears Pinot Grigio
Peirano Estate Chardonnay 
Trios
Navarro Gewurtztraminer 

Other: 
Rustic Bakery Crackers  

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

Pickle and Cheese Pairings and Olli Salami!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Taleggio 
Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Mahon
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Beemster XO
Midnight Moon 
Seascape 
Crow's Dairy
-Cheddar Curds
-Herb Chevre 
-Natural Chevre 
Black Mesa Ranch 
-Dutchess 
-Ementhraller
-Blue Goat 

Meat: 

Olli Salami Napoli 
Olli Salami Molisana 

Coming Friday from Smoking Goose! 
-Dodge City Salami 
-Jowl Bacon 
-Bacon 
Sopressata 
Finnochiona 

Wine:
San Martino Silir Aglianico del Vulture
The Ned Pinot Gris
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc
Castillo Perelada Pescador Rose
Navarro Gewurtztraminer
Cune Crianza 
GR-174 Priorat 
St. Urbans Riesling 
Three Pears Pinot Grigio
Grayson Zinfandel 

Other: 
Unbound Pickling
-Beatnik Pickled Beets 
-Bread & Butter Pickles 
-Vanilla & Cayenne Cherries
-French Quarter Pickled Beans 
Mama Lil's Sweet Peppers 
Turkey Hill Bourbon Honey 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

He Said... 
I want to welcome a new salame to our shop from one of our favorite salame creators, Olli Salumeria. This outstanding Virginia salame company is the brainchild of Olli Colmignoli and Chip Vosmik. The technical salame production is overseen by Olli Colmignoli who was born and raised in Rome from a family of salami makers. Olli's belief that great tasting salame comes from quality pork has guided him in using Heritage breed pigs, humanely-pasture raised, antibiotic-ree, and never fed animal by-products. They also use old world techniques. They slow cure their salame with low temperatures, which means the salame takes 6 weeks to be ready but the flavor is more the better. Many salame producers cure their salame at a higher temperature to speed up the process but compromise flavor. We just got in their Napoli Salme that is smoked over applewood and sangiovese wine. It is one of the options in our "You Pick Your Picknick: for Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy!

She Said... 
We make it known that we love pairing wine & beer with cheese so it shouldn't surprise you that we also love to pair any fermented product with cheese!  This month our passion is in the direction of pickles!  Cheese and pickles are a natural pairing that originated from necessity.  Cheese was made preserve an abundance of milk and pickles were made to preserve the harvest. Why eat these products now when with the genius of refrigeration?  It is because these foods taste amazing and taste amazing together.  From salty and sour to sweet and sharp pickle and cheese possibilities can go on and on.  For our Pickle and Cheese Box we chose some of our favorite pairings.  It will include 5 different types of pickles with the cheeses that we feel pair the best.  To make it like a ploughman's lunch we have included some baguette as well.  We are using 4 products from our favorite pickler, Unbound Pickling from Portland Oregon. Unbound Pickling is a company that starts with fresh product sourced locally and produces in small batches. The Unbound Pickles used for our pairings are the Beatnick Pickled Beets, Bread & Butter Pickles, French Quarter Green Beans, and Vanilla & Cayenne Cherries. Also included are our favorite Sweet Peppadew Peppers because we love the sour quality they bring to a salty cheese.  The box can be enjoyed here or boxed up to go.  Price is $20

Jolly Pumpkin Beer and Cheese Flight Night is here!

He Said... 
It is time for our annual Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and Cheese Pairing Event! Jolly Pumpkin is a brewery from Dexter, Michigan and specializes in creating unique "rustic country" brews using French and Belgian yeast strains. They mature ALL of their beers in oak casks using open fermentation and bottle conditioning. All of this results in a kind of house style that can be generally described as funky, sour, earthy, spicy, and at times bitter. Jolly Pumpkin is the creation of Ron Jeffries who was truly a visionary, creating a brewery that produced exclusively sour beers in 2004. Easily, one of the first American breweries to feature this style of beer so extensively. His passion, however, paid off. Jolly Pumpkin has grown from selling 160 barrels in 2004 to 5,000 barrels in 2013. I am a born and bred Michigander so I do like to support my Michigan brethern, but the reason I love this brewery as much as I do is the quality of their beers and how thirst-quenchingly satisfying they are in the Arizona heat. It is a great opportunity to come to the flight night event Friday evening because the $10 we are charging for the 5 beer flight is our cost.  A great deal!  Enjoy!

She Said... 
We are really excited to present the cheese pairing flight with Jolly Pumpkin Beers tomorrow.  I don't want to spoil you with all of the cheeses selected but I will give you a teaser.  Ireland's Cashel Blue is on the flight.  The creamy, moist, and spreadable blue worked well with almost all of the beers but we like it with one of the beers the most.  Cashel Blue is from the Grubb Family who have been dairying in Ireland since the 17th century.  In 1986 they created the first Irish blue from their herd of Friesian cattle.  The cheese has a mild blue flavor with a little bit of nutty and buttery flavors.  For the wild style Jolly Pumpkin beers it is strong enough without being too strong and is so creamy that it begs for a beverage with bubbles.  We hope you like the pairings as much as we do, the cheese flight tomorrow night is $12 for the 5 cheeses that pair and also includes baguette. 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Crow's Dairy
-Chevre
-Feta 
Ossau Iraty
Chabichou du Poitou
Brie de Nangis 
Brillat Savarin 
White Stilton with Mango & Ginger
Gina's Mozzarella 
Gina's Burrata 
Saint Angel 
Cashel Blue 
Cave Aged Marisa 
Beemster XO 

Meat: 

Country Pate with Black Pepper

Wine:
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 
Field Recordings Pinot Gris
Field Recordings Fiction Red
Field Recordings Cabernet Franc 
Castillo Perelada Pescadora Rosa 
Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir 
Fattoria Vitticio Bere Rosa 

Other: 
New from Elliot's Edibles! 
- Say Hello Spicy Tomato Jam 
- Wedge of Wood Smoked Tomato Jam 
- Peach Jam 
The Girl & The Fig Black Mission Fig Jam 
Belinda's Pickles 
Made by Bees
-Desert Wildflower Honey
-Mesquite Honey
-Orange Blossom Honey
-Spring Clover Honey 
Pistol Whipped Pastry! 
-Mini Cheesecake
-Peanut Butter Gluten Free Cookies
-S'mores Kit
-Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday Afternoon! 

Stagberry & American Cheese Society Winners!

He Said... 
In our box of goodies from Smoking Goose Meatery we received some of their Stagberry Salame! We don't always have the opportunity to bring it in so we are excited to have a small amount to share. Stagberry is a robust combination of ground Elk and pork studded with organic blueberries that have been soaked in mead (honey wine). The salame is then hand stuffed, tied, and aged under a layer of lard and rice flour. It really is this unique combination of flavors that makes Smoking Goose one of our go to favorites for Charcuterie. They recommend enjoying it straight-up or in the morning with eggs and salame.  It is also the perfect accompaniment to a big red wine. Enjoy!

She Said... 
Troy and I were thrilled to go to Myrtle Beach for some beach time and a beautiful wedding a few weeks ago.  The only kicker,  we missed out on attending the American Cheese Society's annual conference in Sacramento California. 4 days filled with workshops about cheese and people who love it has always proven to be an intoxicatingly wonderful experience.  If it sounds to good to be true, it gets even better with a Festival of Cheese for the finale.  The Festival of Cheese is a giant room filled with tables piled high with all of the cheese entries.  The public and conference attendants get to mingle and taste all of the winning cheese!  This year qualified judges had to choose the best of 1,685 cheeses from 248 American companies.   It's wonderful!  One of our favorite new blue cheeses from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, Bay Blue won 2nd Place Best of Show.  We knew that natural rinded creamy blue goodness was special!  Click here for all of the results.  There are many cheeses that have made their way through our shop and many that we will be trying to get our hands on.  The American Cheese Society doesn't just throw an amazing party every year.  They are crucial in advocating for cheesemakers and work hard all year long to ensure all of the beautiful American cheeses we love are safe and available. 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Crow's Dairy
-Feta
-Colby Cheese Curds
-Peppercorn Chevre
Mt. Tam 
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (pictured)
Barely Buzzed
Manchego 12 Months 
Gina's Burrata
Saint Angel
Barber's Cheddar 

Meat: 
Smoking Goose

Jowl Bacon
Gin & Juice
Delaware Fireballs
Stagberry 
Salami Piccante
Saucisson Rouge 
 
Fra'Mani Salami Toscano
Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon

Wine:
Field Recordings Fiction Red
Durigutti Cabernet Franc
Franco Serra Barolo
Groundworks Grenache Blanc
Groundworks Mourvedre
Three Pears Pinot Grigio
Heron Cabernet

Beer: 
J.K. Scrumpy's Northern Neighbor Cider
Great Divide Nomad Pilsner
Wild Cider Pineapple

Other: 
Rustic Bakery Crackers

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday!
Raw Goat's Milk Delivered every Tuesday! 

Featuring Jowl Bacon & Askinosie Chocolate this week!

He Said... 
Next up on our bacon adventure is Jowl Bacon from Smoking Goose Meatery. This type of bacon is popular in the South for good reason. It is rich and intense and can be enjoyed like you would belly bacon to flavor beans, vegetables, or soup. To make it Smoking Goose starts with a hand trimmed muscle that covers the cheek and neck of the pig. Then it is cured with sea salt, brown sugar, maples sugar and rubbed with coarse black pepper before smoking it over hickory wood. WOW! It can be cooked like regular bacon for the ultimate BLT or used in thicker cuts to add deep smokey pork flavor. Enjoy! 

She Said... 
We received a video clip in our e-mail last week from Askinosie Chocolate that I thought would be fun to share in this week's newsletter.  It was a nice reminder for me to share a little about the types of companies that we wish to represent in our shop.  The quality and flavor component of all of our products is most important but it is also important for us to bring in as many products that are conscious of their environmental and social footprints.  Quality chocolate fascinates me in a similar way that wine and cheese does.  There is a definite romance about the taste of a place coming out in the final product. A good chocolate bar comes from producers that are focused on bringing out all of the subtleties of the initial quality cocoa bean.  Askinosie does that and much more.  They offer above fair trade prices to their farmers and order directly so that the place where the quality beans are made benefits.  Here is the video link!  
We will continue to expand our chocolate selections, we actually have come across a few local producers that we can hardly wait to bring in this fall but Askinosie Chocolate will always be a staple on our shelves.  Come in and try it!  We offer several of their full sized bars and also bite sized itty bars for just 75 cents. 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Humboldt Fog
California Crottin
Capricorns
Dry Jack
Nancy's Camembert
Red Hawk 
Saint Angel 
Crow's Dairy
-Fresh Chevre
-Raw Goat's Milk 
Gina's Burrata 
Gina's Mozzarella 
Asiago Pressato 
Gorgonzola Piccante 

Meat: 
Finnochiona 
Salchicon de Vic 
Spicy Sopressata
Sopressata
Petit Jesu
Cantimpalo
Prosciutto di San Daniele
 
Wine:
St. Urbans Riesling 
Grayson Zinfandel
Three Pears Pinot Grigio
Enrico Prosecco 
The Ned Pinot Gris 

Beer: 
Bell's Oberon
Great Divide Collette
Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat

Other: 
Fallot Dijon Mustard
Marcona Almonds 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday 

Arriving Tomorrow from Smoking Goose!

Jowl Bacon
Gin & Juice
Delaware Fireballs
Stagberry 
Salami Piccante
Saucisson Rouge 

Featuring French Cheese Plate Saturday & French Muscadet!

He Said... 
A perfect pairing for our Tour de France Cheese plate this Saturday is Andre-Michel Bregeon's Muscadet from France. This lively thirst quencher is a white wine made from Melon de Bourgogne grapes in the western region of the Loire valley. This particular Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine is less like the many ambiguous mass produced Muscadet wines in the region because of the devotion to the grape and the soil from its creator. Michel Bregeon's vineyards are planted on gabbro soil, an old, blue-green, volcanic rock that is a rarity for vineyard soil. This particular soil was formed by magma eruptions under the ocean floor, which lends Michel's Muscadet a rich complexity. The cool climate of the region with cooling winds from the Atlantic Ocean bring a tingley acidity to the wine. The wine also benefits from the special care taken during the wine making process. Michel likes to age his Muscadet on the lees (aging it with the unactive yeast cells) after fermentation. This process creates a fuller and creamer mouthfeel with a sense of effervescence. Muscadet is a perfect hot weather sipper with noticeable minerality and prominent acidity, making it a welcome partner with food or sipping near the pool. We have limited bottles available so come on in and grab one. Enjoy!

She Said... 
We will pretty much use any excuse to eat a French cheese plate but Le Tour de France is a pretty good one.  The tour started last Saturday and will continue until July 27th.  3664 kilometers is a long way and worth some celebration!  That kind of athleticism warrants a plate of 5 French cheeses, Noble Bread, jam, and honey.  This year we are including Brillat Savarin, Ossau Iraty, Gaperon, Comte, and Blue d'Auvergne.  Providing you a variety of flavors, textures, and milk types from a country that has hundreds of cheeses is easy but deciding on which ones to choose can be a challenge.  Here is what we decided;  First up, Brillat-Savarin from Normandy.  It is a cow's milk cheese made with milk that has been enriched with creme fraiche resulting in a triple cream that has a buttery flavor and texture and slight sour tang in the finish.  It is named after the famous gastronomic writer Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in the 1930's.  Ossau Iraty is from the French Pyrenees.  It is a firm raw sheep's milk cheese with a lot of character.  It is nutty, buttery, fruity, and a little olivey & herbaly.  Gaperon is a new shop favorite from Auvergne.  It is a buttery cow's milk cheese with garlic and black peppercorns.  Comte is from the Eastern Alpine Region of France.  I most recently heard it described as a female version to Swiss gruyere because it has a less pungent bite and more of a nutty brown butter flavor. Bleu d'Auvergne in South Central France hits the mid-range for blue intensity.  The cow's milk cheese has a creamy texture and subtle herbal flavor because the cow's graze upon wild grasses, herbs, and flowers.  Sounds good right?  Enjoy it here at the shop on Saturday or we can box it up to go. These French cheeses will also make a convenient Bastille Day celebration on Monday! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Crow's Dairy Chevre
-Natural
-Peppercorn 
-Herb 
Gina's Mozzarella 
Brillat Savarin
Chabichou Du Poitou
Gaperon
Ossau Iraty 
Comte 
Blue d'Auvergne
Manchego 12 Months 

 
Wine:
St. Urban Riesling
St. Urban Spatlese 
Alberti 154 Malbec 
Duriguti Cabernet Franc 

Other: 
Crow's Dairy Raw Milk (Now getting deliveries on Tuesdays) 

Noble Bread delivered every Saturday 

Featuring Rancho Gordo Beans & the Summer Issue of Culture!

He Said...
I know a lot of us will be gathering with friends and family for the 4th of July and hopefully that means getting our hands dirty and making some great grub while sipping on whatever quenches your thirst. Cheese is always a good choice but this week I wanted to highlight a great company focusing on heirloom beans. If you think beans are boring let me introduce you to Rancho Gordo out of California. Instead of the pervasive kidney, great northern, or lima beans that fill supermarkets, Rancho Gordo concentrates on bean varieties that until recently have been mostly forgotten. Each variety has its own unique flavor, texture, or both. The possibilities are indeed endless, but I wanted to focus on one particular bean called the Yellow Eye and also share a baked bean recipe that would complement any 4th of July barbecue. These thick little beans soak up flavor (porks best friend) and are great in any stew or baked bean recipe. Here is the recipe for Baked Beans New England Style from the Rancho Gordo cookbook.
Ingredients:
1 pound Yellow Eye Beans, 2 tsp. dry mustard, 1 Tblsp tomato paste, 1 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup dark molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 Tblsp. maple sugar, 1/2 lb. salt park (optional, scored in several places with sharp knife), 1/2 large yellow onion (thinly sliced), Salt and pepper to taste.
Soak the beans for a few hours before bringing them to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered until beans are starting to soften. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Drain beans while reserving the bean broth. Make sure you have 2 cups of bean broth, if not just add water to reach 2 cups. Whisk together the broth, mustard, tomato paste, salt, molasses, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Pour half of beans into a heavy pot with a lid. Top with salt pork (optional) and half of sliced onion. Add remaining beans and top with remaining onion. Pour in the broth, cover, and bake until beans are soft and sauce clings to the beans (5-7 hours). Periodically, check the beans to make sure there is enough liquid and add water if necessary, but not too much. Your house will smell amazing. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Enjoy!

She Said...
Many of our cheese loving contacts around the country are surprised that our slowest months are in the summer.  For a lot of the world cheese shops are at their busiest because the weather is warm and cheese is  a simple, delicious, satisfying food that doesn't require heating up your kitchen. We get it, if you are in town the idea of going out into the desert heat even if it is to get to your favorite little cheese shop is daunting and most of you have just simply left town.  However, for those of you who just can not live with out cheese I want to feature Culture Magazine's latest Summer issue this week.  We have carried their issues since we have opened and despite the fact that it is not a top seller in our shop, we are huge fans and can't bear not to carry it.  The current is full of recipes that will get you through the summer heat including cheese ice cream.  The recipe for Rosemary Balsamic Parmigiano Ice Cream sounds to good to be true!  The summer issue also includes descriptions of some amazing Southern Italian cheeses that are going right onto my fall ordering wish list, salad recipes that are even enticing to Troy, (who does not normally get excited about salad) and instruction on making your own fresh cheese.  Whether you are headed out of town or staying in, pick up the latest issue of Culture Magazine before planning your next meal! 

The other thing I love about Culture Magazine is their website, case in point, check out this video of adorable goats! 

Featuring Mayu Wine and Bollie's Mollies!

He Said...
When the heat sets in I tend to shy away from loud and boastful red wines and begin to saddle up to some fresh and crisp whites. One of my go to wines this summer is a great white wine from Chile called Mayu. The grape variety, Pedro Ximenez, is surprising. This particular grape is best known for making Pisco, a grape brandy and Sherry in Spain. Here it takes center stage and makes quite an impression. It comes from the Elqui Valley, which is one of the newest wine regions of Chile located at the southern edge of the Atacama Desert. This is Chile's Northernmost commercially viable wine producing region. The area is a beautiful, harsh, dry and rocky region where rainfall averages 2.1 in a year. Vines, however, love to struggle. In this case the will to survive lends the wine a soft and bright character. The winery, Vina Mayu, opened in 2005 and was the 1st winery in the region. The word Mayu is the Incan word for the milky ways "river of stars," easily witnessed during the clear nights of the region. The wine aroma is one slightly floral, with citrus notes that carryover in the taste. with a nice addition of minerality. The lively acids and noticeable minerality play well with the heat making a easy drinking white. Enjoy!  

She Said...
Another raw sheep & goat mixed milk cheese from Pennyroyal Farms is looking lovely in our case this week.  Pennyroyal is located on the Mendocino Coastline along with Navarro Vineyards in California.  We have had great success with their Boont Corners aged tomme cheese.  It was hit at the St. Bernardus beer & cheese pairing that we did at World of Beer Tempe this past Monday and many of our customers have come back for a second and third wedge of it.  Bollie's Mollies is Pennyroyal's younger soft ripened cheese.  They are little rounds made by using a French technique of hand ladling the cheese (moule a la louche).  The result of this technique is a dense silky texture.  The outside of the cheese is ripened with Penicillium which gives it a bloomy white rind that turns baby blue and finally grey as it ages.  The raw mixed milk provides complex range of flavors from grassy, sweet, and tangy.  Bollie's Mollies are excellent with honey and of course the Navarro Chardonnay and Gewurtztraminer that we have on our shelves.  In their case, the saying is true, "what grows together goes together"!    

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Beehive Big John's Cajun Rubbed Cheddar
Boschetto al Tartufo 
Beemster XO 
Gina's Mozzarella 
Mahon
Mizithra
Brie de Nangis
Tete de Moine 

Meat: 
Salumeria Bielese Finnochiona

Prosciutto Creminelli 
Chorizo Cantimpalo 
Spicy Sopressata 

Wine:
Foris Pinot Gris
Elk Cove Pinot Blanc 
Point North Pinot Noir 
Foris Fly-Over Red
Three Pears Pinot Grigio
Grayson Zinfandel 
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc
Castillo Perelada Pescadora Rosa
Bere Rosa 
Dektown Fallout
Carlos Bosso Malbec 
Beckman Rose 

Other: 
Maille Cornichons 
Unbound Pickling 
-Bacon Pickle
-Bread & Butter Pickle  
Rustic Bakery Olive Oil & Sel Gris Crackers 

Noble Bread available every Saturday!  

Featuring Asher Blue Cheese & Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon!

He Said...
With so many great bacons out there I thought it would be fun to feature a new bacon on a rotating basis. Starting this month all of you bacon enthusiasts can join me on a year long bacon odyssey. I am hopping that we can all taste and learn together about what it means to enjoy REAL bacon. First up is the perfect all-around crowd pleaser, Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon from Wisconsin. The Nueske family can trace their roots in Wisconsin to Wilhelm and Wilhelmina Nueske who came to Wisconsin from Prussia in 1882. They brought with them their old-world recipes for smoked meats that the family later used to start their meat business in 1933. The company is still family owned and operated. Exceptional bacon starts with exceptional hogs and Nueske has these. They use hogs that have been crossed with a old breed of pig called Pietrain, which they love because of the lean-to-fat ratio. The hogs are raised on family farms where they are treated humanely. The pork is wet cured in a brine solution before it is hung for a day or so to dry and then smoked using real wood for 24 hours (tip, if a bacon is labeled applewood it may never see real smoke just apple flavorings). The resulting bacon is meaty, slightly sweet, mellow, with a noticeable but soft smokiness. It is a bacon that can complement any dish and is what I like to call "easy eating". Krista and I had the pleasure of hearing Tanya and her father Robert Nueske talk about their wonderful porky delights and they mentioned that one of their favorite ways to enjoy their bacon is by making "Wittenberg Splits". This is where you take a jumbo hot dog slice it down the middle but leave it connected. Place some sharp cheddar and a sliced dill pickle in the middle of the hot dog before wrapping it with bacon. Secure it with toothpicks cook it up and enjoy. I will have to try this decadent delight soon. This bacon would be great for Father's Day breakfast. Enjoy!

She Said...
Need a new blue to sprinkle over your summer salad or burger?  We have a blue cheese beauty from Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville Georgia.  We have carried some of Sweet Grass Dairy's other cheeses, Thomasville Tomme and Green Hill, but this is the first time we have had their Asher Blue.  What I love about Sweet Grass Dairy is their focus on quality milk.  They originally started cheesemaking because they felt like their high quality fluid milk was getting lost in the milk cooperatives they sold to and cheese was a way to showcase their quality milk.  What makes their milk so great?  To name a few reasons, their cows graze on pasture and are treated with respect.  They uses sustainable practices like rotational grazing and their animals are hormone free and treated with antibiotics only when sick which is very rare.  Asher Blue is a raw milk cheese that is hand pierced and aged 60 days.  It is one of the few natural rinded blues made in the United States (another one being Bay Blue from Point Reyes which we also just re-stocked!).  Asher blue has complex flavors ranging from meaty, grassy, sweet, earthy, and of course a little spicy.  The creamy texture serves as a glue to balance all of the flavors out.  It's one of those cheeses that every bite tastes a little different from the last and a must try for blue cheese fans.  I personally never tire of blue cheese on a tart apple with a drizzle of honey which is what I am going to do with Asher Blue later today!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Crow's Dairy Chevre
Bollie's Mollies
Boont Corners Reserve
Bay Blue
Barely Buzzed
Wagon Wheel
Mt. Tam 
Saint Angel 
Cashel Blue
Gina's Burrata 
Beemster XO

Meat: 
Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon


Wine:
Phillipe Zink Pinot Blanc 

Other: 
Reclaimed Wood Wine Racks!
The Girl & The Fig Black Mission Fig Jam
Pistol Whipped Pastry 
-Mini Cheesecakes
-Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies 
-Peanut Butter Gluten Free Cookies
Fentiman's Ginger Beer
Dr. Brown's Cherry Soda

Noble Bread available every Saturday!  

Highlights from Camp Bacon & New Zimbro Cheese!

He Said...
I have to admit I was not one of those kids that had great experiences at summer camp. The Michigan humidity, mosquitoes, and hay fever brought stained t-shirts, itchy arms, and a pocketful of used and shredded Kleenex. This past weekend, however, was an exception to my summer camp norm. It was Zingerman's Camp BACON (yes a real thing). For the fifth year Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, MI put on a unparalleled pork party of bacon. Krista and I joined other porcine enthusiasts to learn, rejoice in, and of course eat bacon. This years event involved talks with some outstanding bacon and salami makers, poets, food marketers, Australian specialty grocery owners, and bacon soap makers to mention a few. At all times bacon was sizzling and to be fair I consumed way more bacon then I thought possible. The only thing more impressive then the amount of bacon served, however, was the quality. So, what makes quality bacon. Like with most things it begins with quality ingredients. As the old saying goes "garbage in, garbage out" implies if you start with lean, flavorless, factory raised pigs then the flavor will be left wanting. There are some tricks, however, that mass produced bacon companies can do to hide defects in their bacon. The first sign of an industrial made bacon is that they love to pump the bacon full of water in order to keep the per-pound cost down. In fact, that tremendous sizzle one associates with bacon is the result of all that water leaving the bacon. A sure sign of this coverup is when the piece of bacon you start with reduces dramatically in size when cooked. Moreover, in order to add taste to a tasteless product they love to add copious amounts of salt. Try eating a few slices of industrial bacon and not succumbing to tremendous thirst. Another sign of mass produced pork is how they add smoke taste to their bacon. Unlike traditional high-quality bacon makers that actually burn real wood to create their smoke flavor the large meat corporations love to forgo actual smoke in favor of liquid smoke. This saves them time and money but unfortunately lacks deep rich smoke flavor. This is a few examples of the differences between industrial bacon and small-batch producers but their are others.  More bacon fun facts to come but for now enjoy your bacon! Hoping in the next few weeks we will have some new bacon in the shop for you to try!  Until then, we have Tender Belly's Cherrywood Smoked and Petit Jean Pepper Bacon.  

She Said...
A new Cheese arrival from Portugal seemed like the best choice to feature this week because we are pouring two Spanish red wines that pair wonderfully with this cheese at tomorrow nights wine tasting. Zimbro is a thistle rennet raw sheep's milk cheese made in small batches by Casa Lusa which is located in "Serra da Estrela" Northern Portugal.  For most cheeses, at least to my taste buds, I cannot detect the flavor of rennet unless it is a Thistle Rennet cheese.  Rennet is the crucial ingredient that separates the curds from the whey in cheesemaking.  It most commonly comes from traditional animal enzymes or microbial rennet made in a lab.  In Portugal and Spain it is more common to see Thistle rennet which gives cheese a slight sour flavor that can sometimes cross over to bitter. It works especially well with sheep's milk cheeses because it adds a contrasting flavor to the high butterfat, sweet, and nutty sheep's milk.  Zimbro is about 4" round and has a firm rind with a soft cream paste. It has a range of complex flavors from 
fruity, herbal, sour, and grassy.  You can stack it onto bread or crackers with a dab of jam or honey for the perfect treat.  If you care about awards, it was a finalists in Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation in 2013.  If you go by taste, you must come in and try Zimbro this week! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Honey Bee Goat Cheese
Ewephoria Gouda
Natural Smoked Gouda 
Crow's Dairy
-Peppercorn Chevre
-Natural Chevre
Asher Blue
Zimbro
Brie De Nangis 
Kunik 

Meat: 
Jamon Serrano 


Wine:
Arona Sauvignon Blanc
Ranga Ranga Sauvignon Blanc
GR-174 Priorat
Cune Crianza 
Dos Cabezas Pink 

Other: 
Treat Chocolate Truffles

Noble Bread available every Saturday!  

Tomato Tapas Jam & Da Morgada Sardines!

He Said...
Summer is here, which means rose wine, saison-style beer, and fresh cheeses. It also always triggers in me an intense appetite for seafood. More specifically seafood that has been preserved. I love the particular type of flavor that comes from maturing seafood in cans. It changes the flavor profile of the food in a way that no other method can duplicate. This week I am concentrating on DaMorgada Portuguese Sardines. They are caught off the coast of Portugal and are commonly recognized as some of the sweetest and most succulent of sardines in the world. They are caught, cleaned by hand, quickly cooked and canned within hours of harvesting. The process involves manual cleaning and very careful handling, followed by the traditional cooking in a grill oven before being canned. Only extra virgin or pure olive oil is used in the different sauces. These little oily delights are chock-full of protein, vitamins, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.  
I love them straight from the can but sometimes it is fun to change it up. Here is a tasty and easy recipe for a sardine sandwich. I also love them on toast with some avocado, salt, and olive oil. Enjoy!

Click here for a Sardine Sandwich Recipe from Saveur Magazine!

She Said...
We have recently replenished our stock of Jams from Three Little Figs of Portland.  They specialize in preserving produce using old school techniques. They hand cut all of their locally sourced organically grown produce and cook each small batch in copper pots.  Their Tomato Tapas jam is a mix of tomato, smokey cumin, and spicy pimenton inspired by Catalan tapas jams.  It is of course great with Spanish cheese like Mahon and Manchego but can also make an amazing addition to a sandwich, see Three Little Figs' own recipe here.  
Tomato Tapas Grilled Cheese Breakfast Sandwich Recipe. 
We also carry the Cabernet Cracked Pepper Jam and Peach Prosecco Bellini Jam.  Try it out! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Beemster XO 
Carr Valley Marisa 
Saint Angel 
Berber's Cheddar 
Crow's Dairy Chevre
Gina's Burrata 

Meat: 
Salumeria Bielese Spicy Sopressata
Chorizo Cantimpalo 

Beer:  

-Picobrouwerij Alvinne Morpheus Wild Undressed
-The Wild Beer Co. Iduna Cru Saison Style with Apple Juice 

Wine:
Dos Cabezas Pink 
Bisol Crede Prosecco
Vera Vinho Verde 
Bellstar Prosecco
Bieler Pere et Fils Rose 
St. Urbans Riesling
Franco Serra Barolo 
Fattoria Bere Rosa 
Bwise Wisdom
Trios Proprietary Red 

Other: 
Divina Cornichons
Three Little Figs
-Peach Prosecco Jam 
-Tomato Tapas Jam (pictured above)
Marcona Almonds
Dr. Browns Diet Black Cherry Soda
Dr. Browns Cream Soda 
Gus Orange Soda 

Saturday Noble Bread will be resuming June 14th! 

Carmody Cheese & Jolly Pumpkin Beer

He Said...
I was ruminating about the upcoming holiday and what I would enjoy imbibing in. Many beers and wines came to mind before I settled on a brewery that is hands down one of my favorites. The brewery is Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales from my home state of Michigan. I admit that I am biased but I truly believe this is one great American brewery. Owner Ron Jeffries started to work professionally in the craft beer world in 1995 when the American craft scene was in its infancy. In the summer of 2004 he opened Jolly Pumpkin. I will try and answer the first question many people have when I say that Yes they do have a pumpkin beer but no that is not what they are known for. They specialize in unique, funky, thirst quenchers that pair well with food, especially cheese. Their beers are created using open fermentation, matured in oak casks, and bottle conditioned. All of this brings a deep complexity to the beers. We currently have a few different ones in stock, including their limited release iO Saison brewed with rose hips, rose petals, and hibiscus. This is the beer I will be pouring for friends this holiday weekend. Enjoy!

She Said...
Liz and I were doing important "research" yesterday for a beer and cheese pairing event coming up at World of Beer mid June and one of the cheeses we tried stayed in my thoughts.  It's is a simple cheese without a lot of wow factor compared to our more high drama blues and raw milk alpine cheeses but I think it's worthy of placement on your cheese board.  Here is why, Carmody is from family owned and operated Bellwether farms in Petaluma, California.  They make sheep and cow's milk cheeses that are focused on the cheese being an expression of good quality milk.  For Carmody, they use high butterfat Jersey cow milk.  The cheese is aged 6 months and has a fresh buttery flavor with a sweet caramel hint in the finish.  Carmody is one of the most versatile cheeses in our case right now.  It can melt into any recipe and rivals any Italian table cheese.  The yellow colored paste appeals to even the most timid cheese eater even the kiddos. It pairs well with most beverages because it doesn't disappear or overpower.  The curdy texture is a perfect space for a little jam and crackers.  Bring it to your pool party this weekend for everyone to enjoy! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Mt. Tam
Capricorns
Redwood Hill Crottin
Red Hawk
Gina's Burrata  
Carmody
Monte Enebro

Meat: 
Country Pate with Black Pepper
Olli Salami Molisana

Beer:  

Jolly Pumpkin Saison
Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza
New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown Ale 

Wine:
Rimbert Mas Au Schist
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 
Phillipe Zink Pinot Blanc 
San Lorenzo Blanco 
San Lorenzo Rosso 

Other: 
Rustic Bakery Crackers 
Good Faith Farms Organic
-Kalamata Olives 
-Sevillano Garlic & Oregano Olives
-Sevillano Moroccan Spice Olives

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!

Coming Up, Sangria & Spanish Cheese Saturday!

He Said...
In keeping with the theme of culinary Spain I wanted to take a moment to celebrate Serrano Ham. Serrano Ham translates to "mountian ham" reflecting the tradition of curing these hams in higher altitudes in order to take advantage of those nice cool drying breezes that were so beneficial to dry cured ham before the control of refrigeration. The Spanish treat their pork seriously, they are not only the largest producer of air-dried hams but the greatest consumer as well. Some figures that I have seen state the Spanish consume 2 times the amount of cured ham then their Italian counterparts. The eating of pork and their religion helped define the Spanish as a people during the period of history where the Moors ruled the Iberian peninsula. The Serrano Ham is the everyday ham of the Spanish created from a breed of Iberico and White pig and makes up 90% of cured ham production in Spain. How should one enjoy Serrano Ham? Anyway one would like. We often eat it simply on its own or as part of a sandwich. You can also wrap it around shrimp before grilling or stuff chicken breasts with it. It makes great tapas wrapped around figs or as part of brushetta. Enjoy!

She Said...
Back by popular demand, Sangria and Spanish Cheese Saturday is here again!  Sangria is an excellent pairing for almost all cheeses.  It has two things that cheese loves, fruit and bubbles!   Our Sangria is not too sweet nor made from a mix, which is also a bonus.  On our Spanish cheese plate this year we have brought back all of our favorites.  The first, Monte Enebro from Avila, Spain.  It is a goat's milk cheese ripened with the same penicillium roqueforti mold used for the famous French Blue Roquefort cheese. This technique creates a unique goat's milk cheese with a lemony and acidic flavor that has a strong finish.  Next up we have the buttery and sharp Mahon from Menorca, Spain.  Mahon is essentially a cow's milk Manchego and though a tad less complex, you find you cannot stop eating it.  The third cheese is Smokey Idiazabal which is a hard sheep's milk cheese from Navarra, Spain.  It has a nutty flavor with a subtle meaty smokey finish reminiscent of the days when Shepherds stored their cheeses in chimneys for safe keeping.  When thinking of Spanish cheese we must include an intense blue like Cabrales.  Cabrales is from Asturias, Spain.  It is made from Goat, Sheep, and Cow's milk and is full of spicy blue mold.  The last cheese will have to remain a mystery.  We are not sure if the cheese originally intended will pass customs today but don't worry we have a back up plan just in case it does not.  The Spanish Cheese plate comes with quince paste, marcona almonds, and bread.  Come celebrate our warm weather with refreshing Sangria and satisfying Spanish Cheese this Saturday! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Seascape
Humboldt Fog 
Saint Angel 
Barber's Cheddar
Manchego 

Meat: 
La Quercia Tamworth Prosciutto 
Smoking Goose - 
Dodge City
Gin & Juice 
Saucisson Rouge 

Beer:  

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour
Breckenridge IPA
Great Divide Hercules 

Wine:
San Lorenzo Blanco 
San Lorenzo Rosso 
Peirano Estate Chardonnay
Ca'Dei Zago Prosecco 
Peter Franus Sauvignon Blanc
Zarpara - 
Sauvignon Blanc
Origin
Sangiovese 
Zinfandel 

Other: 
Belinda's Pickles 
Askinosie Chocolate 
Effie's Oatcakes 
Wedge & Bottle Insulated Wine & Cheese Tote Bags 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!