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Rennet

Posted by fromagebob on December 26, 2010

Rennet is the generic name for the family of enzymes used to coagulate milk in the cheesemaking process. Rennet is derived from one of three sources: Animal, microbial, or vegetable. All introduce similar action in the milk; the enzyme causes a chemical reaction that separates the milk proteins, separating the milk into curd and whey. Once the initial action of the enzyme is completed, the traces of the enzyme remaining in the milk play a role in the aging process, and the creation of various aromatic and flavor profiles.

Animal rennet is derived from the fourth stomach (abomasa) of an unweaned ruminant. The stomachs are dried and either powdered, or cut into pieces for later use. The enzymes found in animal rennet are chymosin (80%) and pepsin. The young animal uses the enzymes to coagulate the milk in the stomach for better digestion.

There is no clear indication of when cheesemaking started; the earliest evidence dates back about 5,000 years, but it is very likely that the use of milk as a nutritional component extends much farther back in time, to the period when man moved from a hunter-gatherer (nature-provided) form of food generation to an agricultural / pastoral form.  Evidence of herding dates back some 30,000 – 40,000 years, so it is likely that the use of milk in the diet extends back almost as far.

Milk, when left to sour, naturally separates into solid and liquid, as the acid level of the milk increases. Given that the origins of man place us in the Middle East, and that the climate there was quite arid, it is likely that the souring of milk, and the use of the liquid and solid was common. It is not much of a stretch to imagine man figuring out that draining the liquid extended the life of the solid material, and then to using some form of pressure to force more liquid out.

When rennet came to be used as a coagulant is not known. The popular “creation myth” for rennet is that of a nomad galloping across the desert, his milk ration hanging from the saddle in a stomach being used as a container. Although that has a nice, romantic “ah-ha!” feel, it is far more likely that the discovery of rennet’s coagulating properties was a mundane accident. Given that early man would have made use of all of the parts of the animal, cooking stomach (tripe) in milk is the more likely source of the discovery. It is likely that the realization that combining milk and stomach took some time, as it had to be the perfect storm of events: the correct stomach, in milk, at the (reasonably) correct temperature. Speculation would say that the use of rennet as a coagulant probably occurred over several thousand years. I checked on-line for recipes using tripe and milk, and found quite a few. Here’s one from Gordon Ramsey…

In addition to coagulating the milk, rennet also plays an important part in the development of the flavor of the cheese. The biggest difference in the impact of rennet on flavor is found in cheeses made from thistle, or Cardoon, rennet, especially those from Portugal. Thistle-rennet cheeses often have more pronounced vegetal aromas and flavors, and are not as prone to the “piquant” or peppery feel of animal or microbial rennet cheeses.

When looking at the ingredients list of cheese, it is sometimes difficult to discern which rennet was used in the making of the cheese. For vegetarians, this is an important consideration. The obvious labeling shows the cheese as being vegetarian, but if that is not included, you must look at the ingredients list. Clues are “microbial rennet”, “vegetable rennet”, and “thistle rennet.” If the labeling is “animal rennet or “traditional rennet” then animal rennet was used. The problem comes in when the labeling simply says “enzymes” with no reference to the type used. Some manufacturers will include “no animal rennet used” on the label, but for others, you would have to contact the cheesemaker directly.

Cheeses made in Europe use mainly animal rennet, while cheeses made in the US use mainly microbial. Most Portuguese cheeses are made with vegetable rennet.

Sources for information in this article: American Farmstead Cheese, by Paul Kindstedt, Brined Cheeses, by A.Y. Tamime, and The Wisconsin Center for  Dairy Research publication, Dairy Pipeline, October 2000, Volume 12, Number 3.

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Cheddar Cheese

Posted by fromagebob on March 21, 2010

Cheddar cheese originated in the English town of Cheddar, and although it is no longer produced there, the name remains. In reality, the word “cheddar” is both a noun and a verb; Cheddar is the type of cheese, while “cheddar” or “cheddaring” refers to the process of making the cheese, which diverges from the traditional methods of cheese production (see Cheese 101: How Cheese is made for information on the basic process).

After the milk is curdled, cheddar curd is cut into cubes of about 3/8 of an inch, and then heated to 100 degrees to further extract whey from the curd. After the whey is drained, the curd is gathered together to the sides of the cheese vat, and allowed to start knitting together (fusing) into mats. Once the mats are formed, they are then cut into slabs about 12″ long and about 6″ high. The slabs are turned over about every 15 minutes to facilitate draining and further matting, until the proper level of moisture and acidity is reached. The slabs are then stacked on top of each other, allowing the weight of the curd to further drain the whey. The curd is restacked (top slab to the bottom, next slab on top, and so on) periodically, until the moisture content and the acidity level of the curd has reached the point desired by the cheesemaker. The cheese blocks are then milled into pieces the size of french fries, and salted. The size of the milled curd depends on the cheesemaker’s desired end product.

After the curd is milled and salted, it is packed into cheesecloth-lined cheese molds. The curd is pressed in the mold to force out more whey, and to compact the curd. The cheese is kept in the press for time varying from several hours to several days, depending on what the cheesemaker is trying to accomplish. Once the pressing is done, the cheese is removed from the mold and set to age. Cheeses can lose about half their weight in the molds. It takes about 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese.

Aging Cheddar

After being removed from the molds, cheddar cheese is sealed in some type of enclosure to prevent mold or bacteria from reaching the cheese. The flavors that develop in cheddar come from the microbials that were in the milk (especially raw milk cheeses) or that were introduced by the cheesemaker. Unlike cheeses that use mold or bacteria as part of their flavor development (like brie or Muenster), cheddar flavor relies on the biological changes that occur in the natural components of the milk. The common methods for sealing the cheese are to vacuum pack the cheese in plastic, coat the cheese in wax, or to wrap it in cloth, then seal the cloth with fat.

Mild cheddar is aged for 2-3 months before being packaged to sell. Premium cheddar is typically aged for 12-24 months, but can age for much longer. Some reserve cheeses are aged for 3-4 years; recently, a Wisconsin cheesemaker reportedly sold a quantity of cheddar that had been aged for 15 years. During the aging process, the cheeses are turned periodically – several times a week in the beginning – to ensure proper flavor development.

Once aged, the cheeses are then ready for market. Large blocks of cheese that are destined for products such as pre-packaged shredded cheese, processed cheese products, or to be incorporated into foods such as Cheez-its, are shipped in large blocks to manufacturers. For consumer use (such as what you purchase from the supermarket), the blocks are cut down to smaller sizes, vacuumed packed, then shipped for distribution.

Clothbound cheddars are often the most flavorful, and are the most representative of the original craft of cheddar-making. Clothbound cheddars are large wheels of cheese that range from 20-80 pounds per wheel. After pressing, clothbound cheeses are wrapped in cheesecloth or linen, then covered with fat – this can be lard, butter, or other fat – which seals the cheese and contributes to the development of the flavor profile. For those who keep a Kosher or Halal diet, it is very important to identify what was used to seal clothbound cheeses. This is sometimes included in the ingredients list, but to be certain, contact the cheese producer directly.

The term “cheddar” is not a protected term. Any cheese that is manufactured using the cheddaring process can be labeled as cheddar cheese. The European Union has recognized one designation for Cheddar Cheese, called West Country Farmhouse Cheese. Cheese carrying this designation must be produced in one of four English counties: Somerset, Dorset, Devon, or Cornwall. Three excellent cheddars from this area are Quickes, Keen’s, and Montgomery’s. Another cheddar-type cheese that is quite good is Lincolnshire Poacher, made in Lincolnshire, UK.

Cheddars are widely available locally, including the four excellent cheeses just noted. Other cheddars to try are Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, and Jasper Hills Clothbound Cheddar, Grafton Village Clothbound cheddar (the previous three from Vermont), and Beechers Flagship Reserve, from Washington State.

Cheddar-type cheeses that are worth trying are Dubliner and Dubliner with Irish Stout, from Kerrygold, and Chevre Noir, a goat cheddar from Canada.

You can find these cheeses at Sunset Corners in South Miami, Whole Foods in Coral Gables and Pinecrest, and at the Cheese Course, with various locations in South Florida.

Here’s a series of videos from the Welburn Cheese museum that give a pretty detailed look at how Cheddar cheese is made:




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Cheese Class – Now THAT’S Italian!

Posted by fromagebob on September 1, 2009

Our last class (for the time being) went quite well this past Thursday. Students were enthusiastic about the wines and the cheeses, and a good time was had by all! Our four Italian wines were: a 2008 Villa Rosa Gavi di Gavi, a 2008 Campogrande Orvietto from Antinori, 2005 Il Baciale Red Blend, and a 2006 Cesari Mara Ripasso. The cheeses were a very fresh Burrata, Asiago Presato, Robiona Bosina, Montegrappa, Ubriaco Frangilino, a Piave, a Marzolino Chianti Pecorino, A taleggio, A caciocavalla Silano, and a Castlemagno. Here’s how it went:

The Wines

One thing I was hoping for on the wines was that few of the students had tried them, and I was right – I think that all but two people had tried any of the wines; most had not, so it was an interesting experience to discuss everyone’s experience with them.

The Gavi di Gavi (which I keep calling Gavi de Gavi, being a true Miamian…) was rather nice and fresh. It had citrus, honey, lychee, and some lemon peel on the nose, with red apples, honey, and floral notes in the taste. The finish was medium, going from sweet to slightly bitter, but not unpleasantly so. The students found the wine to be refreshing, crisp, and replete with other notes that mostly ran to light fruits and floral. Everyone scored the wine in the positive (I gave it a +1).

The Orivieto was also a fresh wine that was quite a nice quaff. This tended towards citrus notes on the nose, but the taste had some spice and vanilla. Most in the class found it tart (which it was), and a few thought green apples were the predominant flavor. This wine also scored well.

The Il Bacaile is a blend from Braida, with 60% Barbarea, 20% Pinot Noir, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot. It has a rich mouthfeel and a very nice nose that I found to have dark cherries, along with some earthy, leathery, cigar-box notes. The taste ran to spicy, dark cherries, with some chocolate, licorice, pepper, a slight vegetal flavor, and a strange (though not unpleasant) rubber note. The finish was medium and pleasant. This wine also scored in the positive.

The Ripasso was quite delicious, with currants, cherries, licorice, and earthy notes on the nose, and cherries, pepper, raisins, and a very slight candy-ish taste. Most scored this the highest, at +2.

The general feeling in the class was that although all the wines were tasty, they were somewhat harsh – the reds tannic, the whites a little bitter, but it was rightly pointed out by our resident wine guru that Italian wines tend to be food wines moreso than many other wines – especially US wines that often substitute for cocktails. The pairings underscored that premise!

The Cheeses

As with the wines, very few people had tried any of the cheeses, other than the burrata; the comments before we started were of the delicious taste with fresh tomatoes. I do not remember the restaurant, but I believe that they made their own.

Burrata: Moans of pleasure were the first indication that people really liked this cheese. I held a bag out to show the class how it shipped, and cut it up into small cups so that the creamy goodness didn’t go away. The aroma was of fresh milk, cream, and hay, and the taste almost the same, with a little floral hint. It was very nice! Scores for this were mostly +2.

Asiago Presato: This is a fresh Asiago, imported by Mitica. I could not find out who the producer was, but I suspect it was factory because of the general feel of the cheese. It was very mild with no eyes, and a slight rubbery texture. It had some grassy notes, and one student thought it smelled faintly of lint. The taste was creamy, fresh milk and straw, and I swear there was a very faint hint of fennel floating around in there. I have had fresh Asiago that was more rustic with a slightly stronger, more pasture-y flavor, but this was not an unpleasant cheese. It would certainly be a good replacement for the cube pile you find at most parties! Aging time is about 3 months. Scores for the Asiago were almost all positive.

Robiola Bosina: This is a double crème from the Langhe region. It was well received. The producer of this was Caseificio dell’Alta Langa, which is the label I find on most examples of this particular cheese around town. The nose was buttery, grassy, and hay. The taste buttery, mushroom soup, with some earthy notes. It was quite tasty. Aging time is about 2 weeks. Scores for this were mostly positive. I think one person scored it zero.

Montegrappa: This is a semi-hard cheese from the Veneto region of Italy. It’s aged for 8 months, and has a texture similar to cheddar. The nose was fruity and earthy, and the flavor nutty, with citrus and lemon peel notes. This was a very tasty cheese. What was interesting is that when you first bit it, the flavor was very mild, but as it reacted to the saliva, it blossomed, becoming more tangy and flavorful in your mouth. Most scored this positive.

Ubriaco Fragolino: This is a hard Cow’s milk cheese aged for about 8 months in sweet Fragolino wine (made from the Fragola grape). It has a very pineapple aroma and flavor, with some woody notes on both the nose and in the taste. I also got mangos and apples in the taste; others were more general towards fruit flavors.

Piave: This is a hard cooked-curd cheese from Veneto, with earthy notes in the nose, along with hay and a little barnyard. The taste was nutty and meaty, with some woody notes. This would also be a nice grating cheese. I am not sure how long this particular version was aged for. It seemed a little soft for a 12-month version, but it was quite tasty.

Marzolio Chianti: This is a semi-hard pecorino

Taleggio: This seemed to be more of a factory Taleggio, by Ca de Ambros; I’ve had more rustic versions with a richer flavor, but this was not bad. The nose was funky and earthy, with a hint of talcum powder. The flavor was salty milk, orange peels; one student correctly picked up cooked egg white (I had tasted something with a little sulfur in it).

Caciocavalla Silano: This is a semi-hard pasta filata cheese from the Calabria region of Italy. I am pretty sure that this is an industrial version of the cheese, as it didn’t have a lot of character. It was tasty, but kind of boring. The nose was earthy, woody, with some citrus notes. The taste was salty-sweet with a hint of oak, and a very citrusy taste in the corners of my mouth – like sucking on an orange – the flavor that you get on at the corners. It was a little strange. Pleasant, but strange. The cheese was very flaky and a little dry.

Castelmagno: What can I say. Most of the class hated this cheese, but one fellow collected every single leftover piece to take with him. Go figure. The chunk we had was over the hill; ammoniated just a bit, and quite a variation in taste depending on where the cut was. I had the outer cut from the piece I bought, which may have been why I rated it -1 on its own, and with every paring. The Castelmagno lover gave it a couple of +2’s in the parings. The aroma for me was pencil lead, and the taste was very funky, woody and earthy. Wet hay, grassy, mushrooms on the taste. There was some blue in the cheese, not everyone got some, but those that did weren’t very fond of it. I suspect that a fresher version of this cheese would be quite good.

Parings in the next post!

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Cheese Class Session 2

Posted by fromagebob on August 24, 2009

Last class this coming Thursday, the 27th! Sign up at danteMiami.org/cheese!

We had our second cheese class this past Thursday. What a blast! 13 cheeses, 5 wines, tired students. Perfect!

We featured these cheeses:


Capricho de Cabra, a fresh goat cheese from the Murcia region of Spain
Mt. Vikos Manouri, a fresh sheep & goat Manouri from Thessaly, Greece
Ricota Salata, a fresh Sheep Curd and Whey cheese from Italy
Amarelo de Biera Baixa, a semi-soft Portuguese sheep’s milk cheese
Herve Mons Camembert, a bloomy-rind French version of the real thing
Tarago River Triple Crème, a GREAT bloomy-rind Triple crème cheese from Australia
Le Chevrot, a surface-ripened goat cheese from France
Munster Gerome, a washed-rind cheese from Alsace
Millstone, a nice semi-soft Alpine cheese from Rolf Beeler
Idiazábal, a smoked, semi-firm sheep cheese from Navarre, Spain
Aged Gouda – 5 years, from Holland
Monte Enebro, a nice, creamy, goat blue cheese from Avila, Spain
Maytag Blue, a great blue from Iowa!

The favorites were the Capricho de Cabra, the Amarelo, the Triple Crème (the favorite of the favorites), Le Chevrot, the Millstone, and the Monte Enebro. The least liked cheeses were the Camembert, the Munster, and the Idiazabel.

Our wines were a Von Buhl Halbtrocken Riesling, Groth’s Sauvignon Blanc, Domains Bunan Mas de la Rouivere Bandol, George Duboef Beaujolais-Villages, and Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec. The Bandol and the Beaujolais were the favorites, although the Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc improved with the cheeses. The Malbec got better after it aired out. We ran out of time for all the parings, but I will work my way through some of those and report back!

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Cheese Class Success

Posted by fromagebob on August 14, 2009

Well, we had our very first cheese class last night at the Whole Foods Lifestyle Center in South Miami (actually, it’s in Coral Gables, but geographically, South Miami makes more sense). Thanks to Whole Foods for the wonderful facility!

I divided the class into three sections: wine tasting, cheese tasting, and cheese parings. We try the wine first because starting with the cheese can really kill your palate.

The wines were:

2007 Wente Riva Ranch Arroyo Seco Chardonnay
2007 Casa Lapostolle Rapel Valley Merlot
2006 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Alsace.

In general, every one liked the wines. I scored them +1 across the board. A few gave the Merlot a zero because it was rather tannic – next week, I will bring my decanter so that we can smooth any rough wines out.

The Wente was quite nice. It does not indicate on the bottle, but it’s actually a blend, consisting of 96% Chardonnay, 3% Gewurztraminer, and 1% Pinot Blanc. It has a very nice flavor. According to their website, 92% of the wine is fermented in oak, the balance in stainless steel. The oak is not overwhelming, but it has a nice body and a pleasant buttery taste. There are pear and apricot aromas, some green apple, and a pleasant floral undertone. The taste has light caramel or butterscotch (I couldn’t figure out which), fruits, and a bit of vanilla. One of the students went out today and purchased a couple of bottles, and I can say that it will be a Chard I’d keep on hand. I liked it.

The Merlot was tannic. I wish I had brought a decanter or an aereator to smooth it out. After it sat in the glass for a bit, it smoothed out. There were dark fruit and cherries – one student described cooked cherries. I’d say maybe dark cooked cherries??, with cherry licorice, leather and a little smoke on the finish.

The Gewurztraminer was rather nice. It was a bit sweet, but had the typical Gewurz spicy, fruity notes.

For the cheeses, I selected Le Petit Brie, Parrano, Garroxta, Bucherondine, Pecorino Toscano, Meadow Creek Grayson, Midnight Moon, Appenzeller, and Gorgonzola Dolce. For the tasting, I plated the cheeses in the order shown, which ran from mild to strong. Everyone liked the Brie, LOVED the Parrano. Mixed feelings about the Garroxta and the Bucherodine. The Pecorino was fairly well received. The Grayson was interesting – I really like this cheese, but the feelings of the crowd were mixed. Several people really disliked it, others were ambivalent. I can say that it was a little different from what I recently brought back from New York, which is a STRONG case for the problems that local retailers have with storing cheeses. The Midnight Moon got rave reviews from all but one. The Appenzeller got mixed reviews, and the Gorgonzola had the typical love-hate response.

Since the class was about entertaining, I had the problem of presenting the cheeses for the tasting in mild to strong, but in the three groups of three that represented the parings. I set this up as the arrival course, dinner course, and dessert course by placing colored dots by the cheeses representing the groups they fell into. Should have taken photos.

Paring foods with wines is so much fun, so much work, and so rewarding when you get it right!

The paring groups were:

Brie, Parrano, Garroxta paired with the Chardonnay

Pecorino, Midnight Moon, Appenzeller paired with the Merlot

Bucherodin, Grayson, Gorgonzola paired with the Gewurztraminer.

The first paring got OK reviews. The Brie and the Garroxta went quite nicely with the Chard, the Parrano less so. I found it very interesting that the cheese really brought out the alcohol of the wine – never had that happen before. Usually, one component will affect the taste of the other.

The second paring went slightly better, although the feelings about the Midnight Moon were mixed. I thought it went nicely. The cheese mellowed out, but it made the wine taste smoother and fuller, but some in the crowed disliked the paring.

The third group, though, got rave reviews. The Gewurztraminer isn’t the greatest, but it really sang with the cheeses – all of them.

As always, the reaction of the group to the parings was worth the wait. I think that seeing how wine and food interact in a fairly simple example is one of the best parts of this type of class, because you start to understand how it all comes together.

One example I used that I think (if I do say so myself) illustrates the paring problem is the following:

Imagine that you’re giving a dinner party, and you’re going to serve your world-famous roast lamb. People come from miles around to try the rich, roasted, intense flavor of this fabulous dish. Your menu will also include asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and your beloved Cajun fingerling potatoes.

Question: Which of those menu choices are you going to pair the wine with?

Answer (naturally): the Lamb.

So I then read through the paring options in my favorite book, “What To Eat With What You Drink” and amazingly enough, the wines that paired with the lamb didn’t pair with anything else.

Conclusion: going for a neutral paring is a GOOD thing if you’ve got a complex menu to serve!

More on the class later.

Two more sessions – visit http://www.DanteMiami.org/cheese to sign up!

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Cheese Class, T minus 1!

Posted by fromagebob on August 12, 2009

Well, I’ve lined up the cheeses and the wines for the class! The theme is Cheese for Entertaining (which evolved from my getting – inadvertently – in the middle of a battle between husband and wife over what cheeses to buy for a party).

We’re going to taste the following cheeses:

Le Petit Brie
Parrano
Garroxta
Bucherondin
Pecorino Toscano
Meadow Creek Grayson
Cypress Grove Midnight Moon
Appenzeller
Gorgonzola Dolce

And the wine parings are going to be:

Wente Chardonnay from Riva Ranch
Lapostolle Merlot from Chile
Marcel Deiss Gewurtztraminer

Should be fun!

You can still sign up, just let me know that you did!

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Cheese Boot Camp

Posted by fromagebob on August 4, 2009

Line Up! March In! Forks Ready! Now EEEAAAATTTT Cheese!

Just got back from New York, and Murray’s Cheese Boot Camp. 15 hours of cheese over three days. It was WONDEFUL! I’ll be blogging about it in detail, but here’s a “taste” (ha ha):

Day 1: Friday 1830 hours (6:30pm for the uninitiated)

Arrived at Murrays, headed upstairs to the classroom. Walked past (slowly past) the cheese counter, feeling those tastebuds kicking in.

Yes, as you can see the temptations were many ,but I persevered an headed upstairs. They have a great classroom that looks out over their busy cheese floor, so we got to watch the interesting variety of customers that walked in the door.

My seat is there in the foreground, with my cute red umbrella. Ready to eat!

Here’s what greeted me when the class started (well, I had already hit the Ricotta…)

Doesn’t that look YUMMY! From the top (going clockwise):
Calabro Fresh Ricotta
Westfield Farm Capri
Brillat Savarin
Epoisses
Queso de la Serena
Mongomery’s Cheddar
Pecorino Ginepro
Podda Classico
Bruyere
Roquefort

Day 2: 1030 hours: Down Into The Depths

We spent the first session of the 2nd day in the caves, trying LOTS of cheeses and seeing how they are aged. Murray’s has quite a bit of subterranean real estate dedicated to their aging caves, and I just love wandering around down there!

This is the natural rind cave. Those are Stiltons on the top left, provolone’s hanging from the shelves, and Saint Nectaires on the lower right.

Day 2: 1530 Hours: Back In The Classroom

The afternoon of Day 2 was in the class, learning about Old World – vs – New World Style cheese making.

Oooooo. From the top, clockwise:

Valencay
Humbolt Fog
Constant Bliss
Camembert
Grayson
Brachensteiner
St. Nectaire
Chester
Sartori Stravecchio
Parmigiano-Reggiano

Day 3: 1030 Hours: She Blinded me with Science!

This session covered cheesemaking and cheese science. Very interesting, and fascinating how similar, and how different cheesemaking is to winemaking. I think that cheesemaking is WAY harder, and much more volatile. Didn’t get a photo of the cheeses in this session because they came out later.

Day 3: 1530 Hours: The Ultimate Sacrifice

The things we do for our hobbies! 6 wines! 6 beers! 6 cheeses! WOOO (hic) HOOOOO!

My somewhat decimated place in class. I actually remember most of the session too! Good thing I took notes!

Tune in to this station for more details about boot camp, coming soon.

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Cheese Classes

Posted by fromagebob on July 7, 2009

We did it! We’re going to be starting our cheese classes next month, at the Whole Foods Lifestyle Center in Coral Gables. There will be three classes, described below. I’ll have the link in the next day or so for where to sign up! Say CHEESE!!!

Entertaining with Cheese    August 13, 2009

Ever been to a party (or given one…) where the “cheese” was a pile of white and yellow cubes with toothpicks sticking out of them? Nevermore! In this informative and tasty class, we’ll explore a selection of cheeses just perfect for parties, from casual entertaining to formal dining. We’ll learn how to cut, plate, and serve cheese, and then try a selection of wines chosen to pair with a the cheeses to create great combinations. We’ll also share some tips about selecting and buying cheese, so you get the best selection from the Whole Foods cheese counter!

Session 2: What’s in a Rind?        August 20, 2009

There are lots of ways to classify cheeses, from the milk type to the country where the cheese is made, but the most common way is by rind type and texture: Fresh cheese, Bloomy rind, Semi-soft cheese, Washed rind (stinky!), Firm cheese, Hard cheese, and Blue cheese. In this class, we’ll take a look at examples of each type of cheese, learn a bit about how cheese is made, and what makes it so delicious! We’ll also discuss how to store cheese so that it stays fresh and yummy. Of course, we’ll also be paring our cheeses with a selection of wines, and learning how to choose the right wines for your cheeses.

Session 3: Now, That’s Italian!        August 27, 2009

An Italian fellow I know insists that Italians invented cheese! Not sure how true that is, but we’ll certainly discover just how wonderful Italian cheeses can be in this session. We’ll try a variety of cheeses from around Italy, and– you guessed it – pair them with some great Italian wines. At the end of this class, you will be saying manga! manga! with the best of them!

Each class will start promptly at 7:15 pm, and will run for approximately 2 hours. Each class will feature a selection of cheeses and wines. We’ll start each class by trying the wines, then the cheeses, and then we’ll pair them up. We’ll discuss our impressions of each component, and share ideas on what works, and what doesn’t. Each class will feature a handout with information on the wines, cheeses, and parings, along with ample space for you to take notes on each.

All classes will be held at the Whole Foods Lifestyle Center, on San Remo Avenue in Coral Gables. It is just South of US1, behind the Whole Foods Store, about ½ block EAST of Red Road. Street parking is available at the meters, or for free in the Whole Foods Garage.

Class size is limited, so PLEASE sign up early. Individual classes are $64.50 each; the entire series is $157.50. If you have any questions, you can e-mail fromageBob@gmail.com, or visit our blog at http://fromageBob.WordPress.com.

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Cheese Classes!

Posted by fromagebob on July 4, 2009

Looks like they’re finally coming to be! Planned dates are August 13th, 20th, and 23rd, at the Whole Foods in Coral Gables (Red Rd near US1). Session 1: Cheese for entertaining; Session 2: What’s in a Rind; Session 3: Now THAT’S Italian!
Keep watching for more info!

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