Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cheesetopia

I'll spare you the history of cheesemaking in my area. There are century-old companies still in business. There are classy start-ups.
It seemed like a long, dry spell in the 80s and 90s, though. Cheese was not interesting. Not ambitious. (Somebody come and tell me I'm wrong; I don't mind being corrected.)
But lately we've had an unbelievable spate of newcomers. I mentioned the flurry of new cheesemaking from an established (but not old) company recently. I'm not a cheese historian, so I'm probably botching the story here anyway.
And then, all of a sudden, there's Weirauch Farm and Creamery, making wonderful cow's milk cheeses, and promising sheep's milk cheeses once their herd is sufficiently established and the season is right.
They showed up at the local farmers market last week, and Cranky grabbed this Tomme Fraiche.
I don't speak professional cheese. Let me just say it's semi-firm (a texture my mouth loves), riddled with little eyeholes, and tasting salty and tangy. It's mild (and not stinky) but it makes its presence known. A very adaptable cheese. We adapted it to a picnic. The rind is edible, and a little goes a long way.
It may be made in America, but this is not American cheese.
I'm so happy to be living in my little European pocket of America.

19 comments:

Chilebrown said...

You are the most cheesy person that I know and adore.

kudzu said...

I'll bet it was great with the little Tommy-Toes.

cookiecrumb said...

Chilebrown: You are correct, sir!

Kudzu: We loved it, and now we're calling those red orbs tomme-toes. :)

Greg said...

Yum! You are still the tapas queen. We have some serious culinary choices here.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: Around here, sometimes tapas are le pique-nique. It's so easy, with all our local bounty.

Hungry Dog said...

I've not heard of this cheese, I'll have to look for it. I like the look of your little picnic. There is a ton of fantastic cheese made in Marin and Sonoma. My cousin's husband's family makes Nicasio Valley cheeses--they make a slew of delicious ones. Give 'em a try if you spot 'em somewhere. Foggy Morning is a good one.

cookiecrumb said...

Dog: We just discovered Nicasio Valley! Awesome. Happy for them, happy for you, happy for me.
I still have not attempted a ricotta at home (though I've fooled around with quark, paneer and a goat cheese hereafter called Not Too Goaty).
:)

Zoomie said...

You are so right about the cheesy bounty around here. We's lucky that so many folks are into cheese making.

cookiecrumb said...

Dog: Your relatives also own our video store, right? Small world.

Zoomie: I wonder if I'll ever be able to taste it all. How spoiled we are that the artisans come to our backyard to peddle their wares.

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Cookie, is that olive or raisin bread you have there with your cheese?

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, Mouse, I meant a to say something about it. It's black, gooey olives. The best.
You are an eagle-eye.

SimplyStated said...

That just looks good...add some fruit, maybe a small,lite salad and a bottle of your favorite vintage and you have one classic, tapas picnic for the dog days of summer.

Speaking of dogs, I never thought of Perry as a "Minnie-Me" Bush but I think your on to something there...

cookiecrumb said...

Simply: Ah, there was also a little plate of homegrown pear slices. Perfectamundo.
Yeah, that Perry dick is harmful. He was George's lt. gov., which is a lot of enuff said.

namastenancy said...

Let's face it - there are so many food things that are the queen of that we should just cut to the chase and call you L'impératrice d' alimentaire (sp?) or Empress of Food in mundane English.

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

Oh gosh, more cheese! You're killing me, literally (with the cholesterol!), but pass the pears please!
I needed a dairy break tonight so it's miso chili glazed eggplant and sauteed sesame spinach for us (and no, we don't have A/C up in these 'bouts thankfully there's a nice breeze).

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Oh, not I, dear. I am just a lucky citizen of the realm.

Little Pots: I worry. Do I eat too much cheese? I really don't think so. I just like to write about the great stuff.
BTW, miso glaze is my new favorite go-to. I will have lots of suggestions coming up. Yours sounds fabulous, yeep!

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

Me hearts the miso, and that tome still looks wonderful! I bet it would do well in a fancy panini/grilled cheese situation on that olive bread :-)

Ms Brown Mouse said...

Olive bread is on high rotation at our house, LOVE those salty olives :)

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: I remember the first time I had olive bread. New to me. I thought "We can do this?" Sigh.