Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Ten Best Cheese Shops?

FoodNation has a ranking out of what they call the top 10 cheese shops in America. At least two GLARING omissions. Murray's Cheese in Greenwich Village, and DiBruno Brothers in Philly's Italian Market.

That said, the rest of the list looks interesting. I want to go visit all of them.

To read more: Food Republic's Best Cheese Shops

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oldest Cheese Ever?

A seventy-something cheesemaker decides to retire. Rummaging around his aging cave, he sees a block of old cheese. Really old cheese. Stuff he first put in there during the 1970s. Want to try some? Now it's for sale.

Here's what happened, according to

Edward Zahn, 73, was in Z’s Cheese Shoppe’s walk-in cooler last month, preparing to shut down his Oconto store. He pushed aside stacks of cheese to reveal several wooden boxes that had been overlooked for years.

Inside were blocks of unintentionally aged cheddar — 28, 34 and 40 years old — that, some experts say, might comprise the oldest collection of cheese ever assembled and sold to the public.

Read the full story at

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Water Buffalo In Marin

There's a boomlet in buffalo in America. Farms in southern California and New England are raising water buffalo, and started producing mozzarella di bufala, the pride-and-joy of Napolitano cheesemaking.

Now comes another American entrant: Craig Ramini, a reformed software consultant, has ditched Silicon Valley for a herd of 30 water buffalo, grazing a 25-acre field in West Marin, outside San Francisco.

Ramini has plans to start producing his own mozzarella this year, and like all entrepreneurs, has big dreams: He wants to build up his brand, then move part of the operation -- presumably, not the buffalo -- into San Francisco, where a cheesemaking operation could attract tourists and local foodies alike.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat profiles the fledgling operation:

Ramini, who is raising his own dairy herd of 30 water buffalo in west Marin County, hopes to be making small batches of mozzarella di bufalo — Italy's famous, fresh cheese — by this summer in his creamery near Tomales. . . .
Truth be told, Ramini said, water buffalo are as affectionate as Labrador retrievers, once you get to know them.

You can find the full story here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A trip to Wisconsin

Ever wanted to be in tourist in the rolling hills of Wisconsin, a.k.a. America's Dairyland? The L.A. Times takes a trip:

"Some time ago, Skinner Hollow Road was home to three of the 125 cheese factories that once operated in Green County. Thirteen remain, prompting tourism officials to describe the county as a cheese lover's paradise, an appropriate moniker in Wisconsin where license plates proclaim it "America's Dairyland" and residents gladly call themselves "cheeseheads."

Full story here:,0,367733.story

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Test this

Somehow, my Blogger account has gone kerfluey.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Cheese art for the Glorious 4th

Ok, so I haven't posted in a loooooooong while. Sorry 'bout that.

But here's a small bit of news, in honor of the nation's birthday (that nation is the US of A, natch): The cheese art movement is continuing apace, as Slashfood reports.

Sarah Kaufmann has been creating large and small sculptures out of cheese since 1981. This July 4th, Sarah is hand-sculpting cheddar cheese to design a scene (with a 15-foot circumference) of popular Wisconsin icons in a "Spirit of '76"-style parade.

In the past, people have crowded around Sarah as she produced her cheese masterpieces. For the next couple of days, people can once again gather to see the cheese turn into three dimensional characters. Today through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public is invited to the Madison, WI Sam's Club to taste the cheese and purchase their own piece of the 5,000-pound cheddar.

For the full story, click here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Will garbage kill Mozzarella?

In southern Italy, around Naples to be more precise, they have a few time-honored traditions. One is the manufacture of one of the world's greatest cheeses (and my personal favorite), Mozzarella di bufala.

The other tradition is less refined: organized crime is omnipresent there, and works its way into the most mundane of businesses. For the past few years, that sad fact has manifested itself in the most unseemly way -- a trash crisis that has overwhelmed Naples.

Now, that well-reported urban nightmare is beginning to affect the rural regions outside the city. And, as the New York Times reports, cheese is threatened:
"In the last few months, sales of buffalo mozzarella have dropped 40 percent, the product’s trade association says. The problem makes for a near-perfect morality play about Italy: For years, the nation’s paralyzed political class has done little to halt huge-scale illegal dumping of trash, some of it toxic, around Naples. That area happens to produce some of the best mozzarella.

A new trash crisis peaked yet again, and last week fears that food might be contaminated seemed confirmed when health officials announced elevated levels of the carcinogen dioxin in samples of buffalo mozzarella. Last weekend, South Korea banned imports of the cheese, and Italy began scrambling to avoid deep damage to one of its most emblematic products."

Click here for the full story.