curdnerd's blog

Cheese of the Week - Bra Duro

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Every September, Slow Food hosts an International Exhibition of Cheese in Bra, Italy. Taking its namesake from this city are two spectacular D.O.P. cheeses: Bra Tenero and Bra Duro. Bra Duro, made in the Cuneo province from raw cow's milk, is the firmer of the two, as it is aged for at least 180 days (Bra Tenero is aged for about 45 days). With scattered holes throughout, it's pale-yellow pâte is nutty and aromatic, while its flavo

Herv&#233 Mons, Affineur

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The folks at Big Cheese Stories, the Murray's Cheese blog, have posted an incredible essay today about Hervé Mons, a third-generation French affineur. If you think of affineurs simply as cheese ripeners, this article will convince you that they are, in fact, artists. Also included are some fantastic pictures, as the authors visit a

I am High on Cheese

According to this article from the UK Sun (okay, okay, I know, not the most reputable source), cheese has high amounts of phenylethylamine (PEA), a chemical that releases endorphins into the body. Chocolate also contains this chemical, but apparently cheese contains 10 times that amount! No wonder why curd nerds are always happy.

Cows Genetically Modified to Produce Protein-Enriched Milk

File this under humanity's ongoing pursuit of hubris, the New Scientist is reporting that scientists in New Zealand have created cows that have been genetically modified to produce protein-rich milk for cheesemaking. The cows are basically given extra protein-making genes, and the milk that results is up to 20% more protein enriched. And because cheese is basically fat plus protein (in the form of casein), protein enriched milk will create a higher yield of cheese.

As much as I love cheese and other dairy products, I do recognize that even in the smallest of farmstead operations, a certain amount of cow exploitation occurs. Even if the cows are treated fantastically well, the simple process of milking is, at the very least, an imposition. Simply picture human women being milked

Alpine Cheese More Nutritional

Swiss info reports today on a study conducted by Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology that shows that cheese made from the milk of cows that graze on Alpine pastures has more nutritional value for humans than other cheeses. "There was a higher concentration of desirable

2006 World Championship Cheese Contest Winners!

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Today was the final day of the 2006 World Championship Cheese Contest held in Madison, Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. The Grand Prize went to a Swiss Emmentaler made by Walo von Muhlenen, while the two runners-up hailed from the Netherlands.

There were also lots of specific categories, each of which had its own winner. Vermont's own Cabot cheese won

Video: How to Make Fresh Mozzarella

This video was shot at a recent pizza party hosted by Slice NY and Gothamist, and features Michael Ayoub, chef/owner of Fornino in Brooklyn, demonstrating how to make fresh mozzarella. Ayoub starts from the curds (he buys the curds ready made from a supplier), and shows

The Cheese Nun

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Keep an eye out next week for Pat Thompson's 2003 Documentary "The Cheese Nun," playing on your local PBS station. The 52 minute documentary follows Sister Noella Marcellino, artisanal cheesemaker at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut. "While making a 20,000-mile odyssey through some of the most remote cheesemaking regions of France, little did she realize that she was on her way to becoming a leading international expert in the art of natural-milk cheesemaking."

Via Pacific Northwest Cheese Project
Purchase the DVD at PBS.org<?a>
Find out when it's playing on your local PBS station

Using Whey to Make Ethanol

Whey, the protein and sugar-laden by-product of cheesemaking, may turn out to be an important raw material in the manufacture of ethanol. Sometimes seen as a problem of disposal, whey can in fact be reused for a number of other applications. Ricotta cheese is traditionally made from the whey left over after mozzarella making; whey is also used as a food supplement for both livestock and humans (as an additive in muscle-building supplements and other foods). But since whey contains a good deal of milk sugar (lactose), scientists are researching ways to turn that sugar into ethanol, a fuel that promises to eclipse crude oil in the next decade.

President Bush referred to ethanol in his 2006 State of the Union Address, and since then the media has been buzzing with news about it. Most of the ethanol in this country is made from

Cheese of the Week - Gubbeen

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In honor of St. Patrick's Day, this week's Cheese of the Week is Gubbeen, a washed-rind cheese made from cow's milk in West Cork, Ireland. The name Gubbeen is from the Gaelic word "gobin" which means "small mouthful," and refers to the bay near where the cheese is made. The dense, savory taste of the cheese is at least partly attributable to the quality of the grass that grows in the warm and humid Gulf Stream climate in West Cork. This cheese uses vegetable rennet and is suitabl

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