Ed Janus, radio Journalist and Wisconsin resident for over 35 years, has created a wonderful site filled with audio conversations and slideshows that profile a group of dairy farmers and cheesemakers from America's Dairyland. Some of the best and most influential American cheesemakers are profiled, such as Sam and Sid Cook of the award winning Carr Valley Cheese, Mike Gingrich, maker of Pleasant Ridge Reserve, and the Crave Brothers, whose Farmstead Fresh Mozzarella is absolutely heavenly.
Via Cheese Underground.
Wedginald, the British Farmstead Cheddar whose year-long aging process has been mercilessly broadcast 24/7 on Cheddarvision.tv, is being auctioned off for charity on Ebay. As of today, Wedginald has been maturing for almost 11 months, and according to the Cheddarvision website will be ready to eat "before Christmas." The current high bid is £520, which comes to almost $1100 with the U.S. dollar as weak as it is. Expensive, yes, but can you really put a price on history? All proceeds will be donated to BBC Children in Need.
The November issue of Food & Wine has a little feature on creating an American Cheese Plate by Laura Werlin, a noted expert on American artisan cheeses and author of a new reference book called Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials. In the piece, Werlin lists 24 great American cheeses (with descriptions) organized into 7 categories. There's also a sidebar that lists some retail shops around the country where these cheeses are available.
Purchase Mozzarella di Bufala for $9.99/lb at iGourmet.
This week the Amateur Gourmet has a great video up that chronicles a recent visit he made to Murray's Cheese. In it he learns about the main differences between cow, goat, and sheep's milk cheeses, about what distinguishes real British farmstead Cheddar from others, and about one of the best French blue cheeses available stateside, Persillé de Malzieu. Nathan, the cheesemonger featured in the video, has helped me on a number of occasions lately, and is a really great, friendly, knowledgeable guy.
Murray's class, called Cheese U, is an intenstive six-week course designed to give attendees a well-rounded education in all things cheese. The class starts with an introduction and orientation, and continues with a detailed look at the different types of milk used to make cheese, the history and geography of this great food, followed by a look at cheesemaking, affinage (the art of aging cheese) and beverage pairing. The course is pricey at $795, but in addition to the classes themselves you get a "required reading list," take home assignments, a final exam and a Certificate of Achievement upon completion.
Artisanal's Master Class: Intensive Class for Professionals is largely geared towards food professionals (and comes with a correspondingly high price tag at $1200), but promises to spend a full 2 1/2 days covering "the entire world of cheese, from milk types to cheesemaking, affinage to appreciation, placing an emphasis on service, selection, and proper care of cheeses for the foodservice professional." With instructors like Max McCalman and Daphne Zepos, this class should prove to be truly enlightening.
The first is from LittleFfarm Dairy, a start-up artisan goat cheese maker in South West Wales, UK. Their blog is a daily journal, tracking their progress as they start the business with a herd of pedigree British Toggenburg goats. I don't know how these folks have the time to raise goats, make cheese, AND blog, but I'm glad they do, because the blog really adds a personal dimension to their operation that you don't get with too many other dairies.