cheesenotes:

Tarentaise Reserve: a winning cheese for a good cause

The American Cheese Society annual conference wrapped up last weekend in Sacramento, CA, and the Best of Show winner was the Tarentaise Reserve, from Farms for City Kids and Spring Brook Farm (Spring Brook is the farm, but the cheese is officially made through their non-profit educational organization). 

Inspired by Beaufort and named for one of the alpine regions where Beaufort is produced (there’s also a “Tarentaise” cow breed), the raw cow’s milk Tarentaise has the same concave sides that are a trademark of that classic alpine French cheese. The Spring Brook Tarentaise is normally released at around 10 months, but the Reserve gets an additional aging, leaving the caves at around 18 months (The wedge pictured above was actually from some 2-year reserve that I purchased last year). The paste is an amber-gold color, firm, smooth and buttery; in flavor it is rich, buttery, tyrosine, and fruity with notes of toasted hazelnuts and hints of bacon. The 2-year I’d previously tasted had a similar profile but with a prickly, cheddary finish, but the Best of Show version was smoother and milder from start to finish, with a beautiful mouth-feel.  

There are actually two different cheesemakers making Tarentaise: Thistle Hill, and cheesemaker John Putnam, is the original name behind the Tarentaise; in an interesting experiment of sorts in Vermont terroir, they licensed the Tarentaise name to another cheesemaker, Jeremy Stephenson at Spring Brook, and even referred them to the same French consultant to help develop the make and aging processes. The Spring Brook Tarentaise has since racked up many awards at ACS and other cheese competitions, even before scoring the top honor last week. 

Spring Brook is the home of a non-profit organization — Farms for City Kids — funded by the Hagedorne family, set on a 1000-acre farm in Vermont, with a mission of giving inner-city children the opportunity to experience the farm life and “combining classroom studies with firsthand farming experience to give urban kids an understanding of how vital academics are to everyday lives”. In the last decade they added the cheese plant in the hopes of making the foundation self-sufficient; the cheese sales help fund the organization and allow the 700+ kids to spend time at the farm each summer, so it’s great to know that the increased sales that are sure to come will be helping to fund a good cause.

As is all too often the case with ACS Best of Show cheeses, the Tarentaise Reserve will probably be hard to get your hands on (last year’s winner, the Winnimere from Cellars at Jasper Hill, wasn’t even in production in late-summer, being a seasonal winter cheese, and the 2012 winners, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, were dangerously low on their stock of Flagsheep when it walked off with the purple ribbon). In her email newsletter Planet Cheese (which you should subscribe to), Janet Fletcher reports that Stephenson only puts away 10-15 wheels a month for the Reserve, but that number will definitely be going up in response to the accolades.

So keep an eye out for the Reserve! And even if you can’t find the Best of Show version, the regular Tarentaise is an outstanding cheese, as is Spring Brook’s Reading Raclette, inspired by the classic french melter. 

Notes 50

Me. Harrisburg. March 30, 2013.

Me. Harrisburg. March 30, 2013.

Notes 3

Tags #me   

Me. Vermont. August, 27, 2010.

Me. Vermont. August, 27, 2010.

Notes 0

Tags #me   

Booche’s Billiards Hall in Columbia, Mo., after hours in 2002.

Booche’s Billiards Hall in Columbia, Mo., after hours in 2002.

Notes 2

Tags #booche's   #columbia mo   #2002   

Long exposure during a blackout in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 1992. That’s me walking with a flashlight pointing at the sidewalk.

Long exposure during a blackout in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 1992. That’s me walking with a flashlight pointing at the sidewalk.

Notes 61

saltwaterandtears:

Think I’ll steal this idea

(Source: cashcutie, via ryrycub)

Notes 2

Tags #me   #hbg   #sunday   #dinner   #speakeasy   #tavern   

-teesa-:

7.23.14

George Takei describes the moment when he and his family were sent to an internment camp.

(via queenofthenorths)

tylerjamesblair:

MADDIE!

tylerjamesblair:

MADDIE!

(Source: maddieonthings, via ryrycub)

cheesenotes:

ACS Festival Of Cheese 2014

Some scenes from the Festival of Cheese, the blowout cheese bacchanalia at the end of the American Cheese Society 2014 conference — that took place this year in Sacramento, CA. 248 producers submitted 1,685 entries, and a good portion of those end up at the Festival for consumption by conference attendees (some cheesemakers submit just enough product for the judging but not the Festival). Also at the event are craft beers, wines, ciders and a wide variety of specialty foods from festival sponsors. 

It’s well worth attending if you can; while the insane quantities of cheese are of course a blast to get to dive into, it’s also a truly unique opportunity to get a panoramic snapshot of the state of the American cheese industry from year to year. You can get a pretty good idea of where, say, domestically produced blue cheeses, are going when you’ve got 30 different varieties on a single table for the sampling. Methods and styles that might be on the rise — whether it be unusual washes, mixed-milk cheeses or emulations of European styles that weren’t previously being produced on this side of the pond — also become more obvious when they’re sharing space on the multi-level tables stacked with wheels. 

While the conference is open to registered attendees only, the Festival of Cheese is actually a ticketed event, open to the public. If you’re near Providence, RI in 2015, you’ll have an opportunity to attend the Festival, as that’s where the next conference will be held!

Notes 230


    I’m watching Bang the Drum, Stanley





    
    
        Check-in to
    
    
    Bang the Drum, Stanley on tvtag

I’m watching Bang the Drum, Stanley

Check-in to Bang the Drum, Stanley on tvtag

Notes 1

Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8 (1960)

(Source: moonchild30, via quicktothehydroplane)

Notes 2

Tags #me   #lumberjack   

clientsfromhell:

Me: “What browser are you on?”

Client: “Google.”

Me: “Google Chrome?”

Client: “No, just regular Google.”

Me: “That’s the site. I want to know the browser.”

Client: “Google.”

Me: “No.”

Client: “Look, we can have this conversation forever, man. But when I hit the internet logo, Google comes up!”

Me: “Okay…What does that “internet logo” look like?

Client: “…A fiery fox, I guess. But that’s irrelevant.”

(via plantwhiteroses)

"Everything is the worst!"

"Everything is the worst!"

(Source: tenpointstogifindor)

Notes 127

Tags #Liz Lemon   #30 rock