My friend, Jim Lowes, is Retail Director for the newest “totally cheese” magazine on the market: Say Cheese.

Please check out their website for more information.

Celebrate With Cheese

January 29, 2010

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/sc-food-1224-cheese-20091228,0,3184741.story

From the Chicago Tribune:

Boom in American cheesemaking brings quality, choice for any party in the new year

By Bill Daley, Tribune Newspapers

December 30, 2009

Ring in a new year and (unofficially) a new decade with an ancient foodstuff. Celebrate with cheese.

More and more people are getting turned on to cheese. Cheesemakers are popping up around the country. New cheese books are being published seemingly every week. The first consumer cheese magazine, a quarterly called Culture, debuted a year ago. And you can increasingly find and buy all sorts of cheese at farmers markets, in ambitious cheese stores, and even the dairy and deli cases of your local supermarket.

Clark Wolf, the New York City-based author of “American Cheese,” said people turn to ages-old basics when life gets complicated. That’s why cheese, particularly American-made cheese, is surging in popularity during these hard economic times.

“We re-entered the macaroni-and-cheese economy in a good way,” he said. “There’s nothing kitschy about this stuff. It’s heartfelt and real. They’re using ancient wisdom and new ways, and that’s just good.”

Consumer demand is fueling the boom in the American artisan cheese production, said Jeanne Carpenter, founder of the Madison, Wis.-based Wisconsin Cheese Originals, which spreads the word about new cheeses and their makers.

Only 20 of the state’s dairies produced a specialty cheese in 2004, she said. Now 88 of 127 cheese plants are making at least one type of specialty cheese.

“Many cheesemakers are developing innovative American originals, which are rivaling the great European cheeses in flavor, quality and popularity,” Carpenter said.

Yet this burgeoning supply of cheese varieties can prove daunting to the average consumer.

Here are some ways to grapple with the choices.

•”View it as an adventure,” Carpenter said. “Visit a cut-to-order cheese shop so you can taste any cheese before you buy it. If you’re not sure where to begin, tell the cheesemonger some of your favorite foods. This will give him or her a direction for your palate, and you can start with flavor profiles you know you’ll like.”

•Be willing to go outside your comfort zone if your cheesemonger recommends something different, she added. “You may discover a new favorite.”

•While artisan, locally made cheeses are the rage, Elaine Khosrova, the editor of Culture magazine, said don’t give a cold shoulder to cheese made by big companies. “Just because they’re big doesn’t mean they aren’t high quality,” she said.

•Conversely, just because a cheesemaker is a small operation doesn’t guarantee the cheese will be delicious. “You have to taste your way around,” Khosrova said.

When you do bring the cheese home, take steps to make it accessible to guests.

Allison Hooper, co-founder of the Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery in Websterville, Vt., said some cheese boards can look scary all festooned with big hunks of cheese that people are reluctant to cut into.

“Get a cheese started,” said Hooper. “I think it’s OK to cut up some of the cheese so it’s a little more inviting.”

And don’t put out too much cheese.

“Even for a party of 15 people, two signature cheeses are plenty,” Khosrova said. “Go for something special.”

These days, that’s easier to do than ever.

wdaley@tribune.com

Want to learn about cheese?

Books about cheese are as hot as cheese itself these days. The focus ranges from basic how-tos to quasi-memoirs to artisan cheese guides to cheese cookbooks to advanced tutorials in cheesemaking and appreciation. Here are some recent titles:

“Fiona Beckett’s Cheese Course: Styles, Wine Pairings, Plates & Boards, Recipes,” by Fiona Beckett (Ryland Peters & Small, $24.95)

“World Cheese Book,” Juliet Harbutt, editor-in-chief (DK Publishing, $25)

“In a Cheesemaker’s Kitchen,” by Allison Hooper (The Countryman Press, $19.95)

“Mastering Cheese: Lessons for Connoisseurship From a Maitre Fromager,” by Max McCalman and David Gibbons (Clarkson Potter, $40)

“The Cheese Chronicles: A Journey Through the Making and Selling of Cheese in America, From Field to Farm to Table,” by Liz Thorpe (Ecco, $15.99)

“American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan and Farmhouse Cheese, Who Makes Them, and Where to Find Them,” by Clark Wolf (Simon & Schuster, $25)

— B.D.

// Copyright © 2010, Chicago Tribune

Thursday, January 28, 2010

From http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/

Copyright 2010 Portland Business Journal

Two of Oregon’s most noted craft beer makers will introduce products for ale enthusiasts who appreciate “big” beers that are both heavy and high in alcohol content.

Full Sail will bring out its Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Porter next month. The Hood River company stored the product in oak barrels used to distill such bourbons as Maker’s Mark and Stranahan’s for about a year. Full Sail’s marketing department describes the concoction as having “aromas of oak, coconut and bourbon. … Oak, toast and caramel flavors are rounded by the bourbon fire and sweetness.”

The beer’s alcohol content is 9.85 percent, or twice as much as much as a typical mass-produced domestic beer. It’s also made to condition well, meaning it ages nicely over time.

“If you store a few bottles in a dark, cool place and be patient, you will be rewarded for your effort and restraint,” said Jamie Emmerson, Full Sail’s executive brewmaster.

The beer will be sold in 22-ounce bottles and on tap in selected locations. Retailers carrying the beer include all area New Seasons, Zupans, Whole Foods and some Fred Meyer and QFC stores. All area beer specialty retailers will also carry the product.

Deschutes Brewery will also unveil a Reserve Series of its popular Jubelale winter seasonal. Jubel 2010 marks only the second time the Bend brewer has bottled the product, which, around the holidays, it sells on tap as “Super Jubel” at selected pubs.

The story behind the beer borders on folklore. Twenty years ago, a burglar tried to steal a Jubelale keg but misjudged the beer’s weight and left it behind in the snow. When Deschutes owner Gary Fish discovered it the next day, more than half the liquid in the keg had frozen, leaving a “very cold, highly concentrated Jubelale on steroids” ale, said spokeswoman Marie Melsheimer.

Brewers immediately began using the process to create the special Super Jubel blend, aging it in Oregon oak pinot barrels.

The beer contains 10 percent alcohol by volume. Deschutes will sell the 22-ounce wax-dipped bottles at all outlets that carry it through its 14-state reach.