From Top: Hopyard, Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar and Mountina

After our entrée last night The Lady served a Cheese Plate for dessert with fresh Peach Salsa that she made using veggies from The Garden of The Man. The Salsa recipe is posted over on our recipe blog and you can check it out by clicking here. The bounty from The Garden of The Man has been wonderful the last few weeks after a cold spring and cool summer.

The Lady served three cheeses that she bought in the Rogue Creamery Gift Shop last week with the fresh peach salsa. Perhaps it was a strange pairing, but with fresh fruit and veggies, one can never really go wrong.

The first cheese on the plate was Mountina, a mountain-style cheese from the “Alpine-ish” Mountains of Montana. Dwayne and Darryl of the Vintage Cheese Company decided to make an American Artisan cheese fashioned after the great Swiss cheeses like Le Gruyere and Emmenthal. Well, they succeeded. I found this cheese to be nutty and sweet in the center and a little richer as you approach the washed-rind that was also coated in a thin, breathable wax. Of the three, this was the perfect cheese to start our cheese plate adventure. Perhaps a bit milder than its inspiration but with a little more age, I suspect it will become heartier.

I give the Mountina 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: In addition to snacking, this would also make an excellent melting cheese for cooking.

Libation pairings will appear at the end of this review.

The second cheese was a Rogue Creamery creation in collaboration with Rogue Ales: Hopyard, a Rogue Creamery cheese mixed with Freedom Hops from the Chatoe Rogue Micro Hopyard in Oregon’s Wigrich Appellation (now that’s quite a mouthful, even for the Feline Foodie). The whole hops are de-stemmed by hand, steeped in hot water and mixed with the curds and then pressed into blocks. The result is a tasty cheese that even a non-beer drinker finds delightful. I suspect that if you love beer, then you will really take to this cheese.

I give Hopyard 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: Again, on a cheese plate you’ll be happy as a clam… or a cat… as the case may be…

The third cheese on the plate was the one that made The Man swoon and delighted The Lady and moi, as well: Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar. This cheese is crumbly with a distinct bite and a lingering bitterness that is the perfect finish for a sharp cheddar. We enjoyed all three but this cheese was our favorite. You can always count on cheddar being a hit around the manse.

I give the Rogue Creamery Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: This is definitely both a snacking and cooking cheese. The Lady plans to use the rest of it with a larger wedge of Rouge Creamery Tou Velleto make a mac n cheese (the recipe will appear on our sister blog… stay tuned).

2005 Madrone Mountain Mundo Novo

Now for the libation pairings: The Man suggests the 75th Anniversary Rogue Ale made by Rogue Ales to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Rogue Creamery.

The Lady served the 2005 Mondo Novo from Madrone Mountain, a port-style dessert wine made especially to be enjoyed with Rogue cheeses… and it was.

A bit of trivia, the brandy snifter in the picture is from the movie, Titanic, and is a replica of the crystal used on the maiden (and as it turns out, last as well) voyage of the Titanic. The filmmaker wanted everything authentic in the movie, right down to the china, silver and crystal.Later the props were sold through the catalog of J. Peterman and The Lady bought two as an anniversary gift for The Man.

And yet one more bit of trivia: Did you know that the Rogue Creamery Gift Shop in Central Point, Oregon has been named a Top Tourist destination in Oregon? The Lady said the morning her group was there, a steady stream of visitors were buying cheeses and wines. One group of four (two couples) from Northern California told The Lady they travel four and a half hours several times a year to visit the creamery and Fred Meyer. She added, “There’s nothing like Fred Meyer in California and that’s a shame.”

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Rogue Creamery

(By clicking on the above picture, you will be able to view a slideshow of the entire trip.)

The Lady was invited to join six winning Fred Meyer Cheesemongers and two fine Ladies from DPI to make cheese at Rogue Creamery.

The winners were chosen based on their sales of Rogue Blue Cheeses at their kiosks and their merchandising abilities.

The trip began with a five-course dinner with Rogue Creamery Owners, David Gremmels and Cary Bryant, who graciously welcomed the group to their hillside home. Each course featured a different Rogue Cheese with Cary preparing several of the dishes including a wonderful, savory creme brulee that started the meal. The cheese course included the latest Rogue creation, Flora Nelle, a marvelous blue named after Cary and David’s Grandmothers. (The Lady brought home a wedge and we will be reviewing it soon…)

After an overnight stay at the Wine Country Inn in Jacksonville, Oregon, the Fred Meyer mongers traveled to Central Point and the cheesemaking facility of Award-Winning Rogue cheeses, including the 2011 Best of Show at the American Cheese Society Competition, Rogue River Blue. There, Cary, David and head cheesemakers, Craig and Jason, worked with the winners to make two vats of cheese:  Tou Velle and Oregon Blue. After aging, these cheeses will be sold exclusively at Fred Meyer Cheese Kiosks in early 2012. The Fred Meyer group learned they were the first group invited to make cheese at the Creamery – what an honor!!!

Shawn, a member of the Rogue family, led the group trough a Rogue Cheese Plate, a sack lunch was enjoyed and then the group headed out to tour the two sustainable dairy farms that provide the milk to Rogue Creamery.

Rogue Creamery is a leader in sustainable farming and cheesemaking, having been certified by Food Alliance, Oregon’s Tilth and Steritech. The guys shared with The Lady their choice of “sustainable” over “organic” (although they do make a couple of organic cheeses). Simply put, sustainable farming treats animals more humane than organic. With organic dairy farming, if an animal becomes sick, it is destroyed. Sustainable dairy farming allows treatment of the animal, pulling it from production until all antibiotics are out of the milk. As Cary said, “When I get sick, I take medicine; the doctor doesn’t put me down.” As an animal of the feline persuasion, all I can say is, “Whee… thank goodness for sustainability around the manse.”

They encourage recycling and energy conservation both at the Creamery and home. The Creamery is powered 100% in the summer by solar panels (which also provide about 30% during the winter); they recycle everything that can be recycled. If an employee rides a bike to work 45 times in a year, Rogue gives them a top-of-the-line bike. They pay bonuses for carpooling, biking and using public transportation. It’s amazing and it’s beyond admirable…

After touring the dairies, it was time to play and the group headed to Grants’ Pass and a four-hour dinner tour up the Rogue River on Hellgate Excursions jet boats. Eighteen miles up the river, they stopped for a BBQ dinner at the OK Corral. Both up and down the river, the boat pilots treated the group to maneuvers that resulted in lots of wet clothes and gleeful screaming. They saw many osprey and two eagles on the adventure.

The next morning The Ladies stopped at the Rogue Gift Shop and loaded up  on cheese, wines and cheese pairings and headed back to reality…

The Lady asked that I make sure everyone at Rogue Creamery understands how special this opportunity was… so here’s a shout out to: David, cary, Sonja, Mimi, Chelsea, Meredith, Craig, Francis, Jason, Tom, Sue, Lacey, Shawn, Delmer, Holly, Huck, Andy, Gabe and Marcela, Brandon, MacKenzie and baby Mason… and the cheesemakers whose names she failed to get… it is a time that will not be forgotten…

Now for a final note… I’d like to bring it to each of my faithful reader’s attention that one more time, The Lady was hanging out with The Cheese Swells and I was left back at the manse with The Man… I have got to have a long conversation with The Brain about the balance of power around here… I’m in charge… although with The Lady off galavanting you’d never know it… and the biggest galavant to date is just 10 days away… The Lady leaves on the 13th to attend the Slow Food Cheese Festival in Bra, Italy and work as a monger at the American Cheese Booth with Cheese Swells from Rogue Creamery, Cow Girl Creamery, Vermont Butter Creamery, Jasper Hills Farm, Uplands Cheese Company, Cypress Grove, Kroger, Murray’s Cheese and AFI… there just is no justice…

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Sir Kitty Cheese Paws

September 1, 2011

Sir Kitty Cheese Paws Dictates to The Lady

The Lady and I have a new Cheesy Friend, Miranda, who is a Cheese Steward at a Baker’s in Omaha, Nebraska. She saw The Lady’s picture (hey, where’s the picture of The Cat????) and our mention in the new Fall Issue of Culture Magazine and dropped us a line via the Kroger pipeline.

Miranda hosts a monthly Cheese Club at her cheese shop in the Baker’s store and we will be posting information on those events so that all you Cheese Nerds in Omaha can attend and taste some great cheeses that are paired “purrfectly”…

Miranda, evidently a nicknamer by nature, has bestowed on moi a new moniker… from this day forward The Lady and The Man are hereby requested to refer to me only as… Sir Kitty Cheese Paws

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Fall 2011 Culture Magazine

August 28, 2011

The Lady and I subscribe to Culture Magazine, the top-selling magazine dedicated solely to the slow food closest to our hearts: cheese, glorious cheese!! The fall issue mentions The Lady and moi, your not-so-humble Feline Foodie… please buy a copy and read the latest news about “Milk’s leap to mortality”.

Also, on page 107 there is a picture of two of the important players in making cheese for Rogue Creamery: one is a gentle animal who gives more than takes from the earth… and the other is a cow…

Please subscribe to Culture Magazine by clicking here. You can “like Culture” on Facebook and follow Culture on twitter…

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The American Cheese Society has named October “American Cheese Month” – all American cheeses… not that rubbery stuff… The Lady is attending a meeting next Monday afternoon at the Denver Headquarters of the American Cheese Society to help kick off this first ever American Cheese Month… stay tuned… we will post events as they unfold and are scheduled… woohoo!!!

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Sartori Gorgonzola Dolcino

August 19, 2011


The Lady brought home a wedge of this delightful gorgonzola and The Man and I have enjoyed it three times this week. The first tasting was on warm French bread fresh from the oven and then The Lady used it to make a salad dressing which is featured on our recipe blog. She used the last to make a pasta and chicken dish that had The Man swooning for hours… it was almost embarrassing… but since it was The Man… not really much of a surprise. (Links to the recipes are below.)

Sartori Cheese in Wisconsin makes cheese that is always a hit around the manse. In addition to the Dolcino, they make the most-decorated Parmesan made in America, SarVecchio and one of my favorites, Bellavitano Gold. When The Lady was cooking last night, I caught a glimpse of a few other Sartori cheeses in the fridge… stay tuned… more reviews to come…

This is one creamy cheese; the cheesemaker adds extra cream and carefully ages this gorgonzola to perfection. On the blue scale, this is on the mild side but distinctive enough to satisfy even the most discerning turophiles. It’s smooth and silky; spreads easily on the warm bread. You will never regret adding this gorgonzola to your cheese board.

I give Sartori Gorgonzola Dolcino 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: The possibilities are endless. In three short days, The Lady served this cheese in three ways and each was a hit. The Salad Dressing she made was divine; but the chicken pasta dish she made was truly to die for… seriously… You can also pair this cheese with pairs and red grapes. The Lady served Dolcino on a cheese plate last year and you can read my thoughts by clicking here.

Wine Pairing: The Lady always likes a sweeter wine with her blues like a Port; but with the pasta dish, she chose her new favorite wine, Pinot Noir.

Beer Pairing: How about a Stout?

Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk

FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.

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Get your Locavore on today at Murray’s Cheese Shops grand Opening at the King Soopers on Leetsdale in Glendale, Colorado!!

If you love Monterey Jack and you love Monterey Jack stuffed with stuff, then you’re going to love the Rocking W Natural Cheeses from the West Slopes of the Rocky Mountains!! It just doesn’t get much better when it comes to local flavored natural cheeses.

The Lady returned from Denver with a bag full of cheese and in her Colorado cache were three flavored Jacks made by a sixth-generation family of cheesemakers.

More than forty years ago Robert and Charlotte Webb (great name!!) decided to buy her parents twenty dairy cows and start their own dairy. Then they bought eighty acres just west of Olathe, Colorado and began their lives as dairy farmers. Today their son and son-in-law are co-owners in this farmstead artisan cheesemaking business. The milk is made into cheese within twenty-four hours of milking from cows that only eat feed grown on the Rocking W Farm.

The three cheeses The Lady brought home are all Monterey Jack stuffed with wonderful herbs, spices and vegetables. The first one we tasted was filled with Portobello mushrooms. It was earthy, creamy with lots of Portobellos, button mushrooms and leeks. Delish!! The second we tasted was tomato and basil jack cheese. Mam, oh, man; lots of tomato and lots of basil. The third had chives and garlic; this one was a favorite of The Man. The Lady and I found the Portobello jack to fit our tastes the best. The cheese is all three was crumbly when slicing but creamy on the palate.

All ingredients labels indicated that nothing artificial had been added; just milk, rennet, salt and the veggies and herbs… now that’s natural.

I give all three Rocking W Flavored Monterey Jack Cheeses 3 out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: Snacking is always an option; but cooking is also a definite way to go with these cheeses. As I write this review, The Lady is making breakfast quesadillas using the Garlic and Chives Jack. You can read her recipe by clicking here. She has plans to make a mac n cheese with the Portobello and leek cheese… always a favorite around the manse…

Wine Pairing: The Lady suggests either a Chardonnay or a nice Table Red.

Beer Pairing: For fear of offending Mr. Richardson from Fort Collins (read his comment at the bottom), The Man decided to go with Fort Collins Brewery’s Weizenheimer Wheat IPA… seemed a perfect pairing suggestion on several levels…

Source: Pasteurized Colorado Cow Milk

Rocking W Cheeses are available at your new Murray’s Cheese Shop located at select King Soopers including the new Murray’s at the Glendale, Colorado location … stop in today and enjoy the new Murray’s Cheese Shop and take home some Rocking W to enjoy tonight. The wines and beers recommended are also available in the liquor department as well. King Soopers is Colorado Proud!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
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At the 27th Annual American Cheese Society (ACS) Judging and Competition in Montreal, Rogue Creamery’s Rogue River Blue was crowned Best in Show, beating out 1675 other entries. The ACS is the largest cheese competition in North America and often is referred to as the “Academy Awards of Cheese.”

This is the second time in three years that Rogue Creamery and its signature blue cheese, Rogue River Blue, have won this prestigious award. The creamery is owned by Cary Bryant and David Gremmels and in Central Point, Oregon.

“We are honored by this recognition of Rogue River Blue, an American blue that represents the flavors of our region,” says Co–owner and Cheesemaker Bryant. “We enter the ACS Competition and Judging annually for the score sheets. Both technical and aesthetic cheese judges from around the world take part in this competition and provide invaluable feedback on the cheeses they score. The Best of Show for us not only celebrates Rogue River Blue as the finest cheese in North America, but it showcases our teams’ dedication to quality from the dairy, to the make room, aging caves and packaging.”

Co-owner and Cheesemaker Gremmels adds, “It takes a lot of hard work, planning and passion to make Rogue River the most distinctive blue cheese in the world. The recognition from ACS affirms this effort put forth to achieve the distinguishing flavor character, texture and quality inherent in a raw milk cheese.”

Rogue River Blue is handmade using autumnal equinox milk from Brown Swiss and Holstein cows’ milk, certified sustainable by Food Alliance. The cows graze in 1,650-foot elevation pastures along the Rogue River and in 5,000-foot elevation pastures along the Klamath River, where they eat a variety of grasses, wild herbs, and wild flowers supplemented with grass hay, alfalfa and grain grown on the ranch. The 5-pound (2.2-kg) wheels are made by hand and aged in specially constructed caves. The cheese ripens from naturally occurring molds found in the Rogue River Valley and, therefore, reflects a deep connection to the land. After maturation, the cheese is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves from Carpenter Hill Vineyard, which have been macerated in Clear Creek Pear Brandy and tied to the wheel with raffia. The cheese is released annually starting in September.

This year the ship date is scheduled for on or about September 13th. It should be in your favorite specialty cheese shop by the end of the month.

Rogue River Blue was honored as World’s Best Blue at the 16th World Cheese Awards in London, beating out entries from all over the world. That was the first time that an American blue cheese has won the title. The creamery also made history in 2007 by becoming the first American exporter of raw milk cheese to the European Union; its cheese is carried in Whole Foods Market, Neal’s Yard Dairy, London and Fromagerie Laurent Dubois, Paris.

Rogue Creamery was founded in 1928. The Vella family from Sonoma, Calif., acquired it from a co-op in Southern Oregon in 1935. In the 1950s, it began making some of the country’s best blue cheese. In 2002, Ig Vella selected Cary Bryant and David Gremmels as the new owners, and it now produces a variety of award-winning cheeses. It offers the only vertically integrated third-party certified sustainable cheese in the U.S. Its local dairy, Rogue View, and creamery, Rogue Creamery, both are certified sustainable by Food Alliance and Steritech, and certified organic by Oregon Tilth.

In the Pacific Northwest, you can buy Rogue River Blue in late September at select Fred Meyer Stores. Year round, you can find other Award-Winning Rogue Creamery Cheeses at most Fred Meyer Stores. For a location near you, please click here.

Rogue River Blue will also be available at Murray’s Cheese in Manhattan and Murray’s Cheese Shops in select Kroger Stores nationwide. For a list of Murray’s Cheese Shops in Kroger Stores, please click here.

Source: Rogue Creamery

Full FTC Disclosure: The Lady has been invited to “make” (remember… this means hang around in the make room and do things that won’t ruin the cheese…) cheese at Rogue Creamery August 24-26… so… Rogue Creamery has a special place in her heart…
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While in Denver, The Lady stocked up on local cheeses available at the new Murray’s Cheese Shops located in the Glendale King Soopers; bringing home eight different Colorado cheeses from three different cheesemakers.

She brought several other wedges for moi, your humble correspondent to taste and review. In fact, she had so many in her bags, the TSA opened her bags and searched my cheese stash. Fortunately for moi, they didn’t taste or confiscate them and all made it to the manse safely…

Tonight, we dived into our first two delicacies; two miniature wheels of camembert and brie from MouCo Cheese Company located in Fort Collins, Colorado.

MouCo is owned by husband and wife team, Robert Poland and Birgit Halbreiter who met while working at New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins. Birgit got her cheese start in Germany working for Kaserei Champignon. Her father is a master cheesemaker in Europe who comes to the US each year to work with Robert to further develop the MouCo cheeses into even more superior traditionally-made brie and camembert.

The cheeses are wrapped in breathable paper imported from France. This allows the cheeses to continue their natural aging process.

The camembert’s package stated that in July this cheese would be soft and creamy and that it would be best by mid-August… as it warmed to room temperature, it began to ooze just a bit and the taste was divinely tart with a slightly bitter after taste. The texture was creamy and buttery, just the way I like my camembert. The finish was nutty and lingering. The Lady served it to moi naked… no, the cheese was naked… she and The Man enjoyed it sitting on a Partners Cracker. Then she topped it with strawberry spread. The three of us were in camembert heaven…

I give MouCo Camembert 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: You can never go wrong serving this camembert on a cheese board with some jams and nuts. Camembert is also great with salami.

Wine Pairing: Colorado’s Infinite Monkey Theorem Rosé

Beer Pairing: Fort Collin’s Fat Tire from New Belgium

Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk

Along with the camembert, The Lady served the Colorouge, a reddish-tinged brie wheel that simply mouthed in my mouth… ooh la la… how I love brie. The label suggested it would be best by early September… it’ll never make it to September here at the manse. It’ll be lucky to make it to 7pm tonight…

This brie was a little firmer than the camembert and the flavor was buttery with just a touch of funk. Again, I enjoyed mine naked (again… the cheese… not your feline foodie… sheesh…) and The Lady and The Man went with warm French bread and a dollop of apricot preserves.

I give MouCo Colorouge 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: Again, you’ll win the hearts and souls of your guests when this brie is sitting on a cheese board.

Wine Pairing: Colorado’s Redstone Mead Raspberry Nectar

Beer Pairing: Colorado’s Odell Brewing’s 90 Shilling

Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk

MouCo Cheese is available at your new Murray’s Cheese Shop located at King Soopers on Leetsdale in Glendale, Colorado… stop in today and enjoy the new Murray’s Cheese Shop and take home some MouCo to enjoy tonight. The wines and beers recommended are also available in the liquor department as well. King Soopers is Colorado Proud!!Member, Association of Food Bloggers

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This week marks my three year anniversary as your sometimes humble… and sometimes… not so humble cheese correspondent. In that time, I have written 532 posts reviewing more  than 750 cheeses (and I have 100+ reviews waiting in the wings…) and 31 pages providing other information about all things cheese. The Lady likes to grab the glory but we all know who’s the brain behind this blog… not to be confused with The Brain

The first cheese I reviewed was from my friends in Seattle: Beecher’s No Woman. I love this cheese. When The Lady brings this cheese home… which is never often enough… I claw my way up her leg to get at those tasty and spicy morsels. Three years later and hundreds of cheese tasted and reviewed, No Woman remains my personal favorite. The Lady is nothing short of fickled on this front; her “favorite” cheese is usually the last one she tasted… how capricious… sheesh… humankinds… pick a favorite and stick with it…

Looking Back…

The Lady began her cheese career as a part-time Cheese Steward for Fred Meyer  (yep, that’s The Lady in that picture) in July 2008; in January 2009, she became a Cheese Lead for Fred Meyer’s Flagship store in Portland and in June 2011, she became the Murray’s Cheese Specialist for Kroger and Fred Meyer.

DPI blocked its employees’ access to my blog; then later, due to public outcry, retracted its sad and uninformed decision.

The Bedford Cheese Shop in Brooklyn decided to get snarky and called me zoomorphically delusional… like they’d even know a zoomorphically delusional feline… should one walk through their door.

During these blogging years, while I worked my paws to the bones, The Lady visited cheesemakers in Wisconsin twice and “made” cheese at Roth Kase and Beecher’s Cheese. Please note, that in both instances, when it says “made cheese; it means the real cheesemakers let The Lady do stuff that would mess up the cheese… She received a Certificate in Cheese 101 from Roth Kase and attended two Cheese 101 Classes led by Liz Thorpe of Murray’s Cheese. She scored perfectly following two days of training and became a “Red Jacket-Certified” Murray’s Cheesemonger. In June, she attended Murray’s Boot Camp; she attended training classes in Dallas and this week returned from Denver where she assisted in her first training class of the new Murray’s cheesemongers at King Soopers… all the while leaving The Man and moi at home to fend for ourselves… wrangling The Man is a full-time job, let me tell you… God Bless The Lady, she’s been doing it for 31 years… and loving it, I might add… but I’m not bitter…

The Webmaster of the  Estate of Spalding Gray, John Boland, suggested I change my name and not trade on the success of the great actor whose name The Lady chose for moi out of admiration and no other reason… except I have gray hair. If we want to get picky, then perhaps  John Boland should change his name and not trade on the success of the Athlete, John Boland, who won gold medals at the Games of the 1 Olympiad in Athens in 1896… just saying…

In 2010, the blog was named to two “Top Cheese Blogs” lists on the web; this week, the 160,000th visitor dropped by this blog and more than 18K have visited my recipe blog.

The Lady, The Man and I hit the road to Seattle to attend the American Cheese Society Conference in 2010; although I only got as close as a Bunker somewhere in the burbs of Seattle due to the restrictive attitudes of the Seattle “No Pets Allowed” Sheraton… shame on you… while The Lady rubbed elbows with all the Cheese Swells of North America… it’s just wrong the way humankinds treat the superiorly intelligent beings known to them as felines… but I digress.

Looking Forward…

A world of cheeses to taste and review… while The Lady continues her gallivanting ways around the cheese world… next up… cheesemaking (see note above…) at Rogue Creamery and then on September 14th, she heads to the Slow Food Cheese Festival in Bra, Italy… sheesh…