Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cheesy Events Forthcoming!

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

Ok, I know that a mid-week update is highly unusual, but there are just too many good things going on in the next few days to ignore. Both are related to cheese… one a bit abstractly. So, if you can’t make it into the shop to sample new goodies, stock up on cheesy comestibles at the following events!

Tonight! March 29th 6-9 pm
Greenwich House Pottery Member Showcase:
16 Jones St. (between Bleecker and W. 4th St.)

You may think that ceramic pots and cheese have little to do with one another, but they do! I have some lovely pots disguised as wheels of cheese in my shop, thanks to a Greenwich Pottery artist. Not only can you go and marvel at the gorgeous earthenware, you can belly up to the cheese plate and sample some Saxelby cheeses.

The Showcase continues throughout the weekend:
Friday and Saturday from 12-8 pm
Sunday from 12-4 pm

Saturday March 31st 4-8 pm
Discovery Wines Gigantor Wine and Cheese Tasting:
10 Ave. A (between Houston and 1st St.)

Scott and Matt over at Discovery have really outdone themselves this time! On Saturday afternoon, they will be cracking open 18 different wines for the tasting. Saxelby Cheesemongers is attempting to provide some sustenance so that you can taste them all and still make it out the front door! We’ll be throwing down five different cheeses, from young and gooey to aged and nutty to cleanse your palate. You might just be inspired to take a bottle (or two) home with you and have your own little wine and cheese shindig.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Cheese Ahoy!

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

Endlessly seeking to please your cheesy palates, Saxelby Cheesemongers has sought out some newbies for the shop. From familiar farms like Cato Corner Farm to new folks like Consider Bardwell Farm, we have some great finds ripe for the noshing. How ‘bout a warm welcome for the new guys!

Cato Corner Farm Drunk Monk:
(raw cows’ milk. Colchester, CT)

Drunk Monk is a Hooligan gone wild, washed in a nutty brown ale from the Willimantic Brewing Company. For centuries, monks had the good life… making cheese and beer in house, and combining them to make tasty cheeses. Now Cato Corner Farm, hardly a monastery, is following in their footsteps. Drunk Monk is rich, dense, and creamy, and gets better and better the longer you leave it out on your kitchen counter. A stinky pursuit, but well worth it!

Consider Bardwell Farm Manchester:
(raw goats’ milk. West Pawlet, VT)

Manchester. Which New England state are we talking about here anyways? This is a cheese that all Northeasterners can relate to. Perhaps Manchester is to cheese making what Springfield was to the creators of the Simpsons. Aged anywhere from four to seven months, Manchester is a robust, animal-y, and slightly spicy cheese. It’s texture and temperament make it perfectly suited to shave over salads, or as a table cheese.

And this is just the beginning! In the coming weeks we will be steamrolled by new cheeses as goat cheese season comes into full swing. Keep a look out for all those fresh little goats… they’re tasty little trouble makers.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Beer Bath! A Cheese's Dream Come True.

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

Beer Bath.

Sunday March 25th
At Jimmy’s no. 43
43 7th St. between 2nd and 3rd.
The party starts at 3 pm

A recipe for delicious! As if cheese weren’t tasty enough on it’s own, some intrepid cheese makers out there (starting with some monks with a fancy stash of fermentables) have been washing cheeses with beer for centuries.

What does this mean, and why the heck would anyone do such a thing? Well, to have a beer-washed cheese means liberally rubbing the cheese down with beer a few times a week to encourage different kinds of bacterial growth on the rind. The most common type of bacteria to grow on a cheese of this style is brevibacterium linens, or b. linens for short. You can recognize the presence of these little microscopic fellows by the bright orange color they impart to the rind as well as the stink-o pungent odor they cause the cheese to have. As for why they started doing it, I mean come on, why wouldn’t they? Beer + Cheese obviously equals love. And beers, as uniquely flavored as the day is long, all lend their particular flavors to a cheese as it is washed, infusing it with a bit of malty, hoppy, yeasty essence.

This Sunday, join Saxelby Cheesemongers and Jimmy Carbone as we sample some beer washed cheeses served alongside the ales and lagers they are aged with! Come see what a difference a brew makes.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Hey Everybody.

I've been pondering this for weeks, but, as most of my battles with technology eventually prove, it was much less hard than I anticipated. Saxelby Cheesemongers is now on flickr, which means that YOU get to spy on all of our cheesy campaigns in and around New York.

The first installment of photos features Benoit (cheesemonger extraordinaire) and Mark Gillman (cheese maker at Cato Corner farm) making some Bloomsday cheese, one of the finest specimens of cows' milk cheese this side of the Mississippi. (It doesn't get any less fun to spell the older you get.)

About a month ago, Benoit and I made a trek up to Cato Corner to make cheese for the day and check in with Mark and Liz to see what was doing at the farm. It was quite a lovely stay... we took advantage of the many opportunities on the farm to wear hairnets and change into cheese making clothes in a frigid stairwell leading down to the cheese cave. No one ever said making cheese was going to be easy.

It only served to make us hungrier for dinner that night, which was expertly whipped up by Mark (AFTER, I emphasize, a day's worth of making cheese) We were joined by the folks down the road from Beltane farm for a night of wine drinking and cheese eating and all around good times.

For anyone who's ever wondered what it looks like to make cheese, it's just a click away!

To Bind or not to Bind... that is the question.

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

Clothbound Cheeses in the house!

What a difference a rind makes. The rind of a cheese is a very
delicate thing indeed. Well, sometimes. Cheese rinds can range in
texture from hard as a rock (ever tried to eat a Parmesan rind?) to
orange and stinky and slimy and gritty (a la Hooligan or Grayson).

But our concern this Monday morning is the beautiful clothbound, or
cloth-rinded cheese emerging from the cellars of Jasper Hill Farm.
When a young cheese, say a Colby or Cabot Cheddar comes to Jasper Hill
farm, it gets lavished with a treatment to rival the likes of Canyon
Ranch. First, the cheeses are wrapped in muslin. Then, and this is
the spa treatment part, they are schmeared with lard. This serves a
dual purpose: the lard acts as a bond between cloth and cheese, but
more importantly, it provides a cozy environment for the bacterial
development of the rind to happen. As mold begins to grow on the
surface of the cheese, it metabolizes the lard to do it's magical
cheesy work. By the time the mature cheese leaves the cave, the lard
has been consumed, and a gorgeous dusty and rustic rind has been

Keep in mind these pretty little rinds aren't just for show... they
actually allow the surface of the cheese to breathe, thereby allowing
more complex flavors and aromas to develop within.

>From the cellars at Jasper Hill Farm, these cheeses are ripe for the

Cabot clothbound Cheddar:
An 8-month-old cheddar, chock full of grassy, earthy, and savory
goodness! Dubbed crack-cheese by some (hey, there are some extreme
cheese fans out there!), and loved deeply (but not to the point of
addiction) by just about everyone else.

Crowley clothbound Colby:
You think you know Colby?! Think (or taste) again! Dense, creamy,
rustic and snappy of texture, this is one fine specimen.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The goat cheese doldrums.

February and March. The goat cheese doldrums.

So, many folks have been passing by the shop lately asking for fresh goat cheese. And sadly, I’ve had to say no. I’m not being mean, or just slacking off, I swear! It’s just that right now, all of our lady goat friends are off duty, very pregnant, and waiting for kidding season to get going already. Goats are very seasonal when it comes to milk production, and when the weather turns cold, they take a break from milking. Then during the early spring, they give birth to lots and lots of little kids (in farm work, we’re talking an experience akin to running the New York marathon…) and begin producing milk again. That means that all of us have to wait it out for the new season of fresh goat cheese to come around. This year, because of the freakishly mild weather, the goats were a-milking longer than usual, and we had fresh cheese pretty much all winter long. But that inevitable sad day has come. No more fresh chevre. Sad!

But don’t despair. Fresh chevre should be back in action by the end of the month. And while we wait, there are plenty of delicious aged goat cheeses to savor and ooh and aah over. Try some Twig Farm Goat Tomme, Square Cheese, or some Hillman Harvest and see how yummy aged goat cheese can be.

And not to toot our own horn, but…
Saxelby Cheesemongers been nominated for best cheese shop by Time Out New York! If you could find it in your little hearts to take five minutes and vote at we’d be much obliged. If only we’d been nominated for tiniest cheese shop; we’d be a shoo-in!