Monday, April 23, 2007

These are a few of our favorite things...

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

These are a few of our favorite things…

Well, Maria said it better than anyone, though I don’t recall her listing cheese explicitly in her little tune. Maybe that’s what was in the little brown package tied up with string? Sounds good enough to me!

So, being a teesny bit gluttonous, our favorite things this week happen to be chocolate, cheese, and beer. And who better to bring these things together than the world famoso Jimmy Carbone? Clear your Wednesday calendars cheese heads. The perfect storm (culinarily speaking) is brewing!

Jimmy’s Brewhaha II
Wednesday, April 25, 7-9 pm
Jimmy’s no. 43
43 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd.

$20 per person

Join us for the second of hopefully many Brewhahas at Jimmy’s no 43! The Brewhaha is a Jimmy Carbone innovation, meant to introduce foodies to one another and to the purveyors bringing you some of the best grub in town. This incarnation of the Brewhaha will feature Sixpoint Beer, Jaques Torres chocolates, and Saxelby Cheese, paired in daring and delicious combinations.

Also, stay tuned for details on a beer and cheese tasting Wednesday May 2nd at Essex Restaurant. Details forthcoming on the blog.

Saxelby Cheesemongers Voted Best Cheese Shop
New York Magazine Best of NY 2007!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

We've got the blues.

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

It’s rainy out there. And we’ve got the blues. Lots of them.

Don’t get yourself all down in the dumps. Rainy weather is the perfect time to eat cheese! I mean, it doesn’t get much better than camping out on your couch, pouring a glass of wine, and watching a good movie or two with some little cheese friends. And I guess if you really wanted to, you could invite some of your human friends too…

This week we’ve got more blue veins running through shop than ever before. Stop in and get yourself a piece of the blues!

Birchrun Hills Farm Birchrun Blue:
An incredibly gooey and savory blue from the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside. For those of you who love a good creamy blue, watch out. Birchrun may just knock your socks off. The paste calls to mind the slathery-ness of buttercream frosting, and the rind is deep brown, earthy and dusty, giving the cheese an intense earthy finish.

Woodcock Farm True Blue:
Holy cow. Mark Fisher has really done a number on this one. True Blue (which I suspect has nothing to do with the Madonna album) is one wallop of a blue cheese, super-rich, buttery, and rustic, with a hint of white pepper that lingers on the tongue when you chow on it. Take home a slab and see what a real powerhouse of a blue can do.

Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue:
Named after the road George Washington built to kick some French-Canadian booty way back when, this blue is a chocolaty, fudgy, crumbly slice of heaven. Mixed in with all that sweetness is a little bit of barnyardy flavor, just to remind you where it’s coming from. Cows. Tastes like the genuine article!

Maytag Dairy Blue:
A classic from America’s heartland, this cheese has been rocking and rolling and topping your salads since 1941. Made by the same folks who make the dishwashers* Maytag Blue packs a buttermilky tangy and fruity punch into every delectable bite.

Hook’s Cheese Company Blue Paradise:
A double cream blue aged for over a year from Wisconsin. So thick it’ll stick to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter. I can’t imagine a better blue to top a burger, or to stuff into some devils on horseback. Go on, indulge already!

*Maytag dishwashers are now made in China, but the blue is still made by burly corn fed Iowans.

Saxelby Cheesemongers Voted Best Cheese Shop
New York Magazine Best of NY 2007!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Return of the Goats!

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

The Return of the Goats!

Look out. The goats are back in town. From Lazy Lady Farm to Beltane Farm, there are goat cheeses galore at the shop starting later this week. After taking the winter off, all those does (ie lady goats) are back in action; and our palates are primed for some springtime cheese!

New Goats in Cheese Town:

Lazy Lady Farm Marbarella:

Many of you remember Trillium (a Lazy Lady creation consisting of layers of goats’ and cows’ milk) with a fondness bordering on obsession. Myself included. Well, Marbarella is the all goat version… three tiers of goats’ milk goodness separated by wispy layers of vegetable ash. A cheesy phenomenon not to be missed!

Beltane Farm Fresh Chevre:

How can something so simple taste so good?! The logs of fresh chevre from Beltane Farm are tangy, lightly sweet, and oh so wonderful. The craftsmanship of cheese maker Paul Trubey shines through with his delicate, creamy, and silky chevre. Use any excuse you can to treat yourself to a wee morsel.

Lazy Lady Farm La Roche:

A little bell shaped wonder from the talents that be up at Lazy Lady. Covered by a thin coat of downy white mold, the paste beneath is pure magic… tasting of goat, cut hay, and most important, a little bit o’barnyard.

Saxelby Cheesemongers Voted Best Cheese Shop
New York Magazine Best of NY 2007!

Monday, April 02, 2007

What the heck is a washed-rind cheese?

This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers

What the heck is a washed-rind cheese?

No, there are no power washers, hoses, or bath towels involved… Saxelby Cheesemongers is here to demystify that stinky and elusive category of cheeses called washed-rind, or, to the cheese geek, smear-ripened.

You can spot (or smell) a washed-rind cheese from a mile away in a cheese shop. They have distinctive orange or reddish rinds and tend to range in texture from soft and supple to downright gooey. The coloration of the rind comes from a helpful little bacteria called b-linens, or brevibacterium linens. These same little bacteria are the culprits responsible for their pungent odor.

But how do these little b-linens appear in the first place?

Well, washed-rind cheeses are cheeses that are naturally not very acidic, meaning that the environment on the rind is perfectly predisposed for the growth of b-linens. When the cheese is young, it is washed, usually with a saltwater brine, but other tasty liquids such as beer, brandy, or eau de vie can be used. When I use the term washing, I mean that the cheese is literally rubbed down with a small amount of liquid, just enough to moisten the surface. This makes a perfect little habitat for b-linens to grow and proliferate, spreading their stinky little gospel across the surface of the cheese. From thence forward, the cheeses are washed a few times a week until fully ripened and ready for market.

All those b-linens have been working hard… it would only be right for us to show them a little love and chow on some stinky washed-rind cheeses.

Primo examples in the washed-rind, smear-ripened category include:

Cato Corner Farm Hooligan (raw cows’ milk. Colchester, CT)

A delightful little bomb of funk from Mark Gillman and Liz McAlister’s cellar. Washed twice a week with brine, Hooligan picks up nutty flavors as well as notes of fermented fruit.

Lazy Lady Farm Barick Obama (pasteurized cows’ milk. Westfield, VT)

Laini’s done it again. And this time to a Democrat. This little brick o’ cheese is a decadent treat. Smells like asparagus! For real! And tastes just as buttery and funky as can be.

Jasper Hill Farm Winnemere (raw cows’ milk. Greensboro, VT)

Whoo doggy! This cheese is just about as ripe as they come. Washed with strong Belgian ale, and bound in spruce bark. These forces of nature combine to make a cheese that is runny and puddlesome, with woodsy, smoky, and robust flavors. Get it while it’s hot!

Saxelby Cheesemongers Voted Best Cheese Shop
New York Magazine Best of NY 2007!