Monday, August 31, 2009

September... More Than Just a Great Earth, Wind, and Fire Song

What the heck happened to summer?! One minute it's a rainy, San Francisco-esque June, and the next, Labor Day is around the corner. While summer was great, I always am one to look forward to fall. There's a different kind of energy around. The city shrugs off it's dog-days, sleepy mantle as school starts up, the mercury falls (fingers crossed!), and people get back to the business of doing what they do. At Saxelby Cheesemongers, that means catapulting into a month of activity, on the internet waves, at the marketplace, and on the farm. Consider this your fall preview of what's to do in our world of cheese!

'Cutting the Curd' with guests Mary Habstritt and Anne Mendelson
Sunday, September 6th
3:30-4:30 pm, heritageradionetwork.com

We're back this Sunday to stir up the curds and dish about dairy history on the Heritage Radio Network. Two members of the dairy intelligentsia will be on the show this week to discuss milk trains, and how they serviced New York City during the 20th century. Mary Habstritt, renowned industrial archaeologist and writer will join us to discuss the hows and whys of milk's movements from the country to the city. You may not know this, but up until the 1940's and 50's, home delivery of milk via horse-drawn wagon was not uncommon in this great metropolis! Anne Mendelson, milk connoisseur and author, will elucidate the history of our predilection for and obsession with this creamy, frothy beverage. So pull up a chair, have a tall glass of milk and a plate of cookies on hand and listen in!

New Amsterdam Market
Sunday, September 13th
11:00 am to 4:00 pm, newamsterdampublic.org

New Amsterdam Market is back for the season! And not a moment too soon. This year is the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage up the majestic river that bears his name. New Amsterdam Market, in what will be the first of FOUR monthly markets, will be setting up shop to coincide with Harbor Day, a waterfront fest to celebrate New York's ties to the river and the sea. Take a jaunt down to the Fulton Street Fish Market for a spread of edible regional bounty like you've never seen before. New Amsterdam Market aims to re-establish the institution of the public market in New York City. London has Borough Market, Barcelona's got La Boqueria, New York is on its way! Your attendance and support of New Amsterdam will help spur this dream towards reality! For a listing of dates of future markets and more information, visit newamsterdampublic.org

A Day A Whey to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard
Sunday, September 27th
9:00 am to 7:00 pm, saxelbycheese.com

The clock is ticking on this one... just a few spots remain on our farm field trip to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard! We'll be heading up to Sprout Creek's award-winning creamery on a chartered coach for a cheese tasting, picnic lunch, and farm tour. After the farm tour, we'll head over to Terhune Orchard for an afternoon of apple picking in the sunshine. We'll harvest the bounty of Hudson Valley apples that are sure to be ripe and delicious . Sit back, relax, and let us do the driving.... all you have to bring is your appetite! What are you waiting for?! Grab a friend or two and reserve your spot soon!

Till next Monday! Keep on cheesing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

From Vermont with Love

Greetings and Salutations from the milky misty Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. This quiet and beautiful place is buzzing this morning.... farmers, milk maids (and milk men) cheese makers, and affineurs are all at work, racing around the Cellars at Jasper Hill and making a myriad of things happen. I have been told I can take a quick coffee break... enough time to drink a cuppa (with raw milk from the farm!) and schmear a bagel with some butterfat left over from the last make of Constant Bliss to impart some cheesy words.

I came up to this great green state for the Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival, which was held to great acclaim and great attendance yesterday at Shelburne Farm. Only the second festival of its kind, it was truly a congregation of some of the finest cheeses and finest cheese people in the country. Vermont Butter and Cheese Co. was celebrating its 25th birthday, and organized the festival in tandem to spread the lactic love to all of their cheesemaking brethren across the state, and even across the region. Folks like the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Grafton Village Cheese, and Cabot rallied with amazing support to make the festival a reality. All told, over 30 cheese makers set up shop in the historic coach barn at Shelburne, with offerings ranging from queso fresco to dulce de leche made from goats' milk. To futher whet folks' whistles, the fest featured wine, beer, ice cider, bread, soy, and pickles all from the state, showcasing the fact that Vermont is truly the center of a little food revolution.

For a dispatch from the cheese fest with way more of the nitty gritty, all you need do is visit the Heritage Radio Network to hear this weeks' episode of 'Cutting the Curd.' We talk with Allison Hooper of Vermont Butter and Cheese, Mark Fisher of Woodcock Farm, and Alec Webb of Shelburne Farm about all the goings on at the festival and why cheese is so important (gustatorily, economically and otherwise) to Vermonters. If you missed this year's festival, have no fear, there are plans in the works to do a sequel next fall, and my instincts tell me it'll be even cheesier!

So, this afternoon I'll be New York bound, my car packed to the gills with cheeses procured from various farms at the festival. Come tomorrow morning, we'll be carving into them at the shop and would love to share a bite or two. Among the gems, we've gotten the first Weston Wheels of the season from Woodcock Farm, so all y'all who've been craving aged sheeps' milk cheese, now's your chance. We've also packed away a cache of gooey Summer Snow, a fabulous sheeps' milk camembert from Woodcock Farm, milky sweet Goredawnzola from the Green Mountain Blue Cheese Company, and tart, tangy Lake's Edge, one of our favorite goats from Blue Ledge Farm.

Stop by and snag a slice, practically fresh from the farm.

Till next week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Cows are Calling...

What? On a Wednesday?!

Blame it on the heat wave, blame it on the ocean waves, I've been a-whey myself these past few days and got back to NYC just in time for the sweat-fest that is August. It's a good time to imagine greener pastures and cooler weather.... so go ahead and let your mind wander fall-ward. There are just a few spots left for our next Day A-Whey trip, and they're going like cheese cakes! Be sure to reserve your spot on the old cheese mobile. There's bound to be good times, crisp apples, and of course, plenty of good cheese.

A Day A-Whey to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard
Sunday, September 27th 2009
9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Trip begins and ends at Saxelby Cheesemongers, 120 Essex Street
for tickets ($95) and more info, visit saxelbycheese.com


We here at Saxelby Cheesemongers would like to interrupt your Monday afternoon to ask you a very important question: what could be finer than spending a day out in the country, communing with cows, noshing on cheese, and picking loads of juicy apples? Not a whole heck of a lot.

So jump on the bus and come along on our Day A-Whey farm field trip to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard! Join us on our chartered coach as we explore the finest of the Hudson Valley's farm country at the peak of fall foliage. The first stop on our Day A-Whey adventure is Sprout Creek Farm, where we'll see first hand how fine farmstead cheese is made. After a tour of the farm and creamery, guests will be treated to a lavish picnic lunch featuring locally foraged foods and Sprout Creek cheeses. In the afternoon we'll continue on to Terhune Orchard for a few hours of sunshine and apple picking. The coach will return to the city in the early evening after a full day of farm goodness!

Sprout Creek Farm, located just about an hour and a half north of the city in Poughkeepsie, was founded by nuns in the late 1980s as a place for children to reconnect with nature and learn about agriculture. After almost 30 years of agri-education, Sprout Creek has come to be one of the premier creameries in the country. Colin McGrath, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of the Arts, is the talented young cheese maker behind Sprout Creek's award-winning cheeses. Colin will lead us on a tour of the creamery, showing from start to finish how top quality farmstead cheese is made. Sprout Creek's founder Margo Morris will then guide us on a ramble of the multi-faceted farm, showing off the gardens, goats, cows, pigs, sheep, ducks and chickens that make up the day to day rhythm at Sprout Creek.

After the farm tour, daytrippers will be treated to a bountiful picnic lunch, served in Sprout Creek's cozy, historic barn. Salads, fruits, and cider from New York City's own Greenmarket will be laid out for the noshing alongside a sampling of charcuterie, freshly cut chunks of Sprout Creek cheese and a selection of fresh breads from the Sullivan Street Bakery.

Once we've all had our fill of delicious farmstead fromage, the coach will amble on down the road to Terhune Orchard for an afternoon of apple picking in the sunshine. Come mid-September, Terhune Orchard boasts an amazing array of apple varieties. Daytrippers can pick a peck of Empire, Gala, Golden Delicious and Cameos to munch alongside their cheeses. The chartered coach will return to the Essex Street Market by 7:00 pm, full of happy, sated daytrippers.

So what are you waiting for?! Isn't it about time you had a Day A-Whey?

For tickets ($95) and information visit saxelbycheese.com

***Please note that the ticket price includes transportation, food, and apple picking***

Monday, August 10, 2009


Good Monday to you all! It's been a riveting week in cheese country, as this year's American Cheese Society conference was underway, kicking ass and raising hell down in Austin, Texas. Ok, that may be a bit of a strong description, but when it comes to things Texan, it always seems appropriate to throw a little tough guy talk around. There was a lot of jalapeno cheese though, according to expert eye witness Tia Keenan, who was kind enough to join me on 'Cutting the Curd', my Sunday radio show on the Heritage Radio Network. Tune in to the archives to hear Ms. Keenan dish about the Lone Star State, cheese, chicken shit bingo, and how she developed her love of all things dairy.

Cheese is a big deal food in Austin. The city's culinary roots are firmly entrenched in the Tex-Mex tradition that rules the regions restaurants. There is a type of cheese / condiment there called simply 'queso' that is as common as bread and butter up north here in Yankee country. Just about every restaurant in town has their own slightly tweaked version of queso that is liberally applied overtop enchiladas and spooned into cups for noshing with nachos.

But the American Cheese Society tends to bring the thunder... this year to the tune of over 1300 cheeses from cheese makers large and small across this great nation. Saxelby Cheesemongers is pleased to feature more than a few award winning cheeses in the old cheese case down at our shop at the Essex Market. Come check out these delicious specimens, all of whom were lauded at this year's ACS meeting:

Grayson (Raw cows' milk. Meadow Creek Dairy, VA)
Every year Grayson tops the charts in its category at the ACS. This soft, washed-rind cheese is pungent, beefy, and shines like intergalactic butter due to the fact that their cows graze some of the finest pasture in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Vermont Ayr (Raw cows' milk. Crawford Family Farm, VT)
A tiny swiss-style tomme that keeps getting better with each passing month. The paste is dense and creamy, with hints of toasted almonds, sweet milk, and bright fruit.

Maple Smoked Gouda (Raw cows' milk. Taylor Farm, VT)
As close as you can get to bacon without eating bacon... this rich, hearty smoked cheese will knock your socks off. None of that liquid smoke flavor here... just pure Vermont goodness. Maybe we could try melting in on pancakes?!

Pawlet (Raw cows' milk. Consider Bardwell Farm, VT)
Tried and true. Pawlet is like the golden retriever of cheeses: easy, cute (yes, cheese can be cute), and immensely eager to please. It's what we use on our grilled cheese and pickle sandwiches at the Brooklyn Flea.

Spring Brook Tarentaise (Raw cows' milk. Spring Brook Farm, VT)
A showstopper. This fine Alpine-style cheese is made from rich Jersey milk, giving it all the grassy goodness of a classic Comte, but backed up by a sharp fruity zing. Just eat a piece. You'll see what we're talking about.

Till next week! Be good. Be cheesy.

And don't forget! Our fall Day A-Whey to Sprout Creek Farm is right around the corner... Get your tickets at saxelbycheese.com today!

A Day A-Whey to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard
Sunday, September 27th
9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Trip begins and ends at Saxelby Cheesemongers
for tickets ($95) and more info visit saxelbycheese.com

Monday, August 03, 2009

From Dog Days to Cow Days... Saxelby Cheesemongers Announces Our Fall Day A-Whey Trip to Sprout Creek Farm!

August is upon us. And we New Yorkers know what that means... the dog days of summer are truly here. Well, if August is full of days for dogs, then September is bound to be full of days for cows! Moo-ve on over summer, Saxelby Cheesemongers is pleased to announce our fall Day A-Whey Farm trip to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard! You'll feel cooler when you're done reading this, we promise...

A Day A-Whey to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard
Sunday, September 27th 2009
9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Trip begins and ends at Saxelby Cheesemongers, 120 Essex Street
for tickets ($95) and more info, visit saxelbycheese.com












We here at Saxelby Cheesemongers would like to interrupt your Monday afternoon to ask you a very important question: what could be finer than spending a day out in the country, communing with cows, noshing on cheese, and picking loads of juicy apples? Not a whole heck of a lot.

So jump on the bus and come along on our Day A-Whey farm field trip to Sprout Creek Farm and Terhune Orchard! Join us on our chartered coach as we explore the finest of the Hudson Valley's farm country at the peak of fall foliage. The first stop on our Day A-Whey adventure is Sprout Creek Farm, where we'll see first hand how fine farmstead cheese is made. After a tour of the farm and creamery, guests will be treated to a lavish picnic lunch featuring locally foraged foods and Sprout Creek cheeses. In the afternoon we'll continue on to Terhune Orchard for a few hours of sunshine and apple picking. The coach will return to the city in the early evening after a full day of farm goodness!

Sprout Creek Farm, located just about an hour and a half north of the city in Poughkeepsie, was founded by nuns in the late 1980s as a place for children to reconnect with nature and learn about agriculture. After almost 30 years of agri-education, Sprout Creek has come to be one of the premier creameries in the country. Colin McGrath, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of the Arts, is the talented young cheese maker behind Sprout Creek's award-winning cheeses. Colin will lead us on a tour of the creamery, showing from start to finish how top quality farmstead cheese is made. Sprout Creek's founder Margo Morris will then guide us on a ramble of the multi-faceted farm, showing off the gardens, goats, cows, pigs, sheep, ducks and chickens that make up the day to day rhythm at Sprout Creek.

After the farm tour, daytrippers will be treated to a bountiful picnic lunch, served in Sprout Creek's cozy, historic barn. Salads, fruits, and cider from New York City's own Greenmarket will be laid out for the noshing alongside a sampling of charcuterie, freshly cut chunks of Sprout Creek cheese and a selection of fresh breads from the Sullivan Street Bakery.

Once we've all had our fill of delicious farmstead fromage, the coach will amble on down the road to Terhune Orchard for an afternoon of apple picking in the sunshine. Come mid-September, Terhune Orchard boasts an amazing array of apple varieties. Daytrippers can pick a peck of Empire, Gala, Golden Delicious and Cameos to munch alongside their cheeses. The chartered coach will return to the Essex Street Market by 7:00 pm, full of happy, sated daytrippers.

So what are you waiting for?! Isn't it about time you had a Day A-Whey?

For tickets ($95) and information visit saxelbycheese.com

***Please note that the ticket price includes transportation, food, and apple picking***