Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Day Munchies

It's tough to believe we're officially on the verge of summer, but Memorial Day weekend is coming right up! And of all the rituals and traditions that come along with this holiday: my grandmother busting out her sizable collection of white shoes, Puffy's white party out in the Hamptons (not that I've ever been invited...), parades featuring men in funny coffee-can-looking hats riding around on lawnmower-sized vehicles (well, at least that's how we did it in the Midwest... Puffy eat your heart out!) the humble barbeque is far and away the most venerable institution.

This Memorial Day, Saxelby Cheesemongers has put together a list of our top five burger cheeses for your barbeque or picnic extravaganza. We've also got some delicious dairy trifles arriving this week that need a good picnic basket or dinner plate home! Come on in and give 'em a try... it's a much more satisfying investment than another pair of white shoes.

Saxelby Cheesemongers' Best Burger Cheeses:

Shelburne Farm 2 Year Cheddar
The classic. Who can aruge with cheddar when it comes to a melty, savory burger topper? Shelburne Farm's 2 Year is a stout, creamy, fruity cheddar with just enough of a kickback to make your tastebuds do the boogaloo. For comfort food par excellence, this is your cheese!

Maple Smoked Gouda
One hearty slab of this smokey, mapley-sweet cheese on your burger and you'll forget why you ever needed bacon on there too. A stalwart Vermont creation, this cheese from Taylor Farm is anything but your average gouda. The gentle smoking over maple wood creates a delicate sweetness that is the perfect foil to a juicy burger. I'm salivating just writing this...and it's not even close to dinner time.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Famous cheese man Pierre Androuet once wrote: 'Eating four ounces of a fine Gruyere is just as rich as having the equivalent amount of steak.' Well, I'm pretty sure it was the Americans who switched the famous phrase around to read, 'You can have your cake and eat it too.' So, just in case that hearty burger of yours seems to be lacking in some way, a chunk of this grassy, fruity homage to Gruyere will send your patty straight to the moon.

Red Meck
A relative newcomer to Saxelby Cheesemongers, Red Meck is a bright-eyed, Provolone-esque cheese from New York's Finger Lakes. A zippy and creamy cheese aged for 5 to 7 months; it's sure to add a little spice and panache to your burger-scape.

Shaker Blue
Talk about decadent. Shaker Blue is a raw sheeps' milk blue so rich and buttery and delicate, it'd make just about any wheel of Roquefort blush. Melts on contact, creating a spreadable blue cheese schmear that is equal parts peppery, caramelly, and fruity. If your burger's got the blues, better make it Shaker!

Arriving later this week, keep an eye out for fresh burrata both big and small, sheeps' milk ricotta (first of the season!) from Vermont Shepherd, and smoked (yes, smoked!) cheese curds.

And thanks to all of you who attended the New Amsterdam Market fundraiser last Saturday at New York's Marble Cemetery! The event was a big, bold, delicious success, and a harbinger of a bustling market season to come. There are still a few days to bid on a handful of handmade and homespun food experiences on their online auction, so if you couldn't make it last weekend, or if you want to show your support for a new public market in the historic seaport, visit

'Till next week, eat cheese, get that barbeque going, and be merry!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Grilled Cheese in the Marble Cemetery

Grilled cheese in New York's Marble Cemetery... who'd have thunk it?

Join Saxelby Cheesemongers and a whole host of purveyors of regional edibles this Saturday, May 22nd for an afternoon of delicious morsels, all cooked and eaten in support of the New Amsterdam Market! The market season kicks off in June, but this'll be a tasty sneak preview...

City of Merchants: A Fundraiser for New Amsterdam Market
Saturday, May 22nd 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
New York Marble Cemetery 41 1/2 Second Ave (near 2nd St.)
For tickets ($35 and up) visit

Imagine this quiet, verdant space bustling with stalls of savory food! This Saturday, in our undying devotion to all things fermented, Saxelby Cheesemongers will be debuting our grilled cheese and kimchi (yes kimchi!) sandwich at New Amsterdam Market's City of Merchants. We're stuffing a Tom Cat Bakery focaccia pocket with Hillcrest Dairy cheese curds and MILKimchi's spicy Napa Cabbage, and grilling it to gooey, melty perfection. Just as Bahn Mi broke all the rules between French and Vietnamese culture (to delicious effect) this sandwich is a New York City cross-cultural mishmash of spicy, cheesy, green goodness. Wash it down with a refreshing pint from Jimmy's no. 43 or, for the hardcore, a homemade kombucha. Trust us, your tummy will thank you!

For a complete schedule of the 2010 New Amsterdam Market Season, click here.

Also, check out this past week's episode of Cutting the Curd on the Heritage Radio Network. I interview Betsy and Rachel Devine of Salvatore BKLYN about their incredible ricotta cheese, as well as the life and love of Mr. Salvatore himself. Be forewarned, there's some homespun cheesy poetry woven throughout the show... Haikus and limericks abound.

Till next week! Eat cheese and be merry!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Farm Trips, Movie Premieres, and Milk Exposés

Farm Trips, movie premieres, and milk exposés... this week Saxelby Cheesemongers is taking you from the barnyard to the red carpet, and back again to some muckraking (or should we say milk-raking) conversation. Read on fromage-o-philes, this is not your typical week in cheese!

A Day A-Whey to Mecox Bay Dairy and Wolffer Estate Vineyard
Sunday May 16th 8:30 am to 7:00 pm
For tickets ($95) visit

Our Day A-Whey to Mecox Bay Dairy and Wolffer Estate Vineyard is nearly sold out, however we still have a few spots available! If you've been on the fence about heading out to the farm, hop off and get yourself out of the city and into the barnyard! The weekend weather is looking sunny and fine, the food and wine will be fantastic, and the cows are a-waiting. Why wait till Memorial Day?! Have yourself A Day A-Whey with Saxelby Cheesemongers this weekend!

Wo Ai Ni Mommy New York City Premiere
Friday, May 14th 6:45 pm
For tickets ($9-$11) visit

This Friday night, we're dimming down the cheese and raising the curtain for an incredible film premiere at the Asia Society! Saxelby Cheesemongers is proud to invite you to the New York City premiere of Wo Ai Ni Mommy (I Love You Mommy), a documentary film by Stephanie Wang-Breal. Winner of the 'Best Documentary Film' award at San Francisco's Asian American Film Festival, Wo Ai Ni Mommy is the compelling story of a young Chinese girl's journey from an orphanage in Guangzhou, China to a Jewish American family in Long Island. Filmmaker Stephanie Wang-Breal follows Donna Sadowsky to Guangzhou to adopt the eight-year old Fang Sui Yong, who is now Faith Sadowsky. The film documents the emotional confusion, language barrier, and cultural shock experienced by little Faith, as well as the struggles and joy experienced by the family.

And last but not least, a little cheese and dairy politics. Tune in to this week's milk-raking, eye-opening episode of Cutting the Curd as I have the privilege to interview John Bunting, dairy farmer, activist, blogger, and historian. John knows the ins and outs of America's dysfunctional dairy system better than just about anybody else, and was willing (luckily for us!) to disseminate that knowledge over the old internet-waves of the Heritage Radio Network. Why does local milk cost twice or even three times as much as supermarket milk? Why have most of New York's dairy farms disappeared? Who's in charge of the price of milk, and who's really making money in the dairy industry? Hint: it's not the farmers.... Listen in and find out!

'Till next week, eat cheese, watch movies, get the low down, and be merry!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Saxelby Cheesemongers Turns Four!

We braved the first year, we survived the terrible twos, we reveled in being three, and now we're about to turn four! This Wednesday, Cinco de Mayo, ditch the margaritas and come on down to Saxelby Cheesemongers for good times, good cheese, and tasty noshes both sweet and savory from our fellow purveyors as we celebrate another year in cheese!

Since 2006, Saxelby Cheesemongers has worked to showcase the finest selection of artisan cheeses produced in our region. Today, we work with over 35 farms to bring incredible cheese, milk, butter, and other delicious dairy to our customers at the market as well as a growing number of New York City restaurants who see the true revolution happening in the world of domestic curds and whey. We look forward to our fourth year as we continue to deepen our commitment to the art of dairy farming and cheese making, bolstering our regional farm economy by bringing more good cheese to market!

First things first. We'd like to thank all of our cheese makers for making Saxelby Cheesemongers the premier destination for local farmstead cheese. As I often say, they do all the hard work, and we're just lucky that we get to eat it! The bounty and variety that these dairy artisans have bestowed on us these past years is almost too good (and too rich...oy vey!) to be true. Thanks to you all a million times over. We're lucky to work with you and we know it.

But most of all, we'd like to thank you! Our fellow cheese lovers, our partners in crime, our cheesiest neighborhood cohorts. You've made Saxelby Cheesemongers, and the Essex Street Market a truly vibrant and fantastic place to spend our days. With your support, our cheesy dreams have materialized into something tangible, real, and meaningful.

Starting on Wednesday (our official birthday!) mention this email for a 15% discount on anything in the store. The deal will run from Wednesday through Saturday, 'cause we know getting to the market during the week can be a bit of a schlep! Good cheese abounds... and we can't wait to share it with you.

Till next week, eat cheese and be merry!