Monday, July 25, 2011

As Kenny Loggins would say, the heat is on! For the time being anyways... At Saxelby Cheesemongers we're trying to find ways to beat the heat. And while the number one antidote seems to be spending inordinate amounts of time in the walk-in fridge, this week's email is dedicated to more practical tips for overheated cheese lovers. Contrary to popular belief, summertime is the perfect time to eat cheese! In the dog days of summer, nothing beats a simple salad, a crusty baguette, and a nice wedge of cheese for dinner.

We've also got some new cheeses on the block that are the perfect thing for whipping up simple, but delicious summery dishes. Read up and see what's new in the case at Saxelby Cheesemongers!

Raw Sheeps' Milk Feta
Bonnieview Farm, VT

Now that summer is here, we can welcome back all those aged sheep cheeses we love so well! Bonnieview Farm makes one heck of a sheeps' milk feta... it's creamy, salty, and just the right amount of sheepy. For those feta connoisseurs out there, this one's a gem! Try it crumbled in a watermelon salad (this recipe is pretty basic, but try adding mint, olives, or pickled red onions!) It also makes a mean Greek salad.

Georgic (aka quark or farmers' cheese)
Calkins Creamery, PA

From Eastern Europe to the kitchens of French peasants from times gone by to American pioneers, just about everyone throughout history has relished some version of fresh farmers' cheese! It's the cheese that goes by a thousand names: farmers' cheese, quark, pot cheese, just to name a few. And while all those variations have their own specific taste, tang, and texture, they're part of a vast family of fresh cheeses that are largely forgotten and under-utilized today. Georgic is our new Quark-style cheese from Calkins Creamery in Pennsylvania, and has turned out to be a veritable culinary chameleon. Try it for breakfast schmeared on toast with honey or preserves, eat it straight up with fresh seasonal fruit on top for breakfast or dessert, use it as a bed for a salad of roasted veggies, or bake it into a cheesecake (experiment with this versatile recipe from Melissa Clark) for a divine treat!


Last weekend, Saxelby Cheesemongers hit up the Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival for our second Day A-Whey trip of the season! Check out our photos of chedddar-making with Nat Bacon of Shelburne Farms, and other general shenanigans in and around Burlington!

Shelburne Farms is an incredible place indeed. Built in the mid-1800's by the Vanderbilt family, the farm is now a sanctuary and sustainable agriculture beacon for Vermonters and visitors alike. Their childrens' programs, farmstead cheese making operation, beautiful inn and restaurant, and miles of gorgeous walking trails make it one of the most breathtaking places in the state.

Click here to see our Day A-Whey photo album & learn more about the cheddar making process!


Cheese on the Radio! Tune in to Cutting the Curd tonight from 4:30 to 5:00 on the Heritage Radio Network, or download the show as a podcast.

Tonight on Cutting the Curd, we'll be honing in on the 'State of Cheese' in West Virginia! We'll chat with Penny Sagawa of Spring Gap Mountain Creamery and Terry Clapp of TLC Farm Goat Dairy to see what it takes to make cheese in the Appalachian Mountains. John Denver was right, this place really goes seem like heaven...

Got questions for Cutting the Curd? Just send us an email at!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saxelby Cheesemongers Named Small Business of the Year!

It was a hot and schweaty day at Gracie Mansion.... Not the place you'd usually see us cheesemongers hanging out... But last Tuesday was a very special day indeed! Saxelby Cheesemongers was named 'Small Business of the Year' for the Borough of Manhattan at this year's Neighborhood Achievement Awards. Read all about it in this week's dairy dispatch!

Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner of Small Business Rob Walsh, and Sponsors at the Ceremony.

The Small Business of the Year award honors an entrepreneur who has contributed to the vitality of their neighborhood and its commerce. Saxelby Cheesemongers was recognized for the positive contribution it has made to the Essex Street Market over the past five years. Since opening for business in the Essex Market, we've been delighted to see changes large and small re-shape one of New York City's most important public markets. From the opening of new shops like Roni-Sue's Chocolates, Pain d'Avignon, and Boubouki, to physical improvements made to the market itself (new floor, new paint job, flowers and foliage outside) to extended hours of business (8-7 Monday-Friday and 10-6 on Sundays) the market has never been better! We couldn't be more proud to be a part of the Essex Market, and know that although we've seen some tremendous enhancements, we still have a lot of work left to do!

As the recipient of this year's award, we think it's only fitting to let the Mayor's office know that the progress and positive change they've just commended Saxelby Cheesemongers for is in danger of being destroyed by the city's SPURA redevelopment plans. We urge Mayor Bloomberg and his staff to join the conversation about the future of the Essex Market. We believe with all our hearts that this neighborhood institution is one for the ages! Stay tuned for more information to see how you can help us continue the fight to save the Essex Street Market.


This Saturday July 23rd from 3:00 to 5:00, come on down to Saxelby Cheesemongers for a demo and tasting with Hot Bread Kitchen, makers of delicious breads from around the world! We'll be grilling up quesadillas with Hot Bread Kitchen's famous homemade 100% corn tortillas. If you've never tried 'em, here's your chance! You'll never look at a tortilla the same way, we promise...


Cheese on the Radio! Tune in to Cutting the Curd tonight from 4:30 to 5:00 on the Heritage Radio Network, or download the show as a podcast.

Tonight on Cutting the Curd, we'll be talking cheese in the state of Maryland with Holly Foster from Chapel's County Creamery and Matt Cedro, cheese maker at Firefly Farms. How did Holly go from one cow to a full-fledged creamery? How did Matt Cedro transition from chef to cheesemaker? Listen in and find out!
Cutting the Curd, a dairy-centric radio show on Heritage Radio Network

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Written Smorgasbord: Saturday Tasting at Essex Market, Cheesy Field Trip, A Cheesemonger Invitational Recap, and Art History on Cutting the Curd!

This is one impressive smorgasbord
This Monday morning, cheese friends, represents a Saxelby Cheese smorgasbord. We took a week off for 4th of July and now just look at us... positively busting at the seams with events, news, and tales of cheese heroism. So as the saying goes, when in Sweden (or when reading an email referencing Swedish cuisine), try a little bit of everything. We'll try our best to keep the info bite-sized, thereby preventing you from having that too-full, food coma type of feeling at the end of this missive. Cause nobody likes that.

First and foremost! This Saturday (July 16th) at the Essex Market, come on by for a book signing and tasting with Kelly Geary, author of Tart & Sweet, the go-to guide for home pickling, preserve-making, and canning. Think you don't got what it takes to make delicious preserves? Think again!! In this simple book, Kelly leads you through all the hows and whys of the process, enabling you to become a canning pro. She also makes all of our jams and chutneys that we use for our ploughmans' sandwiches, so you know you love her already. Check out the Saxelby Cheesemongers Event Calendar for this and other cheesy events!

Moving on through our tantalizing buffet, our next stop is the Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival! Tickets to the festival are sold out, but Saxelby Cheesemongers can get you in! We still have space on our Day A-Whey trip to the Festival the weekend of July 23-24th. On this whirlwind weekend trip, we'll visit Shelburne Farms, spend some time making cheddar with cheese maker Nat Bacon, dine farm to table in Burlington, and attend the third annual Vermont Cheesemakers' Festival. To purchase tickets, or for more info, visit!

The sundae bar, dessert portion of our smorgasbord brings us back in time to the second annual Cheesemonger Invitational, held last Friday night at Larkin, a cold storage warehouse in Long Island City. As usual, I was humbled and blown away by all of the awesome people I share a profession with. This was my first year competing, and while I had some pre-competition jitters, they were immediately erased by the sight of my 40-odd other mongerly brethren, running around like goof balls and cheering each other on.

Over the course of the evening we blew through three rounds of cheesemonger feats of strength: blind taste testing, exact quarter pound cutting, and cheese plate composing. The competition was fierce, the crowd was rowdy, and the cheese plates were downright delicious! This year's winner was Steve Jones of Steve's Cheese in Portland, followed by Poul Price of Consider Bardwell Farm in second place, followed by yours truly. Hats off to Adam Moskowitz, organizer and crazy man behind the invitational, for a fantastic event!! I'm already starting my hard core training regiment for next year...


Cheese on the Radio! Tune in tonight from 4:30 to 5:00 on the Heritage Radio Network, or download the show as a podcast.

HRN logo
Tonight on Cutting the Curd, we'll be discussing the role of cheese and dairy in Dutch still life painting. We'll interview Julie Hochstrasser, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Iowa and expert on 17th century Dutch Painting to discover the hidden meaning behind the objects and foods in Dutch still lives. We know cheese has culture, but with this episode of Cutting the Curd, we're taking it to a whole different level!

Cutting the Curd, a dairy-centric radio show on Heritage Radio Network

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