Sunday, May 22, 2011

Save the Essex Market! Community Board Meeting this Wednesday!

The word is out! Since our last email about the possible demolition and relocation of the Essex Market, there has been an outpouring of support from the community to save this Lower East Side institution. Thanks to all of you who signed the online petition, talked with your neighbors, and came by the shop to let us know you're with us in this fight.

Even the New York Times has taken notice... Check out this article published in the NY/Metro section last Sunday!

save essex marketIf you didn't get a chance to sign the petition to save Essex Market, please take a minute to sign and help us reach our goal of 2,000 signatures. We're at 1,640 signatures now, and know we can reach our goal with your help!

If you already signed, please take a minute to forward this message along to friends and family who love the market! Every person counts.


There is also an important Community Board Meeting about the Essex Market this Wednesday, May 25th. We'll be there with bells on, and encourage anyone who wants to see the Essex Market preserved to come and give the city an earful! Public comment is welcome, and much needed. Get there early to make sure your questions and comments get on the docket!

Community Board 3 Meeting: Essex Market and the SPURA Project
Wednesday, May 25th 6:30 pm
University Settlement Community Center
189 Allen Street (between Houston and Stanton)

If you've never been to a community board meeting, don't fear! It's a little slice o' New York life that is not to be missed... Just think of it as an anthropological experience.

Thanks again to everyone for your support! Together we can save the Essex Market!

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In radio-land this week, we'll be talking the 'State of Cheese' in Alaska! Making cheese in the arctic is no easy task as it turns out... We'll talk with former Alaskan cheesemakers Matt and Rhonda Shaul of Cranberry Ridge Farm, and
Bob Gerlach, state veterinarian of Alaska to see what's doing way up there in the world of dairy. Tune in to Cutting the Curd every Monday at from 4:30 to 5:00 on the Heritage Radio Network.


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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Maine Event...

When most people think of delicious food from Maine, they tend to gaze seaward and envision giant be-clawed crustaceans steamed and served with butter, or mixed with mayo and piled high atop a fluffy, sweet hot dog bun. We cheesemongers, being more of the landlubber variety, would like to take this opportunity to point out that there's also some incredible fare being made just a wee bit inland, namely delicious mixed milk cheeses from Seal Cove Farm. Read all about 'em here, and listen in to Cutting the Curd this afternoon at 4:30 pm when we chat with Seal Cove's very own Barbara Brooks to talk about the 'State of Cheese' in Maine!

pearlPearls, little goat & cows' milk crottin-shaped cheeses, are Barbara's pride and joy, and unlike their maritime cohorts, are ripe and ready for the munching just a few weeks after they're made. These diminutive cheeses are shipped fresh from the farm to our cheese cave in Brooklyn, where we raise 'em up to be the gooey, musky, wrinkle-rinded wheels you see when you come to visit the shop. They're the perfect thing for a picnic... just add a baguette, a bottle of rosé, and (why the heck not?!) a couple of oysters for good measure.

chevrotinChevrotin are Seal Cove Farm's semi-firm rounds of goat & cows' milk curd, aged for over 2 months and lightly washed with brine to give the rind a tawny patina. These totally unique cheeses have a drier, more crumbly texture, and have a goaty-sweet, mineral, and slightly yeasty flavor. Cut off a chunk to snack on as is, or grate atop roasted asparagus or your favorite salad for a nice little kick!


If you find yourself on the Upper West Side, both of theses cheeses are also available at our new cheese counter at Épicerie Boulud, located just across the street from Lincoln Center on 64th and Broadway. Stop on by for a taste of Seal Cove cheese and some of their fabulous house-made charcuterie!

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Wanna know more about Seal Cove Farm and the cheese scene in Maine? Tune in TODAY to Cutting the Curd on the Heritage Radio Network! From 4:30 to 5:00 we'll be broadcasting live from Roberta's in Bushwick, Brooklyn with cheese maker Barbara Brooks of Seal Cove Farm in Maine. Call the studio at 718-497-2128 or email us at info@heritageradionetwork.com with your cheesy queries!


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Visit us at Épicerie Boulud now open at 64th and Broadway

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Saxelby Cheesemongers on the Upper West Side? It's True at Épicerie Boulud!

Saxelby Cheesemongers on the Upper West Side?!? With the opening of Épicerie Boulud, the newest addition to Daniel Boulud's coterie of gastronomic hot spots, it's the honest to goodness truth!

Epicerie BouludÉpicerie Boulud is officially open for business, and it's about time you hightailed it over there for a taste of some of New York City's finest edibles! The selection at the Épicerie is well-tailored, but in true Boulud fashion, is practically busting at the seams with decadent deliciousness. Take your pick of house made charcuterie, farmstead cheese, freshly baked bread and pastries, and a wide-ranging menu of salads and sandwiches from lobster rolls to old fashioned hot dogs plucked off hot rollers and topped with steaming sauerkraut.

For Épicerie Boulud, Saxelby Cheesemongers put together a selection of about thirty of our favorite American and French cheeses for you to sample and savor. The selection will change four times per year to reflect the seasonal nature of farmstead cheese making, and to showcase the cheeses when they're at their absolute best.

You'll find plenty of our house favorites like Ascutney Mountain, Timberdoodle, and Bayley Hazen Blue as well as brand-spankin' new cheeses like Slyboro, a raw goats' milk cheese washed in hard cider from Consider Bardwell Farm. For the French side of things, we're incredibly proud to be working hand in hand with master affineur Hervé Mons to ferry the finest cheeses directly from his caves in Auvergne to the corner of 64th and Broadway.

Now, I know what you're all thinking... Saxelby Cheesemongers? French cheeses? What the?! So I'd like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. First of all Daniel Boulud is obviously French. And while the foundation of all his cuisine lies in the quality of the foods he's working with (regardless of their geographic provenance), there's still something to be said for loving the motherland. After our first conversations about the Épicerie, even though Chef Boulud loved our selection of American cheeses, something was still (rightfully so) tugging at his heart strings...

Epicerie Cheese CaseEnter Hervé Mons. I have always considered Hervé to be a mentor of mine in the cheese world. In 2005, just before opening Saxelby Cheesemongers, I spent three months working with a few of his chevre producers in the Loire Valley, and learning the art of affinage in his cheese caves just west of Lyon. Hervé works tirelessly to source and mature his cheeses so that when they finally arrive on your cheese plate, they are so evocative, so unctuous, and so transforming that you very well may swear you had a transcendent experience. And although he's got over 50 years more experience than our little outfit, I'd like to think that at Saxelby Cheesemongers, we're striving to do the same thing with our American cheese cohorts.

It seemed a natural thing to collaborate on a project like the Épicerie. Saxelby Cheesemongers and La Maison Mons share a common passion to promote and uphold the craft of true artisan cheese making. The locales of the farms might be different, but the rigor and artistry of creating delicious cheese is something we've both dedicated our lives, and our businesses to. But don't take our word for it... come on up to Épicerie Boulud and let your taste buds be the judge!

Épicerie Boulud
1900 Broadway at the corner of 64th St.
Open daily from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm

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And don't forget to tune in TODAY to Cutting the Curd on the Heritage Radio Network! From 4:30 to 5:00 we'll be broadcasting live from Roberta's in Bushwick, Brooklyn with cheese maker Jeremy Stevenson of Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. Call the studio at 718-497-2128 or email us at info@heritageradionetwork.com with your cheesy queries!


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Monday, May 02, 2011

Saxelby Cheesemongers Turns Five!

I remember May 5th 2006 like it was yesterday. After a night of not much sleep, I woke up, donned my newly made t-shirt that boasted 'Monger' across the chest, and rode my bike over to the Essex Market. Now, I don't know what other business owners feel like when they're opening up a new place, but I recall feeling a bit the same as I did when I used to clean out my parents' house each summer to have our annual garage sale. I'd push the electric garage door opener, tidy my ridiculous collection of wares on the tables, and hope to god people would show up.

And show up they did! The only difference was that instead of haggling with senior citizens and townies over the price of a beanie baby, or a strange old salad bowl, I was tasting, talking, cutting and wrapping cheese! It was that day and still is pretty much my favorite thing to do on the planet. That first day of business was exhausting yet exhilarating, filled with friends, family, accordion music by Walter, the owner of Main Squeeze on Essex Street, and curious neighborhoodies, wondering what took the place of the former bombed out dumpling shop on the southern end of the market, and why the air was suddenly perfumed with the pungent aroma of cheese.

The past five years have been absolutely incredible, and we want to celebrate with you, everyone who came to the little garage sale cum cheese shop and filled it up with your energy, let us ogle your new babies, suggested new products or farms for us to buy from, brought our cheese to your special occasions, and generally made the shop come alive. You make coming to work each day an absolute joy, and it is to you we owe thanks!

From today until Sunday stop by the shop and participate in our fifth anniversary raffle! Every purchase counts as a ticket.

We'll be raffling off a whole host of delightfully cheesy things: A personalized Day A-Whey trip for two, a 'Best of Saxelby Cheese' gift box chock full o' goodies from the shop, two tickets to the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, Saxelby Cheesemongers tote bags, and gift certificates to the store.

And on Thursday May 5th, our anniversary proper, we'll be feasting on irreverent cake from Rainbo's and generally making merry. Come on by and help us celebrate five fantastic years!

Three cheers to you, the cheese lovers and cheese makers who make this all possible. Here's to another five years... and then some! Hip hip, hooray!


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