Friday, February 26, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

We've got a bunch of new products in the store this week.

For those of you who have been asking , we are pleased to announce the return of truffle honey, truffle oil and truffle salt. We spent a lot of time tasting truffle products and think we've got the best. Deeply aromatic infused products that are the truffliest you've ever tried.
We're also starting to bring in new cheeses. Pecorino from Prairie Fruits Farm, aged goat cheese from Andante Dairy in California and our featured cheese of the week, eight year cheddar from Widmer's Cheese Cellars in WI.

This cheddar has everything we love in an aged cheese. Texture is crumbly when sliced with those lovely little crunchies that come with a well aged cheese, but has a dense fudge like texture in the mouth. Rich and nutty this cheese is sure to become a favorite among customers and staff.

You're going to need a big wine to go with that explosive cheddar. We suggest the 2007 Picada from Argentina. This full-bodied red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Pinot Noir. The end result is a big wine with soft tannins, plum flavors and just enough spice that is sure to please.

While our pairing won't make spring come any sooner, having a tasty hunk of cheese and glass of wine certainly helps bring some sunshine into an otherwise cold and grey February day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cheese is where you find it...

Last week I was lucky enough to visit a cheese-loving friend at her Winter home in Gulf Shores Alabama. One morning she asked me if I thought that one hour was too far to drive to get decent cheese. I looked at her and said, "Let's GO!"

We drove north through Foley to Elberta, and landed here:

at Sweet Home Farm, a tiny Farmstead Dairy and Creamery.

We entered their tiny cheese shop and were offered tastings of some incredible cheeses, including their signature Elberta, a semi-soft and tangy cheese; Jubilee, a supple mountain style; and Perdido, layered with herbal ash like a morbier and rubbed in carob. I bought all three...

because how could I not from such lovely people. I also bought the ultimate local accompaniment, a jar of fig preserves made right on the farm. Almost forgot to try their Bayside Blue but I am glad I didn't, it was extraordinary--buttery and assertive at the same time.

I told Alyce I was from Pastoral and she said "Oh I know Greg from the ACS, but we are too small to sell to you." They don't even do mail order, and their shop is only open two days a week. Which is why there was a line out the door:

The only way to get this delicious award-winning cheese, it seems, is to show up!

On the way out, I nodded at the Guernseys who were very busy ignoring me, and thanked them for the milk that Alyce and Doug make into their gorgeous cheese.

Maybe you can seem them behind me.

Next year I will call ahead and hopefully get to see some cheese-making in action.
If you find yourself anywhere between Mobile and Pensacola, be sure to stop by for some inspiring cheese.