Four years ago, when I first moved from New York to the Boston-area, I can only describe it as a collision of worlds. Although the change of pace is less noticeable for some, it took me extra time to adjust to the relatively gentle mobility of Beantown as compared to that of the Big Apple. Continue Reading »
It was the perfect day yesterday at Shelburne Farms for the 5th annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. Forty plus cheesemakers from around the state of Vermont, as well as a few from New Hampshire and Massachusetts, gathered for an afternoon of tasting and talking – and, happily, we did a lot of both! Tripp, Meredith, Kyra, Continue Reading »
This image sets the stage for our visit to the region surrounding Castelmagno. We came upon Santuario di San Magno, in the Valle Grana as we drove up and up and up into the alps of Castelmagno where we were surrounded by heavy fog and cool air that gave a mystical feel to the place, Continue Reading »
In the glinting dawn sunlight at the Madrid airport, Ihsan made his perennial toast: “Here’s to a great trip, baby!” Valerie and I raised our glasses of bubbling cava, and with a clink and a final sip, we were off. Our final destination after this layover was Bra, a city in Italy’s Piedmont region, where Continue Reading »
Colleagues and I recently had the opportunity to visit cheesemakers at several farms in Vermont: Consider Bardwell, Blue Ledge and Twig Farm.
Switzerland was our focus. Leaving France behind, we arrived in Villeneuve on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac du Monde) to meet with Bernard. Immediately, we were swept up and driven north into the Alpine hills and mountains of Gruyère.
Tim and Julie recently traveled to Portugal where they visited the capital city Lisbon and toured around the Alentejo, the least populous part of the country, with Portuguese specialty food exporter Manuel Maia. Summers in the Alentejo are hot and dry, but during our springtime visit the grass and trees were green and the weather Continue Reading »
This past fall, Ihsan, Valerie and I spent a rainy week in October traveling through southern Gascony and the Pays Basque region of southwestern France. Following the mountains along the French and Spanish border, the narrow, curvy roads passed through shady forested nooks, over cold rivers and around very steep green hills dotted with fluffy Continue Reading »
Consider Bardwell’s cheesemaking roots date back to 1864, when the southwestern Vermont farm produced large wheels of cheddar that they transported to New York and beyond. Today, the farm has been re-invented as a goat’s milk dairy, with a herd of about 100 Oberhaslis, a Swiss breed rarely found outside of Switzerland. After falling into Continue Reading »
We recently began working with Joseph Paccard, a new affineur from Savoie, France. Located in the village of Manigod, Paccard carefully selects the farms he works with and develops close relationships with cheesemakers. This means the cheeses we receive are of an exceptionally high standard. All of the cheese Paccard sells and ages is “fermier,” Continue Reading »
In addition to the years spent developing an understanding of the nuances of fine cheeses, there are relationships to consider, and hundreds of cheeses to taste. We regularly send mongers to visit producers in Jura, France, where they personally select the next batch of cheeses that will be sold here and in our stores. At Continue Reading »
Kurt, Mary and I left Pontarlier early on a Tuesday morning, headed to the Savoie and to our friends at Joseph Paccard. After some initial craziness picking up our guide, Celine Viguier, on the side of the highway, we were well on our way to glory. This leg of our trip gave us an opportunity Continue Reading »