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 »
Last fall, I had the opportunity to travel to the Jura with Ihsan and Valerie, owners of the Formaggio Kitchen shops, and visit Fromageries Marcel Petite, affineur (or ager) of Comté cheese. All cheesemongers on our counters hear a tremendous amount about Fort Saint Antoine where Marcel Petite ages their finest wheels – it is a Continue Reading »
A big welcome to the newest cheesemaker on our wall – Spoonwood Cabin Creamery! Spoonwood is a teeny-tiny 1,000 square foot “nano-creamery” in the town of Jacksonville, Vermont, 25 minutes west of Brattleboro.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday and, in recognition of the day, we surveyed a few of our fellow staffers to see what cheeses their mothers like them to bring home!
Marc Olivier is one of a handful of growers determined to showcase the pedigree of the local white grape: Melon de Bourgogne. You can smell and feel all of that clean, stony minerality straight through the finish of this wine. Paired with a nibble of salty, creamy Valençay, its quiet apple orchard fruit notes open up beautifully, and its minerally finish clears the way for another tasty bite.
A trip through the French Basque country is one of distinct sights, scents, and flavors. Rolling hills of green pastures are punctuated by craggy mountain peaks and deep valleys, and sheep are everywhere!