Hi Everyone. I was up in Oregon on vacation with the family so I have not been around the internet lately. I had a great cheese trip planned — visiting Briar Rose Creamery on the first day of the year that they were getting goat milk — but snow prevented me from leaving the coast. Instead, I went to visit Tillamook which, though a lot less fun, was probably more useful for the book I am writing.
Look! Factory Cheddar:
167,000lbs of cheese a day is no joke. We sell about 4000-5000lbs of Tilly a year. At most cheese facilities we carry, buying that much cheese a year would get me a private tour. Here, I was up in the viewing section with the consumers ;):
It is worth noting that the two national brands of Cheddar that are thought of as “better quality” amongst consumers — Tillamook and Cabot — are both co-ops.
Look! I’m a Tillamook farmer!
I am not, however, a Blue Heron Donkey.
I visited this cheese company a couple of blocks from the Tilly factory. Causing me to laugh out loud — since i had just bought a lb of fresh curds from the Tilly factory — they were carrying Henning’s cheese curds all the way from Wisconsin! (I mean, they are better, but still…) I didn’t buy any cheese there but I bought some good chocolate truffles.
The rest of the vacation was spent vacationing. See:
This year’s batch is just hitting stores now. This is from the batch of Jasper Hill Winnimere that took first place at ACS in 2013. Heck, I voted for it.
The cheese world remembers:
Tunworth! Neal’s Yard-imported Camembert-style from the Hampshire Cheese Co…. first time I’ve seen it in the US and it’s pretty darn awesome!
Artsy, moldy cheese in walk in.
Pete and the Giant Stilton! I really didn’t know they made them this big.
45 years for Redwood Hill! This sculpture is from the Fancy Food Show last January. Amazing!
One of my favorite new (to me) cheeses this year. Everton from Jacobs and Brichford… More like a well-aged Comte than any other American-made cheese I’ve tried. The last wheel we got was also super oniony in that good Alpine way. Mmmmmmm.
For the last ten days of the year I will share some of my favorite 2013 cheese photos. You ready? Here we go!
Delivery of Valley Ford Cheese. Much of it made on my birthday in 2012!
1. Isn’t this just about the most gorgeous cheese label you’ve ever seen?
2. I love that Rush Creek is now a Thanksgiving tradition. I wish we could get enough Winnimere to make that an Xmas one, but I get it! I get it! Rush Creek for xmas too!
3. Here’s one of my Thanksgiving cheese plates. My family got the more American plate.
(From front left, clockwise: Anton’s Peppered Ass Cheese, Cremeux de Bourgnone, Camembert di Bufala, Scharfer Maxx Extra, Molleux du Revard)
4. Still collecting Cheesemonger Selfies. More are being posted all the time. Email me your pics and I’ll put em up. (gordon.zola.edgar at gmail dot com)
5. If you are local and are not on the invite list for the monthly cheesemonger gatherings, go here, or hit me up at that email as well and I’ll put you on the list. It is not exclusive!
6. I really cannot create any real content you know… it’s that time of the year.
7. I should be able to officially announce my book contract in my next post though. I would be able to now except for a couple of e-book details that weren’t in my last contract. Things have changed!
8. I am going to post a picture a day starting tomorrow. My cheese memories of 2013. You likely have seen ‘em before, but whatever. True beauty doesn’t fade.