Tag Archives: cheesemonger readings

Almost time for ACS

I will be in Sacto on Saturday morning — judging curds of all things — so it seems like it’s time to re-post my “Humble suggestions for getting the most out of the cheese conference”. So, here ya go!

I’ve lost track of how many ACS conferences I have attended. I pretty sure I have attended every one not on the East Coast since 1999. Almost universally, they have been awesome experiences that have taught me innumerable things about cheese and introduced me to people I otherwise might never have met.

Back when I first started going, there were only about 300 people attending the conferences but still, I didn’t know anyone except for a handful of California cheesemakers. While I am sometimes good about faking it, I am actually kind of shy by nature, so I am humbly going to attempt to produce a guide that I would have found useful back in the day… (click link to read the whole thing)

Also I will be doing a cheese event at the Co-op ($20 includes a $5 off coupon and cheese and wine!) on Saturday evening, signing books at the conference on Friday morning 8/1 (which can be very lonely and sad if no one comes to say hi, hint hint), and moderating a panel later in that afternoon. See you there.

Sacramento event July 26

Hey, anyone up in Sac? In town early for the cheese conference? I’m doing a cheese event at the co-op. Tickets include a $5 coupon that could be used on buying a book. Just saying…


Also, I somehow — in all the craziness of that week — forgot to post this summation of the FDA’s ruling, un-ruling, and clarification about the use of wood boards in cheese aging. Look Mom and Dad, I got quoted in the New York Times.

And check out the FDA’s apology here.

Cheese Spring Break

Greetings from Cheese Spring Break.* The conference starts today and I’m already exhausted.

Since I got here on Sunday I have tasted 200+ cheeses, visited two farms, seen one huge cheese factory and a matchingly huge anaerobic digester, eaten two orders of fried cheese curds, and talked to hundreds of other cheese professionals, some sober, some not.

It is exactly what CheeseCon in Wisconsin promised to be.

fried curds

Best new thing: they did not tell the judges who won the Best of Show. This means, cheesemakers, that if I am acting weird around you, I am just being socially awkward, not that you won the Grand Prize.

cheese spring break

P.S. cheese-identified individuals, remember I am doing a reading/tasting at Gloriosos Italian Market in Milwaukee on Sunday at noon. $35 includes book!

*Laurie loves to call it this, but I swear we do not throw necklaces of BabyBel at cows for showing us their udders.

Readings, tastings, and classes

After laying low for awhile, I have a whole bunch of upcoming events. Check ’em out!
(ACS attendees, check out the Milwaukee reading the day after the conference!)

(photo by Myleen Hollero She took that amazing cover photo too!)

Milwaukee, WI — Sunday, Aug 4, Noon — $35 (follow link for tickets)
Reading and tasting at one of Milwaukee’s best spots for food. Book included in price! (Perfect event to help deal with the ACS-conference-is-over letdown.)
Gloriosos Market 1011 E Brady Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sunnyvale, CA — Monday, Aug 12, 7 PM — Free
Reading, signing, and a little cheese tasting at the library. I love libraries!
Sunnyvale Public Library, 665 W. Olive Ave., Sunnyvale CA 94086

Butte, MN — August 16, 6 PM — Free
Like I said, I love libraries! I will only be at this one via Skype, but skyping is the new in-person. If you are in the area you should attend this and see if you can hear my schnauzer barking in the background. A local store will even be sampling cheese!
Butte-Silver Bow Public Library, 226 W. Broadway, Butte, Montana 59701

Oakland, CA — Benefit for PODER — Aug 18

San Francisco, CA — September 24, 6 PM — “American Cheese Society 2013 Winners: Cheese Judge Tells All”, $69
For 20 years the American Cheese Society has hosted an annual competition to recognize the best in American cheesemaking. Two decades ago the judges tasted and rated 20 cheeses over a weekend, at ACS 2013 that number is expected to climb to over 1,700. The competition is fierce, the cheeses are fantastic, and you’ll not find any coverage of the cheese-off on ESPN nor the Food Channel. Who won? Who lost? Why? Let ACS judge and Rainbow Grocery Cooperative cheese buyer Gordon Edgar regale you with the stories while you taste the fruits of his labors: 2013’s first place winners. You’ll learn how a judge tastes and scores cheese and then try your hand at being the judge yourself.
Cheese School of San Francisco, 2155 Powell St., $69

(Also, I am trying to communicate things like events more directly with interested people, so if you haven’t already, please sign up for my newsletter.)

Wisconsin Day 3: Fromagination reading

I’m pretty much at the end of promoting my book via readings – one can only milk this kind of thing for so long – but I really had to do some Wisconsin events before calling it a day.* I mean c’mon, Wisconsin… those people love their cheese. It means a lot to me when Wisconsin like me book.

Because really, I’m a Californian. Being a California cheese person among Wisconsin cheese people is like being a Californian in Oregon. At any gathering, someone in the Wisconsin dairy crowd will mock the “happy” California cows, a Californian will bring up the fact that California leads the nation in milk production, and it can get all West Side Story. Can’t we all just get along?

One person who I always get along with is Jeanne Carpenter of Cheese Underground and a million other cheese projects. She’s one of my favorite cheese people. How could she not be when she referred to me as the “Barbara Mandrell of the cheese counter”?** When I arrived at Fromagination for my reading she gave me an autographed copy of the Wisconsin Cheesemaker calendar. At the Cheddar Maker roundtable I had complained that we had been trying to get everyone’s picture signed at Rainbow but because we actively use the calendar, it had already gotten trashed. That’s the kind of person she is!

Fromagination is right on the Capitol Square in Madison, the site of all the huge protests against the coming corporate fascism. I spent the day in Madison walking around and having an old friend show me around the battlegrounds. “That’s where we snuck into the Capitol Building through the window…”***

My reading was full of friends and friends of friends… worker-owners of Union Cab? Hello! … WMMB acquaintance? Good to see you! … Quince and Apple? Welcome! … Writer friend of my ex’s sister? Great to meet you! My old cheese friend Steven was there too, working the counter. That was really special since I got to find out he worked for a company whose cheese book I mocked during my reading. It’s a small cheese world.

Oh Wisconsin, I love you.
reading at Fromagination

(If this entry seems a little out of date since I’ve been back form Wisconsin for a few weeks now, let’s just say that between losing multiple unposted blog entries and installing a new operating system on my computer, I’ve got a backlog of stuff. Timely writing is overrated in my opinion anyway. 😉 )

Written while listening to Flamingo 50

*Just for the record, I’m not seeking out more book events – 40+ is a lot – but I’m still happy to hear offers. I’m deeply sad that I can’t do this year’s Southern Festival of Cheese, for example, so Nashville, I owe you one. And NYC, I wouldn’t turn you down either.
**If I have a tombstone someday, this is what I’d like to have on it, please.
***It goes far beyond this – in every state in the union – but the Recall elections are coming. Do the right thing, Wisconsin.