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Showing posts with label Culture magazine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture magazine. Show all posts

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Culture Magazine Weekend!

Last week I was invited to join a group of cheese lovers for a brainstorming session for Culture Magazine.  It was a great mix of journalists, cheesemakers & retailers.  Oh, and I got to meet Paul Kindstedt who wrote American Farmstead Cheese -one of the most in depth books on cheese on my bookshelf.

I was decidedly nervous about going to this get-together.  Was I really going to share my ideas in front of Kate Arding (ridiculously knowledgeable cheese geek)?  Somehow I managed to put on my big girl pants, and speak up-a bit.  I tend to get nervous in those types of situations, and have a then I go all blushy on my ears.  I'm not going to recap the ideas, all I can say is that the magazine and website are going to be even better in the months to come.  All in all, it was a fun time, and it was great to get a behind the scenes look at how the magazine is put together.

If you have any suggestions, critiques or compliments I know they'd love to hear them.  Follow the link and let them know what's on your mind.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Soy "Cheese"

A few days ago a reader asked me a question about soy cheese. She said that she is lactose intolerant and was wondering if I knew of any good soy cheeses. I was going to respond in the comments, but answering her question is turning out to be a bit more involved than I'd initially thought.

Most soy cheez I've tried is awful. This is (IMHO) because they are imitating cheese food, processed cheese product, and not cheese. When I have seen rice milk cheez or soy cheez they are often packaged like processed cheese food slices, or the shredded awful bagged, flavorless cheese stuffs hanging next to the canned croissants. This stuff isn't good when it's made with milk, and making it soy doesn't enhance the flavorless plasticy profile.

I, dear readers are what you might call a cheese snob. How could I not be? I get the chance to work with really great cheeses almost every day. Many of the cheesemakers are people who put their heart and soul into their animals, the milk, the land, and of course the cheese. I have never encountered artisan soy cheese, but if anyone out there has, please let me know. I'd like to try it. As for now however, I cannot in good conscience give you any soy suggestions.

Thank you Ursula for bringing up lactose intolerance though. What does it mean to be lactose intolerant? Lactose is a milk sugar. To digest lactose, our bodies have the enzyme lactase. Being lactose intolerant means you don't have this enzyme and have difficulty digesting products with lactose in them. Usually, if you consume small amounts of lactose every so often you should have minimal problems.

Luckily, there are options for lactose intolerant people.

  • Don't eat cheese Okay, let's be serious here. I'm a cheese lover, sniffer, taster, eater, and adventurer. There is no way I was going to tell you to not eat cheese.
  • Younger and fresher cheeses have more lactose than your aged varieties. Try switching to some aged Gouda, or a nice Pecorino, stay away from the Brie. Just a warning, the aged cheese has a higher fat content than the fresher ones. It's true. I'll get sciencey some other post.
  • You can try goat's or sheep's milk cheese. Many people have difficulty digesting cow's milk products, but find goat and sheep to be easier on the tummy
  • Eat cheese around those who love you. If cheese gives you...um...well...if cheese makes you sound as though you are playing the trumpet, trombone, or in extreme cases, the tuba, people who love you will forgive.
  • Take a pill. In the current issue of Culture I can't believe you haven't subscribed yet. What are you waiting for?! Kate Arding addresses the lactose intolerance question. In addition to the aged cheeses, and goat and sheep suggestions, she has one other suggestion:
    "A trip to your drug store can equip you with the pharmaceutical version of lactase. While it's not medically recommended that you remain on a permanent course of this replacement enzyme, occasional use prior to an unrestrained cheese fest is considered a prudent way to have your cheese and eat it too."
Mmmmm. Unrestrained cheese fest. I can't wait for the ACS festival of cheese. Kate doesn't work at Cowgirl anymore, but I really like this article and thought you might also.

There are different ways to work around an intolerance. Give them a try and see what happens. Soy products are tasty mmm jerk tofu but they are not cheese, nor are they an adequate cheese substitute. If you can't eat cheese at all, I'm afraid that having a grilled cheese sandwich is not a possibility in your world. I feel sorry for you. I will celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month in honor of all those who cannot.

Please bear in mind that I am a cheesy wench, not a doctor. I don't' know you (except for you guys over there) or your body.
That sounds dirtier than I wanted it to. I would like to add that you should always discuss any change in your meds and supplements (even over the counter ones) with your doctor. If you are having bad reactions to any food, you should discuss it with your doctor. I want you to be good and healthy and strong of tummy so that you can enjoy cheese.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Culture Magazine

Finally there's a cheese magazine for the masses. It's called Culture: the word on cheese and it's a great addition to cheese shops, gourmet food stores, wine/beer stores, and of course, the magazine rack at Borders. So far there's only been one issue published so my review of the magazine is based on very little data. The first issue has blue cheeses as the focus and had a centerfold about Winnimere, and thus I must give them the award for "best first issue of a magazine ever".

What I like about the magazine is that it makes cheese very accessible to everyone. It's a great introduction to the cheesy world for beginners as well as people in the industry. This magazine puts you in touch with cheesemakers from all over. The premiere issue has stories on Bob Wills from Cedar Grove Cheese in Wisconsin (he has a Ph.D. in economics and a law degree), Ivano Bellodi an Italian cheese master, a section on a tiny corner of Ireland that makes ridiculously good cheese, and of course the brothers of Jasper Hill Farm. There's even a section with recipes from Chef Jennings from La Laiterie at Farmstead, a shopping section, and a what to do when you're in ______. The blank space in this issue was San Francisco. One can only hope that they'll incorporate different parts of the country in future issues.

While I like everything about the magazine from table of contents to the retailer directory I do have one gripe. On page 16 they showcase a lovely set of stainless steel and olive wood knives from Tuscany that come in a carrying case that doubles as a cutting board and serving tray. It retails for $2000. Bastards! Every time I flip through the magazine the knives call to me.

"Cheeeeesssssseeeeeeewench. Oh Cheeeeeeeessssseeeeeewench. Buy us. You know you want to. Imagine how smooth and supple our olive wood handles will feel in your powerful and yet delicate cheese grip. Cheeeeeeeeesssssseeeewench."