It's been a whirlwind of a week stuffed with cheese and wine deliciousness. Flew off and away to the city of San Francisco for a intensive cheesemonger program.
The Cheese School of San Francisco , owned by Kiri Fisher is the only independent institution in the nation dedicated solely to cheese instruction and tasting events. The three day intensive course is taught by Lead Instructor and Co-owner Daphne Zepos, fierce cheese advocate and international cheese competition judge.
Yes, ladies and gents, she travels the globe over for the world's finest of fine cheeses. Not a bad office, I say. Daphne's a swell lass, and she knows cheese like you know the back of your hand.
Thirty-nine cheese tastings in three days and topics covering classification of cheeses, vertical/horizontal pairings, historical aspects, a tour to the Harley Farms Goat Dairy, cheesemaking, quality control, expertise cheese handling (dare I say, cut the cheese?), a retail site visit to Ray Bair's Cheese Plus, wine/beer and cheese pairings and tasting sessions with scathing amounts of cheese to appease the likes of the most serious of cheese enthusiasts.
It was the most delicious three days, and I am pleased to announce a new favorite:
Barinaga Ranch Basseri
a raw milk from East Friesen sheep crossbred with North African sheep to create a buttery, nutty rich flavor.
The day began with a lovely breakfast of quiches, fresh fruit, plenty of go-go juice and a mountain of bakery pastries.
plenty of cheese instructional materials are available for purchase
a vertical pairing involving cow, goat and sheep cheeses at varying ages from very young, in its raw milk form, to well aged.
you can see as this bright Gorwydd Caerphilly cow's milk cheese ripens from the outside in, leaving a chalky center.
don't forget to pick up a cheese journal along the way!
Keep a cheese aroma and tasting wheel at hand to identify the fine flavors abound.
Notes of smoky, chicory, caramel, citrus, honey, woodsy, fruity, floral, and so many more.
Cheese and adjectives?
Daphne, cheese jedimaster shows us the "whey" of the wheymakers.
A wheel to admire... Pass it on.
A soft and fresh goaty wrapped in a velvety, heart shaped leaf from the local Hoja Santa plant from its Texan origin.
Afternoon seasonal wheat beer and cheese pairings.
Humboldt Fog (pasteruized goat)
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (pasteurized cow)
Pleasant Ridge Reserve (raw cow)
Award winning Rogue River Blue (raw cow)
What a beaut!
Note the cheese paste, just beneath the rind. Yummo.
Was it a foggy dream?
Or did I perish and go to cheese heaven?
Don't pinch me, I want to stay on this fluffy cloud and let the cheese go on.
Good night folks, cheese and kisses.