# of divers

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Portlandia, The Cheese Tour

I've returned unscathed from my travels up in the Northern region and have landed back on my lilypad. As promised, I come bearing tales and images assembled from my grand cheese excursion of the delightfully quirky city of Portland, Oregon. 

The journey began at Urban Farmer Restaurant where Cheese Steward Lindsey Walton is on board to roll out her Boos butcher block cart filled with 14 unique cheese selections for personal tableside service.

The week's selection...

Next stop was Steve Jones' shop (the monger legend of Portland). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this lucky lass here stepped her very foot into thee very Cheese Bar of grand notoriety and fame.

After collecting myself from the astonishment of it all, my other foot followed suit and the rest will forever be engrained in the grey matter nestled between my neighboring ears as a delightfully happy moment.

Having over 200 selections to choose from can leave you muddled in the headparts when deciding on which cheeses to give a go. This however, will come as no problem as the Cheese Bar staff are proven experts, and can walk you through a careful selection.

This was our gorgeous presentation on opening night. 

To be fair, this image does not fairly represent the evening's offerings as the mac and cheese and charcuterie are absent. 

The man, the myth, the very cheese legend of Cheesemonger International fame.

Slatin' and Platin' like a boss, yo...

The evening included a very special beer and cheese pairing featuring local favorites. This raw cow Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue from Central Point was celestial when partnered with the locally brewed, sweet Maupin Mild of Portland.

Additionally, we gave the regional home run cheese, Willamette Valley Brindisi a go with a malt-driven amber from Full Sail Brewing. A classic Northwest beer and cheese pairing.

The following day, we took a fieldtrip to Provvista Specialty Foods, a authentic food importer and distributor extraordinaire, which means they're chock-stocked with cheese, scathing, ridiculous amounts of gorgeous cheese anxiously awaiting their soon to be delivery date.

We feasted our eyes on these mahoosive wheels (known as drums) of the Italian hard cheeses, Grana Padano and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Both of which are personal favorites as they are semi-hard, and a little nutty, just like me.

Then were spoiled silly with a roomful of fine cheese offerings and accoutrements. 

The French Gratins, the feta, the smoked cheddars, the Casa Tico de Buffalo of Northern Italy.

The North Swiss Sharfe Maxx was a personal fav as it's a real stinker!

With more funk than George Clinton himself.

The Tre Lait (cow, sheep and goat milk) decadence, and the Valentine, divine.

The cheeses were accompanied by full-flavored sides of local and imported Quince Pastes, various exotic honeys, artisanal jams, figs, and almond biscuits. I do believe I'm still drooling in the mouth parts.

On day three, we headed over to Foster and Dobbs, a fine specialty food shop.

Their cheese selection was vast and impressive.

And finally onto Pastaworks, a European style market.

Beautifully showcasing milk's leap towards immortality.

What a week of bliss and lavish splurging.


Ah, give me a good sharp knife, a good sharp cheese and call me a happy woman.

A glass of wine doesn't hurt either.


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