Tour The Cellars at Jasper Hill

Bluebird Tavern in Burlington, Vermont through a series of video postcards under TendTV features its supplying producers.  The series is good viewing. In this episode they visit The Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro Vermont to chat with cheese makers Mateo Kehler and Vince Razionale. I swooned seeing all that cheese aging.

Bluebird Tavern on YouTube (more episodes)

And as a bonus, Marcella the Cheesemonger has a macaroni and cheese recipe using their alpine cheese. Double swoon.

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A Perfect Beer Glass

The Baladin beer glass from Rome, Italy as seen in La Cucina Italiana magazine.

5/11/12: Update: Lost Abbey should be proud.  Lady Muffett HQ was sent a few emails from fans of the brewery after this post when live, stating that this design belongs to them.  It seems the 33cl (11.5 ounce) stemware tulip glass was designed by the the boys over at Lost Abbey down in San Diego, CA, USA.  Credit where credit is due. As it does combine form and function allowing for all the aspects of good beer — color, aroma and flavor — to come together in a complete sensory experience. 

Problem is finding the Lost Abbey version.  In researching this further it does seem that Lost Abbey is not sure when they will be receiving more of these glasses as the production glass materials are in need of sourcing.  Occasionally the glasses will pop up on EBay.  If anyone has further information regarding the Lost Abbey tulip designed stemware please comment below or email. I want to clear up this confusion as it seems there’s a bit of it going on out there. In the meanwhile I’m going to check in with Lost Abbey.

While there are many who would agree that beer in a glass is better than beer in the wrong glass this topic remains confusing for many.  There are just so many beer glasses. Some of it’s marketing but others serious experience enhancers. Just as in wine tasting, having the perfect glass to match the right brew can improve upon your drinking pleasure. Why? Beer Advocate suds it up concisely:

Scientific studies show that the shape of glassware will impact head development and retention. Why is this important? The foam created by pouring a beer acts as a net for many of the volatiles in a beer. What’s a volatile? Compounds that evaporate from beer to create its aroma, such as hop oils, all kinds of yeast fermentation byproducts like alcohol, fusels and fruity esters, spices or other additions. So a glass that promotes a healthy foam head may enhance the trapping of certain volatiles. And as varying levels of head retention and presentation are desired with different styles of beers, different styles of glassware should be used accordingly. Presentation marries science.

What we have here (photo) is the Le Baladin glass. A carefully considered and re-engineered stemmed-tulip glass imported from Italy,  first seen at New York’s  Eataly’s roof-top garden Birreria via Rome. Designed by Italian brewer, Teo Musso it’s created a buzz.  For a more in-depth profile and of Italian craft brew check out the Italia Cucina article, “The New Birra Italiana”, (June 2012). 

See Photos Le Baladin Brewery

Bar Open Baladin (video) 350 beers on the wall…

Spring Fava Bean Spread

Perfectly perfect for a picnic…because sometimes we need our veggies along with our cheese.

Spring Fava Bean Spread

1 1/2 cups fully shelled, blanched fava beans*

1/4 cup olive oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 stalk green garlic, chopped

1/3 cup Pecornio Romano, grated (or other dry, easily grated cheese)

6 large mint leaves, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

*note:  3 pounds raw, whole fava pods will roughly equal 1 1/2 cups fully shelled, cooked

Prepare fava beans (remove outer pod, blanche for 5-6 mins, remove outer shell).  New to fava bean prep–check out this video.

Add beans and other ingredients to food processor, blend well.  Add more mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, as needed.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Garnish with a few mint springs.  This spread can be served warm as a side dish or as a condiment on lamb burgers.  For picnics, indoors or out, serve cold with fresh vegetables, pita chips or fresh baugette.

Recipe courtesy of Oak Hill Farm, Glen Ellen, CA

Quick Way to Soften Cheese

We’re not really sure about this technique.  It is clever and the food scientists over at America’s Test Kitchen Feed are thorough. However it is billed as a time saver, which at 45 minutes versus the 60-ish minutes it may take employing the classic “old-fashioned” method of removing from the fridge, placing on the counter and walking away for 45-60 minutes. So enough of a curiosity to post it here as it is a bit of a curiosity.

Beehive SeaHive Cheddar

Image: Beehive Cheese

Back in 2005 brothers-in-law Tim Welsh and Pat Ford decided to collaborate and created Beehive Cheese. Based in Utah, Beehive the creamery sits at the mouth of Weber Canyon in a valley between the forested Wasatch Mountains, where they seem to have struck upon fermented magic.  I am hooked. I first came by their cheese with Barely Buzzed cheese which is rubbed with Turkish grind of espresso beans and French lavender. It’s a great morning cheese.

Recently, I stumbled upon Beehive’s SeaHive Cheddar.  This cheese starts off in the form of their award-winning (1st Place, 2011 American Cheese Society; Bronze Medal, 2010 World Cheese Awards) Irish-style Promontory Cheddar. It is hand rubbed with wildflower honey and local Redmond RealSalt. The honey is harvested from a local farm where the bee’s visit wildflowers and fruit orchards. The salt is from an ancient sea bed near Redmond, Utah and contains unique flecks of color that are the result of more than 50 natural trace minerals. This cheese is began as an experiment and has turned into one of their best and tastiest experiments.

Aged 8 months, it has a sweet and salty combination with mild floral notes from the honey.  The sharpness of the cheese make for one big flavor bite.

Milk:  Pasteurized Jersey Cow

Aged: 8 months

Texture: Semi-firm

Rennet: Vegetarian


What is Stingo?

Image

While certainly cheese is the most important focus here at the blog we do like to consider pairings of food and drink to go along with it in equal measure.  So we arrive at Stingo.

According to Beerpulse:

For the third installment of Boulevard Brewing Company’s Smokestack Collaboration Series, Boulevard brewmaster, Steven Pauwels joins forces with the husband-and-wife team of Dann and Martha Paquette, the driving force behind “gypsy brewer” Pretty Thing Beer and Ale Project. Together, the brewers have produced a modern version of the traditional English ale known as “Stingo.” This rarely-seen, barrel-aged style originated in the north of England, with historical references dating back to the 17th century. The name itself a slang term for sharp, old beer, so called because it “stings” the palate.

Stingo is not a beer style, but rather an “olde” slang word for strong ale or beer produced in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sounds worth seeking out, right?

Samuel Smith, back in 2009, released a Stingo, it is only available once a year around England’s “Yorkshire Day,” in August, fromtheir press release:

A traditional strong ale that originated in the north of England, “Stingo” is mentioned in literature before 1700. Samuel Smith’s Stingo melds the signature elegance of the brewery’s ales with a long historical tradition. Brewed from British malts and multiple hop varieties, Stingo is fermented in open-topped stone Yorkshire Squares, then aged over a year in oak barrels that previously held cask-conditioned ale, gaining subtle complexity from the wood. Some of the barrels at Samuel Smith’s are over a century old – if a cask is damaged, the coopers carefully replace broken staves and put the cask back into service.

If you were lucky enough to find this new collaboration or the Samuel Smith, an earthy cheese such as a  Colston-Bassett Stilton, the nuttiness of a Comté or a wash-rind such as Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk would stand well with this aged, robust brew.