the cheesemonger's Profile

Display Name: the cheesemonger
Member Since: 4/25/07

Latest Comments...

I wish I could have gone to unfancy food this year. Last year it was during my only day that I could go to Fancy Food and that won out. This year, I had to work. Mateo, himself, can't be too much in defiance of Fancy Food Show, I saw him there the very next day ;)

Apartment Therapy The Kitchn | The Cheesemonger: The Cellars at Jasper Hill
7/1/08 02:51 PM

I've visited plenty of farms (mostly dairy ;) as an adult, but it's funny - I also lived on a farm that kids would have blurry memories of now. I remember when how proud I was to show off my family's business when my class took a field trip there. It was a cider mill and helping work the cider press (an old fashioned, almost completely manual one) was my first real job.

Apartment Therapy The Kitchn | Survey: Have You Ever Toured a Farm?
5/14/08 12:54 PM

Though it may not satisfy those with a hefty sweet tooth, any cheese is really a "dessert cheese." There are digestive enzymes in cheese that, much like some drinks, help you digest the rest of your meal. That's why you see cheese served as part of the dessert menu at many restaurants. If' I was going to sweeten it up a bit, pecorino (and not romano) with honey is a traditional italian treat that's really yummy. White Stilton is, traditionally, kind of a blue Stilton reject. At some point during it's production, the cheesemaker would determine that the quality of the cheese was not suitable to be used to make the english king of blues. Flavorings were added to compensate for inferior flavors in the cheese itself. Nowadays, I'm sure producers start out intending to make it.

Squirrely - a great simple cheese plate (to me), if served with accompaniments would be: a approx. 3 oz piece of cheese, a dollop of preserves and a few slices or bread or crackers. I have a bit of the cheese, then have some of the jam or preserves on crackers/bread and then another bite of cheese (much the same way you'd have a wine pairing with food - a sip of wine, a taste of the food, a sip of wine). The flavors will intermix in your mouth, there's no need to smoosh them together physically on the plate. (That said, I do love a manchego and quince paste "sandwich" with manchego as the "bread"). That date cake, in addition to being extremely good just to snack on, would be used the same way: a nip of cake, a nip of cheese, repeat. The idea is for the whole plate to provide notes for a symphony of flavors, just like each element of a good dinner contributes to the whole.

Apartment Therapy The Kitchen | Easy Spring Dessert: White Stilton with Lemon
4/28/08 10:19 AM

I always bring cheese when I fly. Not only has it saved me from horrible airplane food, but it's helpful when there's no good cheeses where I'm going. My personal favorite is Jasper Hill's Constant Bliss. Easy to cut with a plastic knife and serve simply with a bit of baguette. Plus, it doesn't stink. That said, my bag seems to get stopped at security every time because of the cheese.

Apartment Therapy The Kitchen | Tip: Take In-flight Meals Into Your Own Hands
3/5/08 05:05 PM

Like the first commenter, I grew up around apples. My family owned a cider mill that was on the same farm my house was on. My first "job" was helping push apples up the conveyer belt to be mashed up. When I was older, my first real job was helping my uncle with the apple press (a huge, but old fashioned and very manual variety). My outlook ended up completely different though. I look forward to fall and apple season like a kid waiting for christmas. When it comes, as it has, I dive in head-first, eating my weight in apples and all the stuff derived from them. My memories of fall at the cider mill are extremely wonderful and every bite of caramel apples (which my aunt would make for the store) or sip of cider brings it all back.

Apartment Therapy - Survey: Candied or Caramel Apples?
10/22/07 07:52 AM

I think few people do u-pick of any sort because it's cheap. Wandering among the apple trees as the fall colors just start to turn, munching on fresh-as-fresh-gets apples while you "shop"..does it get any better? My wife and I go apple picking every year and it's one of my most cherished rituals and we never have a problem using it all. This year, we devoured so many fresh apples and apple desserts, we didn't even have enough left over to can!

Apartment Therapy - Pick Your Own Apples: For Suckers?
10/12/07 06:19 AM

Genevieve did pick-you-own peaches this year and we ended up with a ton. My favorite (and easiest) recipe was to poach them in a 1-to-3 mix of sugar and water, remove them, reduce the mixture until a syrup, add 1tsp of vanilla extract and a bit of butter. Then, I add the peaches back in. Takes less than 20m and really good.

Apartment Therapy - Virtual CSA Box: Peaches
8/29/07 02:56 PM

A majority of the Argentinian cheeses (that we get in the US) are simply knock-offs of European varieties. In fact, most cheap Parmiggiano Reggiano comes from Argentinia. I am sure there's some great locally made cheeses, they just don't get exported. So let us know what you find!

Oh and congrats to Nora on a great article! Glad to see the cheese articles will continue.

Apartment Therapy - The Cheesemonger: Ascutney Mountain
8/15/07 10:20 AM

Years ago, it used to be all I drank, milk-wise. My GF (at the time) had friends who would travel down in amish country and bring us back raw milk, every week. The last time I had it was a year ago, when a fellow Murray's employee brought some into work. As far as the danger-levels, I think it's all about trusting your source. Would I drink raw milk from an industrial plant? Not in a million years. I would not hesitate to drink it from a small local dairy though. It's just like sushi. THere's a danger to eating any uncooked product (that included veggies!), it's just a matter or weighing our the risks and benefits. By the way, for anyone who wants to find out where to buy raw milk in their area, check out

Survey: Have You Ever Tasted Raw Milk?
8/9/07 11:46 AM

I'd love to go to this! Unfortunately, I'll be at the Fancy Food Show.

NYC Event: UnFancy Food Show
7/3/07 02:37 PM

Though among factory-produced cheeses, the process of using animal rennet is pretty-much extinct, it's still going strong on the artisanal front. Back when I worked the counter at Murray's, 50-75% (or more) of our cheeses were made with animal rennet. The portuguese do something interesting, though, and use thistle rennet. In this process, the purple thistle plant is steeped in water. That water is then used to coagulate the cheese, resulting in a signature sour flavor to many of their cheeses.

Word of Mouth: Rennet
5/21/07 11:25 AM

Though I've made a similar recipe many times (and it's excellent!) this recipe is not actually ricotta. Ricotta is recooked whey (the stuff streaming out of the colander). What you have here is more like what's called farmer's cheese.

If anyone is interested, wikihow has an easy to follow recipe for real ricotta:
The only problem is that you need to get ahold of some whey.

Recipe: D.I.Y. Ricotta
5/21/07 11:20 AM

I've updated this article to reflect my recent conversation with the cheesemakers. Check it out!

The Cheesemonger: Birchrun Blue
5/14/07 05:20 PM

I'm a huge fan of Evan's Creamery milk. They're a much smaller operation than Ronnybrook (and similarly harder to get, though I know that both Murray's Cheese and Saxelby Cheesemongers stocks a full line of their products). Their milk tastes richer and decidedly more "milky" to me.

Milk: Bright Lights, Bad Flavor
5/13/07 10:26 AM

Not that I'm advocating something that might make you sick, but what we're allergic to changes as we get older. Often, people "outgrow" (or grow into) allergies. Though full-fat or 2% milk might have made you sick at age 9, it's no indication it would make you sick now.

Why I Don't Drink Skim Milk
4/25/07 06:09 PM