Is cream cheese really a cheese? Professionals weigh in

Is it cream? Is it cheese? I have been in the cheese business for 25 years and when Taylor asked this question recently, I wasn’t sure if my answer was right. So I polled a few of my cheese buddies to ask them and get a recommendation for a good cream cheese.

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Gordon Edgar: Rainbow Grocery cheesemonger, life on the wedge

Interview with Edgar Gordon, Cheesemonger at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco. He talks about his upcoming book, his favorite beer and cheese pairings and the future of American cheese.

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Tia Keenan: Fromager and cheese lover changing the scene in the City

Tia Keenan is a Chef Fromager and food consultant based in New York City. In 2007, with a decade of NYC restaurant experience behind her, Keenan opened Casellula Cheese and Wine Café, a pioneering cheese bar, featuring a rotating selection of 40 international artisan cheeses paired with more than 60 unique wines and inventive condiments. Her work earned Casellula an Honorable Mention in the 2009 Michelin Guide. Previously, Keenan helmed the cheese program at Michelin-starred restaurant The Modern, at the Museum of Modern Art. With her unorthodox approach to the cheese plate, Keenan creates a new flavor “language” for cheese and contributes her distinctive vision to the burgeoning American artisan cheese revolution.

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Cheese and wine pairing: Idiazabal and Palarea 2005 Tinto

I am always cautious of wines with lots of oak, and more so of smoked cheeses. Smoked cheeses often taste fake, like liquid smoke, and all you can taste is the smoke. But there are always exceptions to the rules, like Idiazabal, a firm Spanish raw sheep’s milk cheese (like Manchego) from the Basque region.

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Interview with rising star Chef Hugh Atcheson from Empire State South

Rising star Chef Hugh Acheson talks about his new cookbook, his background and his love affair with wine and cheese.

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Buying four great cheeses at Whole Foods for under $20

I was in Lower Manhattan heading to a small party, just 3 other people and me, and I hadn’t made it back home to Brooklyn and my cheese stash. I am “Cheeseguy” and obviously expected to bring cheese. So I popped in to Whole Foods Tribeca and threw down my lofty request: I need four cheeses for a party and have a $20 dollar bill.

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Wine and cheese pairing: Carina Cellars Rhône blend and Cowgirl Redhawk

Gotta love a well balanced Rhône style red wine. California’s Central Coast makes some great ones. And I’m also a big fan of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, produced up the coast about 100 miles or so at Point Reyes Station on Tomales Bay — easily one of the most beautiful places in California. Their cheese, Red Hawk, is a great match for this style of wine.

Read more: Wine and cheese pairing: Carina Cellars Clairvoyant and Cowgirl Red Hawk

Making farmstead, artisan cheese at Sweet Grass Dairy

This is the second in a two part series on what it takes to own and run a farmstead dairy and make high-quality cheese. I based my observations on Sweet Grass, a family-run dairy in Thomasville, Georgia.

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Making farmstead cheese: Animals don’t care it’s your anniversary

“Farmstead.” So many cheese people think they understand this term, but do they? Yeah-yeah, it means cheese made from milk produced on a farm, but it involves so much more than that. This story is about what goes into making fine, artisan-crafted cheese at Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Georgia.

Read more: Making farmstead cheese: Animals don’t care it’s your anniversary

Wine and cheese pairing: Juicy Australian Shiraz and Crave Brothers Les Frères

I’m a big fan of Shiraz! I love the fruit and wood that rounds out the wine and Crave Brothers Les Frères cheese is a fantastic compliment. This farmstead cheese is a washed-rind, cow’s milk cheese made just northeast of Madison, Wisconsin. It has a rich, full flavor and a slightly creamy texture — the flavor gets bigger as it ripens. This is one of those cheeses that you really want to eat at room temperature to fully enjoy it.

Read more: Wine and cheese pairing: Juicy Australian Shiraz and Crave Brothers Les Frères