Interview with award winning cheesemakers Jessica and Jeremy Little from Sweet Grass Dairy

Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Georgia is owned by Jessica and Jeremy Little, who have been making award winning cheese for 10 years. I’ve known them for years and have visited the dairy numerous times, especially when I lived in Atlanta. I spoke to them recently about their history and their success.

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NYC cheese consultant's best grocery store cheeses

Most of my friends call me a cheese snob, I disagree of course, but, yes I am picky about where I buy cheese. Living in NYC, I have options… lots of options. Taylor challenged me to visit a grocery store and find five good to great cheeses. I was in Atlanta, went to a grocery store on Ponce de Leon, and was pleasantly surprised at the cheese selections. Cheeses that not only would I eat, but cheeses that I do eat. Here are my finds.

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Wine and cheese pairing: Le Chevrot and gruner veltliner

Under-appreciated wine and under-appreciated cheese, so let’s fix that. Le Chevrot is a goat milk cheese that’s easily found in most cheese shops, and its simple, plainness is often overlooked. But underneath this wrinkly rind hides pure, white goat cheese goodness. It’s pasteurized, small in size, and just shy of 8-ounces with a pleasant nose. When younger, its consistency is flaky and has flavors of mineral, herbs and a slight sweetness.

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Cheese and wine pairing: Rogue Caveman Blue and riesling

Pacific Northwest wine, meet your neighbor cheese, Rogue Caveman Blue. I’m a huge fan of riesling and blue cheese — the fruit notes and the crispy-ness in the wine pair well with this delicious American blue cheese. It won “Best of Show” at the last American Cheese Society judging, against over 1,000 domestic cheeses… the highest honor an American-made cheese can garner.

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Building the perfect cheese plate for spring

NYC cheese consultant Raymond Hook offers up the perfect cheese plate for springtime, when the freshest ingredients are bountiful: goat cheese, triple creams and semi-fresh mixed milk cheeses.

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Cheese 101, part II: How to buy, store and serve cheese

Part II of Cheese 101, written by Raymond Hook, cheese consultant in New York City. This two-part guide is meant to provide the basics needed to navigate, store and enjoy cheese. They are basic rules of thumb, and as with all rules, there will be exceptions but the simple goal is to help you fully enjoy cheese.

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Cheese 101, part I: How to know what you're buying

This two-part guide is meant to provide the basics needed to navigate, store and enjoy cheese. The first part explains, in plain English, the difference between the types of cheeses. They are basic definitions and rules of thumb, and as with all rules, there will be exceptions but the simple goal is to help you pick a delicious cheese you’ll enjoy and what wines will complement its goodness.

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Wine and cheese pairing: Spanish tempranillo and Manchego

Manchego Cheese, a sheep’s milk from La Mancha, Spain, is a name-controlled cheese. The classic go-to cheese in Spain, it’s everywhere and comes in varying ages but the aged version is best for pairing with wine.

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Wine and cheese pairing: Franklin's Teleme and sauvignon blanc

Franklin’s Teleme – a tasty-soft, delicious, semi-soft, one-of-a-kind cheese, and a California original! Handmade by third generation cheesemaker Franklin Peluso in San Luis Obispo along the central coast at Cal-Poly, this cow’s milk cheese is dusted with rice flour which helps develop the rind and gives it an interesting day-glow green/yellow tint. When young, Teleme is a subtle cheese, with mineral notes and a slight chalkiness, great with not-so-sweet sauvignon blanc.

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Wine and cheese pairing: Gewürztraminer and Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog

This week’s cheese and wine pairing, brought to you by Raymond Hook, cheese consultant in NYC. Give Cypress Grove’s flagship Humboldt Fog a go with this wine. This iconic, award-winning goat’s milk cheese is a great match. Still handmade, one wheel at a time in Arcata, California by Mary Keehn and her band of talented cheesemakers. With its signature wave of vegetable ash running through the middle of its layers, it not only looks great, but pairs well with wine.

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