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Kosher wine tasting recommendations?

Are they the Cantina Gabriele wines? I found this example on

Any specific varietals you recommend??

Mar 13, 2012
cheeseguysgirl in Kosher

Kosher wine tasting recommendations?

Can you comment on the variety and quality of their wines? I have heard that their selection isn't very broad nor is it of the higher-end. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not what I'm looking for for this higher-end event. I know they're only open Tuesday/Thursday nights for a short time late in the evening, and a couple of hours on Sunday. None of those are convenient times, unfortunately.

Mar 13, 2012
cheeseguysgirl in Kosher

Cabot's Cheddar

I respectfully disagree about the non-kosher rennet. Having attended many American Cheese Society conferences, and specifically this year talking with a few dozen artisanal cheese producers about the possibilities of making kosher cheese runs, I have found that many of the smaller, artisan, high-quality cheesemakers use animal rennet, quoting a desire for a "more authentic" flavor profile or a "more natural, traditional" process. Whether I agree or not about the results of a vegetarian rennet is a different matter. As many pf the posters here can attest from their tasting of Cabot, as well as my tasting of many other artisan kosher cheeses (many of which carry the tablet-K, just for information's sake), quality milk plus a quality process can lead to a beautiful product.

Mar 13, 2012
cheeseguysgirl in Kosher

Kosher wine tasting recommendations?

Hi CH Kosher friends--

I am planning a pre-Pesach kosher wine tasting for about 20-30 friends, to show them some of the latest and greatest wines for their sedarim, as well as give them a chance to see how good some of the newer kosher wines are (for a few of the women don't keep kosher). I tried to go to our best kosher wine store (not saying much) but their prices are not good and they won't give me the pre-Pesach sale price because their sale starts four days after my tasting! So my next thought is to turn to you because you are always so helpful.

I am looking for recommendations for maybe 2-3 whites and the same number of reds, plus maybe one bubbly or sweet. Unusual wines are great, but I'd love for them to be easily available online (I usually buy from bc I think their prices are way better).

Mevushal shouldn't be a problem bc I have someone appropriate to pour the wines, but I'd like to know if they're not just to know how many pourers I need.

Thanks SO much!

Mar 13, 2012
cheeseguysgirl in Kosher

Kosher hamburger texture??

Thanks, Barry-- but we don't have a kosher butcher here in Minneapolis. Ideally that would be what I would do, to have some sort of control over the blend, but tis not the case.

Deiscane, I'm assuming there is a difference in the cut, as bagelman said.

Thanks for all the suggestions--

Mar 12, 2012
cheeseguysgirl in Kosher

Kosher hamburger texture??

Dear CH kosher klatsch-

I have gotten fantastic ideas from this board, and so I wonder if you can give me your advice on a dilemna. I am moving toward keeping kosher, having given up pork and shellfish, but am having a hard time switching certain foods. Hamburger seems to be one of them. In the past, I made my (nonkosher) hamburgers using 80/20 (meat to fat ratio) ground beef (not specific to a particular cut), fairly thick (like maybe 1") and I cook them to medium rare, which gave them a juicy tender texture. Cooking my kosher burgers the same way has left me with a very tough texture, even though they are still fairly juicy. I use the kosher meat from Costco- it's Solomon's brand. I have had other kosher burgers in restaurants that also seem to have this very tough texture- I don't know if it's the kosher cuts that have a characteristic texture, or if it's the brand, or if it's something I'm doing. Would adding a panade (like bread moistened with soymilk or almond milk) help? What can I do to make the texture more tender??? It will be very hard to get my household to endorse the move to kosher unless I can provide the same deliciousness factor-- most things have done well, but this one is a stumbling block. Can you help???

Mar 11, 2012
cheeseguysgirl in Kosher

American Cheese Society Conference this week!

The cheeses are not "sold" in the same way as one would imagine- they have been cut into very large chunks and are wrapped in plastic, not labeled at all. In the states, the Sunday after the Festival, they are sold "as is" for a ridiculously low price- 5$ or so per pound for artisan cheeses that often go for 30$ per pound. The labeling was not required to be in French, it was required to be labeled with details that were unknown to the ACS (including each ingredient, fat content, moisture content, etc) because of the confidentiality of the judging and the handling of the cheese afterwards, And by punitive, I meant to the people who were unable to enjoy the cheese because of the regulations.

I am sure all the Montrealites (Montrealers? Montrealians? Montrealiens? ) in attendance enjoyed the Festival as much as I did, and we are all enjoying the city, thanks!!

American Cheese Society Conference this week!

Correct. Your entry to the Festival confers temporary membership in the ACS, which allows you to donate for a grab bag. We are not allowed to sell cheese to the public, which technically is what we are doing if we sell to someone who is not attending the event.

American Cheese Society Conference this week!

As you leave the Festival on Saturday night, not on Sunday.

American Cheese Society Conference this week!

This is the first year the ACS has held its conference outside the United States, so there are some things that are different this year. There will be close to 1600 cheeses available for sampling (there were 1676 cheeses and dairy products including butter, yogurt, quark, etc judged, but not all make it to the Festival of Cheese). You can sample as many as you like, crowds permitting.

There will not be a Cheese Sale this year as in years past- the rules regarding labeling of cheese for sale were punitive and we were unable to comply with our current infrastructure. However----- There will be "Grab Bags" available for a 10$ or a 25$ donation- all proceeds go to scholarships to bring cheesemakers to future conferences. We certainly hope you will go home happy. All cheese not eaten or sold will be donated to local organizations that will use it to feed the hungry.

Questions??? Happy to try and answer- this is my 7th conference, and I have volunteered in many areas of the conference over the years, including the Festival of Cheese.

Best outdoor patios in Twin Cities

What about in downtown Minneapolis? Any good outdoor dining there? I have Solera, Joe's Garage, and Lurcat. Others?

Joe's Garage
1610 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Ginger Hop (MSP)

What food didn't show up?

Heading Up Nort' for New Years- MSP

Cheeseguy and I are heading to McGregor MN for New Years. We're thinking of heading up Hwy 169, skirting Lake Mille Lacs, up past Aitkin. We are hoping to find some Roadfood-type local place along the way.

Any help, 'hounds? I am compleeeetely unfamiliar with this part of the state.

Thanks, and Happy New Year!!!

Dec 28, 2009
cheeseguysgirl in Great Lakes

Mexican restaurant recommendations in Minneapolis to go with kids?

I think A La Salsa's sister restaurant, Salsa a la Salsa on Nicollet, is better than the one in the MGM- they have chilaquiles that are pretty tasty!

Salsa A La Salsa
1420 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Uptown Minneapolis Lunches

The one kitty corner from the Uptown is either Zeno's or William's Pub, and the Italian rest is Amore Victoria

Madison WI area business dinner

Hi 'hounds! I will be in the Madison area next week for a large software conference. Looking to host a business dinner for 6-8 people, and I am wondering if there are any new places for fine dining-- I usually go to Harvest, L'Etoile, or Magnus. Any others? Thanks in advance for all assistance--

Uptown Minneapolis Lunches

Barbette on Lake St, Lunds for take away (if you want to dine al-desco), Bruegger's, Sushi Tango and Famous Dave's in Calhoun Square, Bar Abilene, Stella's (I like their low-brow fried stuff, not their attempts at fancy food) are all places I've tried. There's that new place Cowboy Slims that took over Campiello. It's a "scene" but I have no idea about their food. I know there are even more, but that's a quick list off the top of my head. Enjoy investigating your new surroundings!

Mexican restaurant recommendations in Minneapolis to go with kids?

Two recommendations, and to be honest I have never been a fan of Pepitos- I feel like their food tastes artificial, and I am pretty sure that the stuff they use as their regular cheese is pasteurized processed, not "real cheese" (or at least has the oily taste of the PP stuff). I like Los Ocampos on Lake St (not in the MGM)- it's open and there are often lots of kids. Not a stylish interior (orange, green ,and white fast-food decor), but REALLY good food. Also, Pancho Villa on Nicollet. Very tasty (especially anything with seafood, like the tostada with shrimp ceviche), and I often see families there.

Pancho Villa Restaurant
2539 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Taqueria Los Ocampo
809 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Gran's Mandel Brudt

Sep 13, 2009
cheeseguysgirl in Recipes

St Paul, France 44 cheese and sandwiches

Are you talking about E's Cheese?

Jfood eats at Saffron (MSP) - Over the Top Great

I still have dreams about the beef carpaccio. Incredible. Three words: browned truffle butter. How soon can you get there???

Catering Recommendation - Saint Paul or Minneapolis

I would look into Create Caters. Chef Philip Dorwart and his staff are creative, the food is delicious, and they can work with your budget. They are a little more creative than pretzels and kettle korn, and use local ingredients when possible.

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

MK and Yangtze seemed comparable- I want to say 4 of us got out of there for between 25-30$ per couple. It was several months ago, though.

(MSP) - Pancho Villa

I had the shrimp ceviche tostada and it was DELICIOUS. Perfect balance of acid and degree of "cooking" with the crunchy tostada. They really excel in all things seafood there.

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

We love Mandarin Kitchen, and also Yangtze in St Louis Park

Special dinner for two in Minneapolis - Saint Paul

Alma and Heartland are two good choices, as is Craftsman. My favorite places are small neighborhoody type places, so maybe you can ddiscover new areas of town. In that vein, I'd say Corner Table, Cafe Levain, Al Vento, Heidi's and Blackbird.

Craftsman Restaurant
4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Corner Table
4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

Al Vento
5001 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Blackbird Cafe
3800 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55409

2903 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Cafe Levain
4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Hell's Kitchen or Red Stag for Brunch on Sunday (MSP)

Hell's Kitchen. Hands down.

The Ultimate Greek Salad, Plus 8 Great Greek Recipes

Also add one or two peppers of your preferred color (I like one green for that vegetal bitterness and one red/orange/yellow for sweetness), chopped. I think a few handfuls of canned chickpeas adds a different dimension, plus a little more protein.

Jul 29, 2009
cheeseguysgirl in Features

Tell me about your CSA, please....

We also have shared a share from Harmony Valley. We are each only a two person household, so it works well for us. We love it, and even though it is more expensive than the other CSAs, we did our research and felt like the longer season and wider variety made it worth it.

Short Trip - 3 Questions (MSP)

If you love blue cheese, three of the best in the country are made locally. Northern Lights, as Anne mentioned above, is delicious- it's made by a guy who used to work for the makers of my next rec. Faribault Dairy makes St. Pete's Select , aging it in St. Peter sandstone caves in Faribault (about 45 min south of the cities). It's a cow's milk blue, patterned after Bleu d'Auvergne. Big Woods Blue is made by Shepherd's Way Farms, in Northfield (about 40-45 min south of the cities as well), patterned after Roquefort so it's a sheep's milk. All three are very different, all three are very delicious (also the Friesago made by Shepherd's Way is one of my favorites.... but that may be because it is the cheese CG brought me on our first date).

Have a wonderful trip here!!!