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cheesemonger's Profile

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Parmesan without the rind

Rind is part of the cheese, yes, you can look for rindless pieces, but I think you are wrong to ask for the rind of a perfectly good piece to be removed. The cost of the entire cheese is shared, and good retailers (like WF) know how to cut so that each piece has one rind edge, in order to be fair with all pieces. It's like saying you want to buy a soda, but don't want to pay for the can, so you'll drink it and pay less. But unlike a can, the rind is a very useful piece, and can be employed in many ways.

Also, if anyone is getting parmigiano reggiano at $20/lb, you are making out like a bandit.

Regarding the price- it's been running $20/lb plus for many years. The earthquake that destroyed 300,000 wheels in 2012: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012...

Also effected the cost. This cheese ages for 2 years, and to have that much be damaged, this causes a shortage, and supply, demand, etc. takes care of the cost issue.

Aug 05, 2014
cheesemonger in Cheese
1

US FDA Rules No Wooden Boards in Cheese Aging

For industry coziness, look no further than the former quality control officer of Leprino Foods, a major cheese manufacturer, and her decision to unilaterally interpret this rule to mean no wooden boards.

Don't you always follow the money? Artisan cheesemakers are encroaching on the big manufacturers. What a fantastic way to stop them.

Jun 10, 2014
cheesemonger in Cheese

Westminster, CO options?

Public transportation (RTD bus) is frequent, you can catch it right at highway 36 in Westminster, and it will zip you to downtown Boulder or Denver. It's clean and easy, I take the bus between them often, saves parking aggravation as well.

Is that something you'd be amenable to? If so, both have excellent offerings within blocks of the station(s).

Dinner guest peeve

Sorry 'bout that bagelman! It started as a reply/thumbs up to your post and kind of morphed.

Dinner guest peeve

Yes! There are 2 parts to this.

1) uninvited guest, that you graciously made room for when requested.

2) 3rd party request (demand!) for this non-invitee's meal to-go.

It seems that you planned a lovely meal to enjoy with company. You were mistaken, because clearly you were simply a caterer to them. (Yes, that was sarcasm...)

Apr 21, 2014
cheesemonger in Not About Food

Do you ever contact the manufacturer?

What was the response from the store where you bought it?

Apr 21, 2014
cheesemonger in Not About Food

Big beard in the fish store?

No. I'd wash the fish when I got home, which I would have done anyway, and judge the place on the quality of the product.

Jan 26, 2014
cheesemonger in Not About Food

crispy chicken skin

This- brine it, then dry it, and really, really dry it.

If I want to roast a chicken on Friday, I buy it on Tuesday, brine it until Thursday morning, then dry it on a cooling rack in the fridge until Friday afternoon, turning about 3 times. Bring to room temp before roasting. Crispity crisp.

Jan 03, 2014
cheesemonger in Home Cooking

servers taking away my plate too soon...

How was your flatware positioned?

Dec 22, 2013
cheesemonger in Not About Food

How to make fondue/raclette more substantial

Cured meats, roasted potatoes, cornichons, other pickles, bread, other cheeses, fruits, dried fruits, nuts, anything! Also, what cheeses are you using for your fondue? There are so many cheeses to melt, perhaps you need something else?

Dec 22, 2013
cheesemonger in Home Cooking

Thai menu translation help, please!

Wow! Thank you so much for this, I really appreciate the effort you went to. As I still have the menu pic and these explanations, they will continue to come in handy in our travels. (Apologies for taking so long to reply, I keep forgetting to check my internet!)

Thai menu translation help, please!

Hi,
We are staying about 5 km south of Mae Sai, down a dirt road near an open air restaurant called Kung Ten. We went there for lunch, and fortunately they have wi-if, and we communicated using our google translators, but nobody speaks a lick of English, and my thai is limited to yes, no, thank you, and I'm sorry I don't speak Thai.

The menu is in Thai, and while we managed to successfully order some fried pork appetizer, and a tom yum soup that were both delicious, I'd love to be able to order more that just point, shrug, and hope for the best.

Can anyone tell me what any of these menu items are?

Reputable Websites for Buying Asian Ingredients

Okay- here are the pics: on the left side is the salt added cooking wine, on the right is Pavilion brand shaoshing rice wine. I included front and back of both bottles. I really think at the wine on the right is a mistake- the receipt says cooking wine, but it's not that.
Huh- the pics on the iPad are very clear, I don't know why they uploaded so fuzzy...

Oct 19, 2013
cheesemonger in General Topics

Boulder, CO suggestions

Great write up, mark! Thanks for sharing your experiences, looks like you hit some of Boulder's best. Reminds me that I haven't been to Bitter Bar yet, and this is a motivator.

Oct 16, 2013
cheesemonger in Mountain States

Reputable Websites for Buying Asian Ingredients

Hi- now it's my turn to apologize for the delay. I missed the most important detail of the shaoshing I bought- no salt added. :)

I'm in Colorado. The market is called Pacific Ocean. I took pics of the bottle, can post 'em if you want.

Oct 13, 2013
cheesemonger in General Topics

Marietta GA to Asheville NC - where to stop along the way?

Hi, which route are you planning? I personally prefer the 441 to 23 to 40 route also. As mentioned, 85 to 26 is pretty bleak in terms of food.

Oct 12, 2013
cheesemonger in Southeast

Vegetarians: How do you reconcile eating dairy?

I was going to address the antibiotics in another post, but didn't have time.

I'm not a fan of the "no antibiotics under any conditions" crowd. If a cow gets a scratch on her leg, will it not be treated with meds that will reduce infection?

Farms that I am familiar with will separate the cow receiving medical treatment from the cows that are being milked- usually just with an ear tag, so that cow will not be milked with the others, and her milk will not contribute to the pool. She will be milked, because to not do so would be painful for the cow, but the milk will be tossed. When she is healed and off the meds (and they are cleared from her system), she will be milked with the rest of the herd. This is the way good farmers treat their cows.

Organic- sometimes meeting that requirement means monitoring everything that the cow ingests. The down side of that is that unless the fields are organic, cows can't freely graze. I'd much rather see a Swiss Alpine cow on a hillside eating all kids of grasses and weeds and whatever else, than a cow with a diet restricted by a label.

Vegetarians: How do you reconcile eating dairy?

Admittedly, how we, as a country, can love "our animals" so much, and be so callously indifferent to the treatment of the animals we eat is pretty confusing to me.

pikawicca makes a stab at the solution, that not all dairy animals are treated equally. There's that, for starters. I'm fortunate that I know firsthand the producers of every cheese I consume, and I know how they treat their animals. I think every consumer should attempt to educate themselves about where their food comes from. If that information is secret- then there's a reason for that secrecy. There are lots of ways to treat animals with kindness and compassion, and still have a dairy operation

Keep in also mind that Foer has an agenda, which, while his positions have merit in many cases, he doesn't bother much looking at the situations that do not fit that agenda.

The good side is that more and more, people are having this conversation. I can remember this topic being treated with heaps of ridicule only a few years ago, and when these come up now, a lot less so.

Top Chef Masters, 9/25, FINALE (spoilers)

remember, there's the editing. When I was watching, I was thinking- the way they are editing her in this challenge, she's definitely going home.

However, she did say some pretty bad things- that you note above.

Vegan Options In Denver

Best vegan thing in Denver by a long shot- Root Down's Raw Vegan Tasting Menu on the first tuesday of every month.

It's *amazing*. This is the menu from the Sept. one, it's different every month.
http://www.rootdowndenver.com/wp-cont...

(me = not vegan at all, and I love it)

Sep 24, 2013
cheesemonger in Mountain States

What's the most useful wedding gift that you have received?

ooh- forgot about the storage things, that's a great idea. I also got a set of Frigoverre glass storage containers with rubber lids that nest when empty. Great for people that don't want to use plastic stuff.

Sep 19, 2013
cheesemonger in Not About Food

What's the most useful wedding gift that you have received?

This may not be universal, but there are 2 that I still use 10+ years later:

1) I got a margarita set- pitcher and glasses- from Williams Sonoma. I don't know where the glasses are, but I use that pitcher all the time. It looks like this: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

2) An Emile Henry Mixing Bowl set- beautiful bowls for mixing and serving.

Sep 19, 2013
cheesemonger in Not About Food

Cooking with ketchup

here's the quick rundown:

judges liked these:
japanese fried chicken with sweet chili ginger ketchup sauce

the seared scallop with the fermented black ketchup sauce

buffalo chicken wings with ketchup based hot sauce

and hated these:
roasted duck breast with ketchup mustard miso sauce

"ketchup soup" (looked like veg soup) and something that looked gross.

Sep 13, 2013
cheesemonger in Home Cooking

Cooking with ketchup

the winning dish was a seared scallop with a ketchup and chinese fermented black bean sauce that was whizzed in a blender. I'll pull it up on demand later today and give you a quick rundown.

Sep 13, 2013
cheesemonger in Home Cooking

Cooking with ketchup

you're an omniscient ipsedixit.

on top chef masters last night, there was a challenge where the chefs had to make a dish that featured ketchup...

Sep 12, 2013
cheesemonger in Home Cooking

Looking for wine shops with good prices-boulder

Yep, I get that we are in agreement on this :) What started out as a "yes, there has been a cheese shop in the somewhat recent past" morphed into more about those shops who have been WF collateral.

I mentioned in another post that one problem I see is that there are a crapload of [large chain] food stores in city limits for a town Boulder's size. 2 KS, 3 WF, 3 Safeway, 2 Sprouts, 1 Lucky's,1 Vitamin Cottage. Is Alfalfa's the only non-chain large grocer? And on the way: TJ's, WalMart. What's the saturation point? Who knows.

How can the independents compete with that much purchasing and negotiating power, and with the volume those stores generate? Chains can afford to lose money for years to get volume established- mom and pop can't really afford that. (oops, there I go digressing again!)

Saint Angel

The usual way to make cheese is to add cultures and coagulants to a vat of milk, let it rest, then cut and drain the whey, leaving you with the solids once you drain off the water/whey.

Ultrafiltration also concentrates the solids in milk, but by filtering out the the fine particles and water (that pass through the filter) from ones that are too large, thereby concentrating the larger solids that are used for cheesemaking. The ripening and coagulating agents can be added after the dehydration step, rather than before.

Sep 11, 2013
cheesemonger in Cheese

Looking for wine shops with good prices-boulder

LD- Boulder had a specialty cheese shop from 2003-2007 on 15th Street. Herb's Meats at BaseMar was there for at least 15 years, before they closed. (Before that, there was also a cheese shop at either Table Mesa or Basemar, I can't remember, it was a loooong time ago).

Both of these shops were owned by Boulder locals, and both owners worked every day to provide great product and service.

Unfortunately, both shops also suffered greatly from the "I'm already at Whole Foods" phenomenon, and closed. Not because they didn't do a good job, but because the traffic all went elsewhere.

Like rlm says, it's work to shop at the smaller guys. It's planning, and sometimes going out of your way to do so. It's understanding that they don't have everything. I do something similar, but I also only pay cash at the smalls, and use the AmEx if I ever have to go to WF.

I always wanted to start something in Boulder like the (now defunct, so there) Portland Public Market, in Maine. It was a large atrium with coffee, bread, cheese, fish, wine, meat, local produce, all independants, but all under a single roof. I think The Source in Denver is trying to do something similar, but with better restaurants. Wouldn't it be great to combine the "one-stop" mentality with independents that specialize in their respective areas? In some ways (cheese, charcuterie, wine, bread and a little misc.) Cured is doing that, esp with Boxcar sharing the space. I hope that people do make that effort.

And one note about the "wall" for booze there- that is required. You can't sell anything above 3.2 in a food store. It has to be a separate entity, with separate register, accounting, and physical space.

But the basic argument stays the same- The larger the entity, the stronger their buying power, and the greater ability they have to negotiate with wholesalers. Little guys don't have that power, so it's generally not possible to offer the pricing that the chains can.

Sep 11, 2013
cheesemonger in Mountain States
1

Looking for wine shops with good prices-boulder

I totally agree with LD here.

Yes, massive chains have massive buying power to negotiate better pricing, but they also result in ultimately fewer choices.

So to the OP: no, you probably won't find the pricing you had in Cali. Booze is a luxury, even cheap booze.

Sep 09, 2013
cheesemonger in Mountain States

Reputable Websites for Buying Asian Ingredients

hey KPD- I bought some rice wine at my local asian market. It's pavillion brand, and it rings up as cooking wine, but it's not. It's probably a happy mistake- of the 10 or so varieties of Shaoshing, this was the only one that a) didn't say cooking, b) didn't say "not for consumption as a beverage", and c) had the warning about drinking when pregnant. They also have the gold plum chinkiang. (on sale, $1.39/bottle!)

Have you had any luck getting either of these?

Sep 08, 2013
cheesemonger in General Topics