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An evening with Women Who Really Cook at Love That Olive

Updated: Jun 13

Hello and thank you for following the QR trail! This post will give you more information on the cheeses you have tasted this evening. The story of the makers and information on where to buy the cheeses. Sorry (not sorry) for the cut and paste information....the makers tell their story the best, I am just the voice box!

Venturing into a store with a good cheese case can be very daunting. "What do I choose, how do I start" you may ask yourself?!??!?!? First step: if there is a Cheese monger available then and there, ask them. Give them your mission and they will help you accomplish it. If not, then Step 2: remember this mantra for a nice selection of cheeses that will fill your board and belly quite nicely:

  • Something Old

  • Something New

  • Something Stinky

  • Something Blue

Old: aged cheese like cheddar, gouda, parmesan

New: young cheese like brie, fresh goat, mozzarella, Havarti. Or something new to the scene!

Stinky/interesting: washed rind (taleggio, brick, limburger) or cheese with inclusions

Blue: self explanatory


Today's Cheeses:

Something Old: Marieke Gouda

Or in the case of Marieke, OG. The Goudas you are having today are both aged and produced by the OG of Gouda in the US. So all can be placed in the category of "OLD". The story of Marieke is super amazing and will make you want to go to the production facility!!! It is in Thorp WI, easy day trip. Here is the story(again, I am not above copy ad paste, creds to the original) : Marieke's Story

 We can't say enough good things about this producer, their mission and the product. It all is simply glorious! Please read the link , you will be in love too. Marieke's facility in Thorp Wisconsin is a fantastic weekend destination! It is a Farmstead Creamery which means they have the farm with the cows on the same site as the creamery. The Creamery has viewing windows so you can watch the cheese being made and the aging rooms. Cafe' Dutchess is located within and serves up some lovely ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches and other cheese-centric delights! Marieke Gouda is one of our top domestic and international award winners in the US, she is a force to be reckoned with!! Marieke is a licensed Cheesemaker, she is projected to become a Master Cheesemaker in 2025

Something New: Alemar

Alemar Bent River and a new to us, Sheeps milk cheese from Tuscany. New meaning young cheeses. Cheeses in this category tend to be young and lactic cheeses and folks tend to like them as they are easy on the palate.

Alemar Cheese is what happens when imagination, research, work and patience converge to create something incredible.

Since its founding in 2008, the Alemar Cheese Company has become one of the most out-of-the-park success stories to emerge from Southern Minnesota – small-batch cheeses, originally produced in the small Minnesota town of Mankato, that made their way up through the artisan cheese circuit and into fine restaurants, cheese shops and stores worldwide.

The Alemar Cheese story begins with founder Keith Adams, a native of Davis, California. Inspired in part by a California friend who had made a name for himself as a winemaker, Keith began looking much closer at what had been a casual interest – artisan cheesemaking. As he researched, he sought out specific individuals to advise and mentor his entry into the craft. He credits Sue Conley of Cowgirl Creamery in California as most influential.

Using gently pasteurized milk from grass-fed cows at a farm 40 miles away, Keith in 2008 launched Alemar (named for his daughters Alexandra and Mariel) and its sole product, the Camembert-inspired Bent River. The luscious soft cheese impressed critics, writers, and customers with its rich, full-figured flavor, and Keith soon found the product welcomed in specialty cheese shops first locally, then from coast to coast.

Three years into production, he entered Bent River in the nation’s largest artisan cheese competition, run annually by the American Cheese Society, and came in third place for cow’s milk Camembert-style cheese, prompting food critic Dara Moskowitz-Grumdahl to write: “It’s like starting to throw javelins one day, and coming home with an Olympic bronze two years later; it’s unheard of.”

A few years following Bent River’s success, Keith began incrementally adding more products to the Alemar “family,” each one noted for a special punch and preparation. Alemar’s early additions were creamy Blue Earth Brie and funky Good Thunder. Today, the Alemar lineup features eight products, the newest being St. James, Boom Island, and Apricity. These products are all made with grass-fed cows’ milk, a belief Alemar has had since its founding. Great milk makes great cheese. Our farmers, CorStar Farms, are a small family with a herd of about 20 gorgeous cows that they treat like family. The lifespan of these cows is not only much comfier and more humane, it is also years longer than average dairy cows.

“I wanted to focus on one cheese for a good long while and become really proficient at it,” Keith says. “Once I felt that core competency… then I felt like it was time to try something new.” Keith’s adventures in cheesemaking have led him back to California, where he and winemaker Rob Hunter (the friend who inspired Keith’s creation of Alemar) have launched William Cofield Cheesemakers, specializing in the cornerstones of British Inspired Cheese Cheddar and Stilton-style.

In July of that same year, 2019, Alemar Cheese received an opportunity too good to resist. FOOD BUILDING in Northeast Minneapolis had an empty state-of-the—art creamery, and Alemar needed more space. The Twin Cities have been Alemar’s first and loudest supporters for ten years, making moving production a natural fit. Incredible things happen within this skillful community. Working in FOOD BUILDING provides Alemar’s cheesemakers with something truly unique: a space to share with other talented artisans. The building houses Baker’s Field Flour and Bread, Lowry Hill Provisions, 3LECHE, and Kieran’s Kitchen, a market that sells and celebrates the fine food products made in our home building.

In 2021, Keith and Kieran Folliard (Food Building founder) brought on Head Cheesemaker Charlotte Serino.

Charlotte is quite simply upping Alemar’s game. She graduated from UW-Madison in Wisconsin, went on to study food science and she has extensive experience making and selling artisan cheese. She’s mongered at a local favorite gourmet grocery store (Lund’s and Byerly’s) and a Multi-National (Whole Foods Market). Charlotte also has farmstead experience making many varieties of Goat’s milk cheeses prior to joining the Alemar Team. Her precision and thoughtfulness brings new light to Alemar’s production.

The Twin Cities has now been home to Alemar for almost 5 years and has fostered great collaboration and a plethora of new cheese experiments. Charlotte and the Alemar team strive to make the finest cheese in Minnesota with grass-fed cows’ milk from just around the corner.

Something Stinky: Snowdonia

Snowdonia Truffle Cheddar. Yes, truffle permeates EVERYTHING, o...stinky!!!

Something Blue: Caves of Faribault

St Petes Select from Caves of Faribault

Legend holds that the first Blue cheese was born in the natural caves of France where ideal humidity and temperature conditions allowed native blue-green molds to flourish. Since 1936, that tradition has lived on at the historic sandstone Caves of Faribault — home of America’s First Blue Cheese.

Located on a tall sandstone bluff overlooking the Straight River in the small town of Faribault, The Caves of Faribault natural sandstone caves were carved in the 1850s into the St. Peter’s sandstone that formed in the last glacial age. This sandstone allows water to travel both horizontally and vertically and has a natural capacity for absorbing ammonia, making it ideal for affinage — the ancient art of maturing and aging cheese.

Every handmade batch of our award-winning AmaBlu®, AmaGorg® and St. Pete’s Select® Blue cheese is cured and aged exclusively in these sandstone caves. You can also taste the subtle nuances in the Cherubic Gouda, St. Helga’s European Swiss, Felix Blue Cheese, and our Blues & Brews series.


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