Updated: Oct 17
Thank you for following the QR trail! Glad to have you here! Fourth edition.
I am so happy to be back on the show!
This is a fun one. Halloween themed cheeses from different producers. You might notice that they are all the same style of cheese. There are reasons for this, hope to explain them in the show, but in case I don't get into it:
All the cheeses fall into the "soft ripened" category. Soft Ripened is a category that includes styles of cheeses like brie, camembert and washed rind cheeses (like taleggio). Once made, they do not age for a long time, making the dyeing of the paste a little easier to do because of the timeline. Basically, makers don't need to think months in advance (as for an aged cheddar) to create their themed cheese. And, who knows when that cheese is ready that "Halloween Cheese" is still a thing?
The edible vegetable ash that creates this black look as a foil to the orange paste is a very common addition to soft ripened cheeses, outside of Halloween themed cheeses. From Cheese Grotto: "These soft little cheeses are coated in ash to help develop their rinds—but why? After they’ve been drained and shaped into buttons, rounds, or pyramids, the surface of a freshly formed cheese is slightly acidic. It also needs a day or so to dry appropriately before the wheel can go into the aging cave. When combined with a little salt, ash helps with both of these things: A dusting of slightly alkaline ash will lower the acidity of the cheese surface. This creates the ideal conditions for the first of several successions of microbial communities to grow and gradually form the cheese’s bloomy rind. Since it absorbs water, it’s theorized that ash also hastens the drying process and helps preserve the integrity of the rind throughout its life. Because of these properties, ash benefits the cheesemaker in other ways beyond rind formation. Its alkalinity can help to modulate the ripening process, meaning that the cheese can age for longer without molds on the surface running wild. Ash can also balance a cheese’s acidity, which helps create the maker’s desired flavor profile in the finished product."
Alemar's Friars Lantern
Alemar is an urban creamery, located in The Food Building in Minneapolis.
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.
Charlotte was a suspect in our cheesy murder mystery event we had at Ambi Wine Bar!
Friars Lantern is a synonym for Will 'o the whisp
The will-o'-the-wisp is a flame-like phosphorescence caused by gases from decaying plants in marshy areas. In olden days, it was personified as "Will with the wisp," a sprite who carried a fleeting "wisp" of light. Foolish travelers were said to try to follow the light and were then led astray into the marsh. Think I will be easily led into the marsh by this cheese!!
Friar's Lantern is available ONLY at France 44, Surdyk's, South Lyndale Liquors and The Grater Good
Jasper Hill Farm's Moses Reaper
Brothers Andy & Mateo Kehler purchased a piece of land in 1999 known locally in Greensboro as “the Jasper Hill farm,” so-called after a previous owner named Jasper Hill. The Kehlers began selling cheese under the Jasper Hill Farm brand in 2003.
In 2003, Jasper Hill was approached by Cabot Creamery to collaborate on aging a natural-rind clothbound cheddar, which became known as Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. In 2006 this cheese won Best of Show at the American Cheese Society conference.
Inspired by the success of Cabot Clothbound, the Kehlers went on to build the Cellars at Jasper Hill, a 22,000 square foot cheese aging facility built into the hillside of Jasper Hill Farm. The Cellars became operational in 2008, and now ages cheese made by Jasper Hill Farm, as well as products made by 4 other creameries local to northern Vermont and New Hampshire. The Cellars provides sales, marketing & distribution services for the products in its collection, with the goal of reducing the barriers to entry for small-scale cheesemakers. Cheeses aged at the Cellars are distributed nationally within the US; select products are exported for sale in Europe, Canada and Australia.
MOSES SLEEPER is a Jasper Hill Creamery original, inspired by classic, French Brie. This cheese’s historic namesake, Moses Sleeper, and his compatriot, Constant Bliss, were Revolutionary War scouts killed while defending a blockhouse along the Northeast Kingdom’s legendary Bayley Hazen Military Road.
Marin French Cheese Co. has been making handmade artisan cheese at their historic creamery in Marin County, Northern California since 1865, making them the country’s oldest cheese company. They combine traditional French cheesemaking techniques with an innovative spirit to produce award-winning, California original cheeses.
This cutie is available at most Lunds and Byerlys and on Marin's website
Cheese and candy pairings:
Big Woods Blue from Shepherd's Way with Kit Kats
Marieke Golden with Butterfingers
Brie with Funky Chunky
Upcoming events, click on link for tickets:
Friday, October 20th at 22 Northmen in Alexandria