gordonzola: (aesthetic)
It’s official. I will be judging cheese again at the American Cheese Society competition in Austin, Texas in early August. I’ve always wanted to go to Texas in August… ha. I’m guessing I will spend a lot of time in the air-conditioned hotel.

Regular readers of this journal will remember that I judged cheese at the 2007 ACS competition too. Tasting and grading 50-75 cheeses a day plus all the individual category winners. Whoo-hoo! Cheese judging is probably the only time I ever feel like I have my fill of cheese. It’s also what gave me this great icon.
gordonzola: (Default)
Ha. According to Amazon.com my book is “frequently bought together” with “Tonight” by Franz Ferdinand. I guess when you are # 1,340,897 in sales, a couple of people can have a big impact. Previously the related items were all books on sex work.

The official new release date is July 1. No, I will not guarantee that. And no, you will not be able to miss it when I know for sure.
gordonzola: (Default)
I just got an email from a distributor that says only, "The proposed 300% Roquefort Duty has been postponed to Thursday April 23rd." You heard it here first. I feel sorry for those poor distributors who have stockpiled pallets already. But hey, at this rate we'll still have Roquefort at "only" $25-30/lb though X-mas!

By the way, we will be closed tomorrow for Cesar Chavez Day. You can come down to the store and stick your face up to the glass, but we aren't going to open the doors.
gordonzola: (Default)
In an article about the Nevada Nuclear Weapons Test Site in the 1/7/09 Anderson Valley Advertiser,* I found the following section. The author asks if the test site control room is like those of the NASA rocket launches. Here's the response:

"Yeah, but scaled down. No big hoopla. If the detonation's successful. there'll be a little applause, some backslapping, and a handing out of placards and decals celebrating the test. Each test has a name. For a while they were cheeses like Fontina, Brie, Gruyere, and people wore decals with cheese names on their hardhats...

If these hadn't been top secret, I think cheese would have a much tougher image than it has today. Nuclear test cheese isn't delicate, French, and unamerican!



*"Test Site" by Skip Wollenberg
gordonzola: (Default)
(Here are the answers to some recent questions. Feel free to ask more in the comments. Even anonymously, if you feel the need.)


[livejournal.com profile] grassfire asks -- why cheese?
It was an accident. I just wanted a job at the hippie worker co-op. The opening just happened to be in cheese. The rest is history.

[livejournal.com profile] reveritas asks -- did i miss a bunch of posts about finding an agent and publisher for your book?
No, I made a decision when I started writing the book that I wouldn’t discuss it in my journal. I didn’t discuss it in person unless someone (like my co-workers) had a need to know. I didn’t want to field questions about how it was going, I didn’t want another cheese person to beat me to the “cheese memoir” (a previously untapped genre), and I didn’t want to be the person talking about their “book” that they never actually finished.

I decided to complete the manuscript before trying to sell it, so once I finished everything went pretty quickly. I am incredibly fortunate to have lucked into (15 years ago) a job in something that would become a trendy subject: my ability to create a sellable manuscript was greatly enhanced so it went faster than for most people I know.

[livejournal.com profile] tammylc asserts -- Piave is the king of cheeses. Agree or disagree?
I love Piave (at least the aged red label version) but “King of Cheese”? Nah.

It can’t even beat Parmigiano Reggiano for that title in Italy. Piave doesn’t have the history, complexity or size. Other cheeses that claim the title include: Stilton, Beaufort, Roquefort, and Epoisses and probably a bunch of others.

As for Monarchs in general, I think Chumbawamba speaks for me (in this bizarre unofficial video):



Poacher comes with his poacher's gun -- Out in the woods to shoot someone -- ‘My lord your time has come’ -- Right between the eyes!’ )
gordonzola: (Default)
I probably should have publicized it –really I just forgot – but most of you wouldn’t have trekked up to Sonoma on a cold Sunday afternoon to see some of the best cheesemakers in the country anyway. Am I wrong?

Clark Wolf, a super sweet guy and longtime cheese professional, has a book out about American Artisanal cheeses. I bought a copy and I definitely recommend it.* Clark tells the stories of many of the best U.S. cheesemakers: what they do, why they do it, and how they made it happen.

It’s clearly a tribute to Clark that he got a number of cheesemakers to travel for this event. Jennifer Bice (Redwood Hill) and Ig Vella (Vella Cheese) were close by, but Franklin Peluso came all the way up from San Luis Obispo, David Gremmels (Rogue Creamery) came down from Oregon, and Mateo Kehler (Jasper Hill) came all the way from Vermont.

It was an educational event put on by my pal Sheana Davis and cost $20per person (The Sonomans tell me even events in the parks cost money in Sonoma. Another reason to live in a city, I tell ya) but folks got their money’s worth. First there was lots of wine to drink. Second, everyone got a cheese plate with Camellia, Mezzo Secco, Franklin’s Teleme, Rogue River Blue, and Constant Bliss plus accompaniments. I was there to sell the cheese people were tasting in case anyone was so overcome that they needed to buy a piece on the spot.

Anyways, it was a good time. Clark interviewed each cheesemaker about their history and the things that make them unique. [livejournal.com profile] smallstages and I ate lots of cheese. (Of course I only sold about 10 pieces. Good thing I’m not gonna charge work for my time.) But check out Clark’s book, it’s pretty awesome.



*Makes a great xmas present. Especially combined with a pre-order of my book Cheesemonger which comes out in March. Yes, I will be plugging it at every opportunity. Why do you ask?
gordonzola: (Default)
Well, I guess the right wing press was correct this time. My apologies to Fox News and all the other wingnuts. It seems as though a very important poll was suppressed. A poll which might have swung the tide over to McCain had The People been able to see it in time.

Was this poll seen in the NY Times?

The San Francisco Chronicle?

Daily Kos?

No.

Only the folks at “Gourmet News” had the guts to get the true feelings of people in the gourmet food industry and get the straight facts on what is truly the most important issue to Americans today.

I dare you to look at this poll and tell me that you wouldn’t have thought twice about supporting Obama now.

gourmet poll

It’s truly a sad day for America when The People vote without knowing what gourmet food importers think. Very sad.

Not safe!

Jan. 16th, 2008 06:07 am
gordonzola: (Default)
Before my birthday, I had to buy some extra cutting boards to do cheese prep. I bought them, even as I was horrified by the label.

cutting board073

This goes against everything I was taught in Food Safety Manager school! Meat and produce together on the same cutting board? Why not just order a jar of ecoli or listeria from the chemical weapons supply catalogue? And that sure is one ADD food prep person... finish one job before you start another! And what are you doing to that cauliflower?

The board is quite elegant though.

edited to add Ok, ok, I see it's not a cauliflower! I was looking at a small image version when I decided to get snarky. My bad.

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