KISS: Keep It Simple (&) Sexy
It’s way simpler to assemble and you can get a little kinkier with pairings.
and approachable enough to tempt warier eaters.
Enter Bonhomme Brie from Isigny Ste-Mére.
Last night I taught a cheese and witchcraft class in my hometown Chicago.
That might seem a little weird at first: how exactly does cheese relate to witchcraft?
Obviously cheese makes anything taste like magick,
but the relationship between the two doesn’t stop there.
Cheese also has a magickal history.
Throughout history, dairy maids were accused of witchcraft when their cows
produced particularly abundant milk or their cheeses were wicked tasty.
Others were accused of cursing their neighbor’s cheese production
when their yields were poor or their cows went dry.
People have also used cheese in rituals and offerings as a symbol of prosperity.
Some have read rind formations, as one would tea leaves.
In Icelandic folklore, male cheesemakers would mark their wheels
and send them off to maidens, who, upon eating it, would fall in love with them.
And finally, cheese has long been paired with magickal herbs, fruits, and drinks
and eaten with an intention to cast a spell.
The relation makes sense: there is something fundamentally magickal about cheese.
The shapeshifting transformation from milk to curd appears miraculous.
Cheese possesses the power to seduce us and leave us craving more.
It puts us under a spell.
Here are 5 of the witchiest cheeses to spook up
your Halloween cheese platter.
Imagine a diet that permits gleeful consumption of fried cheese curds, creamy hazelnut gelato, and thick Belgian ales. You can and should eat foods that bring a surge of childish joy—all you have to do is consume them in the right quantities. Proper portion control saves money and time, improves digestion, and helps reach or maintain a healthy weight for all body types. It’s a simple theory that’s difficult to execute, especially if you’re a devoted foodie, but you can do it! Follow these five steps to finally conquer portion control today.
Consider cheese the gas in your tank, and plants the oil in your engine. Without enriching your diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and wholesome grains, your body will sputter and clamor inefficiently and turbulently. Here’s a simple quote to live by, from Michael Pollan’s 2006 book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” This second commandment is more or less an extension of Pollan’s revolutionary imperative, with a focus on the incredible, edible curd.
Cheese is an almost perfect food, delivering all of the nutrients you need except for two vitals: fiber and vitamin C. To capitalize on the treasure trove of nourishment that lies within a rind, you need to consume a variety of plants. Cheese cannot not stand alone. Likewise, most plants, with the exception of nuts and seeds, are dense in the nutrients that cheese lacks, but sparse in energy. They form an ideal pairing: cheese, with its condensed curd of fat and protein, is the star of your meal, surrounded by a supporting cast of plants.
Cut yourself an ounce or two of cheese, then complement it with several servings of plants of various colors, textures, and flavors. My favorite salad of the moment involves a few slices of pear atop a handful of seasoned, oil-tossed arugula with a smattering of walnuts, homemade sourdough croutons, a shallots, and one oozing ounce of goat camembert from Idyll Farms. It’s a delightfully luscious cheese, with herbaceous notes that pair particularly well with peppery greens. You can pretty much make a meal out of any fruit and vegetable with the right cheese. These also make portable meals, but be sure to wrap your cheese separately during travel
Too often, people view cheese as a type of “splurge food,” something that doesn’t belong in a healthy diet. But that’s a mindset that lives in the past, and shall die now. For it is my life’s mission to show you how to make cheese a nutritional staple. It all starts with the first of the Ten Commandments. Read on to learn five reasons why cheese has a place in your daily life.
To be honest, I have always thought that truffle-infused cheese is kind of gross. Why overwhelm the perfect delicacy that is cheese with truffles? Obviously, truffles are delicious under the right circumstances, like whisked into aioli and shaved over risotto. But don’t bring that shit near my precious cheese. Morel mushrooms, on the other hand, have a gentle complexity. They’re sensitive enough to play with cheese, and shine particularly well with something that has a bit of age and firmness to the paste. This Idyllweiss, a joyful little cow and goat milk blend from Idyll Farms, in Michigan, is the perfect medium for the morel. Together, they taste like a mild truffled mac n’ cheese, which is a correct use of truffles by the way.
It takes a lot for a cheddar to stand out in Wisconsin, but there’s really nothing like Willi’s Bandaged Cheddar from Bleu Mont Dairy. This cheese is like that kid you were friends with in elementary school, who moved to England for a year and then came back with an accent.
Are you too busy to make yourself a nutritious, portable lunch everyday? Is ordering out breaking the bank? Do you hate using the employee fridge because everyone steals your lunch? That’s weird that they steal your lunch, because they don’t know how gross you really are. When I make a PB&J, I lick the knife before I put it back in the jar for more peanut butter. I also have a longhair cat, who I refer to as my “sous chef” because he likes to watch me cook. Basically, you just stole a spit and cat fur sandwich.
This week, I wanted to write about a cheese that’s appropriate to bring home for Mother’s Day, but I can’t censor my love for the Portland stripper of sexy blues. Bayley Hazen Blue is a raw farmstead cow milk cheese from the Cellars of Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont. Since it’s debut, the cheese has amassed a cult following and won numerous awards including best raw milk cheese at the 2014 World Cheese Awards, beating 2,600 other cheeses from 33 countries. It’s made with a traditional rennet and aged for 3 – 4 months to develop an earthy, toothsome rind and fudge-like texture. It’s named after an old military road commissioned by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. While there was no battle to speak of, the road did bring the first settlers to Greensboro.
Bayley Hazen is one of those cheeses that gets better with every wheel I try. Rather than overwhelming the palate with a punchy piquancy like most blue cheeses are wont to do, Bayley Hazen is milk-forward in flavor, which highlights the incredible qualities in the raw milk. Aromas of the terroir of Greensboro waft from both paste and rind, bringing along notes of a pastoral landscape with fresh dewy grass and chocolate-y soil. The dense, biscuity texture coats your mouth, allowing for a complex flavor experience featuring notes of toasted and sugared nuts, sharp anise spice, and stone fruits so overripe they’re almost bitter. Bayley Hazen’s perfectly formed blue pockets are evenly sprinkled throughout the paste, bringing a robust but not overwhelming piquancy. While the flavors are enchanting, it’s the fudge-like paste that sets Bayley Hazen Blue apart from all the other cheeses.
Bayley plays well with your typical blue pairings, such as a glass of cream sherry or imperial stout like Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing. It’s also the perfect cheese to enjoy with a cup of medium-roast, low-acid coffee and some sweets. I enjoy surrounding Bayley with pieces of quality dark chocolate and toasted, unsalted nuts. Mild cookies, like these caramel-filled Dutch Stroopwaffle, are also a lovely marriage of sweet and salty flavor.
Nothing says “Thanks for dealing with my shit, mom!” like a platter of Bayley Hazen Blue and chocolates. If you want to add a little more love, crumble Bayley Hazen into this pear and ham quiche from David Leibovitz.