Winter 2015                            
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Friends of Traditional Cheese


The Oldways Cheese Coalition is happy to bring you the Winter 2015 edition of our quarterly CheeseMatters newsletter. Inside you will find:
  • News of interest for our cheese community
  • A useful tip on cheese storage
  • Two great recipes for your winter holiday celebrations 
  • Our quarterly spotlight on a gourmet retailer, the brand new Cheese and Provisions in Denver, CO. 
Join our online community and follow us on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram . Make sure to use our HT #cheesecoalition to draw our attention, and also tag your photos on Instagram with #rawmilkcheese. Please consider becoming a contributing member or donating to our cause on behalf of a fellow turophile.  Your support ensures we continue promoting artisanal cheese and traditional cheesemaking practices.

NEW & NOTEWORTHYNandN
We are happy to report that the translation of " The Microbiology of Raw Milk" is now available. The original book, published in French and coordinated by C├ęcile Laithier from the Institut d'Elevage, collected scientific information from researchers working to identify the benefits of raw milk cheese. Bronwen Percival, member of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association and buyer at Neal's Yard Dairy in London, edited the translation with financial support of cheese advocates all over the world, including the Oldways Cheese Coalition.
 
The English-language translation opens up a world of research on the microbiology of raw milk. Organized in two comprehensive sections, it addresses issues as diverse as "raw milk microbes and the sensorial characteristic of cheese," "milk microbes and potential health benefits," "the flow of microbes on the farm," and even "which practices influence the microbial populations of animals' environments."  We know, this translation will become a trusted source of information for our work protecting and promoting the benefits of raw milk cheese production. 

A limited number of copies are available from us as a new benefit of your yearly  membership . Visit our website to find this book and other resources on raw milk cheese.


FRESH FROM THE VATVat
The past six months have been full of action. Most of our energies focused on responding to the FDA's request for comments on raw milk cheese consumer attitudes. Since no data existed on cheese lovers preferences, the OCC conducted a consumer survey and received almost 2,150 responses. You can read a summary of these responses and consumer comments as a part of our submission to the Food and Drug Administration. Here is what we learned:


 
Unfortunately, we do not know what the FDA is planning, or its timeline. We have met with many partners in the cheese industry and we all agree there needs to be further transparency about the research the FDA is conducting on raw milk cheese. For this reason, we supported the Vermont Congressional Delegation in requesting an explanation on the recent changes to the microbiological criteria for strains of non-toxigenic bacteria found in many raw milk cheeses from the FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine.
 
Shortly after conducting the consumer survey, the OCC organized an online petition. The petition, which requested a response from the FDA, garnered over 3,400 signatures and more than 1,700 individual comments. We forwarded all of them to Congress, with the goal of requiring the FDA to be more transparent when dealing with artisanal raw milk cheese producers. We are not requesting preferential treatment; we rather want to preserve the option to choose raw milk cheese and other traditionally-made and aged cheeses. We are also requesting that regulations have documented scientific justification.
 
We are closely following these discussions and, along with our partners and members, we hope to have a seat at the table when the final decision is made on any new regulations on raw milk cheese. We will share updates periodically and may ask you to take action by contacting your elected officials again. We hope you will stay connected with us.
 
As you may have noticed, we have a new logo as well as a new website. Please make sure to visit the updated website, which is full of scientific articles, our Hot Topics, and information on upcoming campaigns promoting traditional cheeses around the US.

TIPS FROM THE EXPERTSTip
Experts share some of their knowledge about the best, and worst, ways to store cheese:
 
"Although I try to keep my cheese buying to stuff I'll eat right away, I am a notorious hoarder and collector of things, and that can extend to my curd. If I have to hold on to a tasty wedge for more than a few days, I practice the same technique that I recommend to my customers. First, try to eat your cheese within a week to two weeks, maximum, after purchase. If you bought your cheese with a particular taste in mind, it will most likely have changed somewhat over two weeks' time, and unless this was an intended effect on an under-ripe Camembert or similar whole, uncut wheel, this is not optimal. Never use plastic wrap, which will suffocate the molds and bacteria inside, trap an abundance of moisture, and cause both ammoniation and overactive blue growth. Instead, if you have no specialized cheese paper on hand, wrap blocks, wedges, and small-format cheeses in the breathable environment of parchment paper, and stick them in the freshly-scrubbed vegetable crisper in your fridge. This gives them a stable environment of temperature and humidity within the harsher climate of the refrigerator.
If you have multiple kinds of cheese to store, make sure to put blues in one crisper and anything else in another, because blue molds are aggressive and voracious, and do not make good bedfellows to other cheeses. Finally, in the rare event that you do have to keep a cheese for longer than two weeks, wrap the already-papered piece loosely in aluminum foil, just to maintain a more consistent environment within the protective layers. Oh, and absolutely, 1,000 percent NEVER put your cheese in the freezer, unless you want to taste something absolutely disgusting after it thaws!"

Nick Bayne, Cheesemonger at Bedford Cheese Shop & 2015 NYC Cheesemonger Invitational Champion 

WHAT WE'RE EATING: RECIPE GUIDEFood
Did you hear that the best cheese in the world is Gruyere AOP? Yes, this alpine style cheese was awarded top honors at the World Cheese Awards on November 26, 2015. In its honor we are recommending a spicy soup topped with cheese, perfect for the cold temperatures outside.
 
SPELT SOUP WITH SPRING ONIONS AND GRUYERE AOP

This  soup  is sure to warm you up and provide you with a new way to incorporate whole grains into your diet.  

 

Whole grains are a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, and many other vitamins and minerals, and provide a much richer flavor than their refined counterparts. Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat, favored for its sweet, nutty flavor. Do you want to learn more about the benefits of eating whole grains? Make sure to visit our sister program's website to learn about the health benefits and nutritional information of spelt and other whole grains.
 
Our second recommendation for the holidays is the perfect cheese dish for entertaining. It can be served as an appetizer during hors-d'oeuvres before dinner is served, or as a vegetarian-friendly option. 


 
PARMIGGIANO REGGIANO AND ROMANO STUFFED ARTICHOKES
   
This simple recipe is a great way to introduce novices to the splendors of artichokes. Serve the artichoke whole. To eat the artichoke, pull individual leaves off with your fingers. Hold the pointy end of the leaf between your fingers and put the other end in your mouth and pull it between your teeth to scrape the flesh off the leaf. When you reach the center of the artichoke (the heart), remove the fuzzy part with a knife or spoon and scoop out the heart with a spoon. The heart is edible and delicious! The two cheeses in this recipe are full of flavor, with rich sweet notes that greatly pair with the earthy taste of artichokes.
 
Ingredients: 
 
2 trimmed and cooked artichokes
1/2 cup unseasoned dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 basil leaves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
 
Instructions: 
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the artichokes upright in a nonreactive baking pan just large enough to hold them. Gently open up leaves a bit, loosening them enough to stuff.
Combine the bread crumbs, Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese, Romano cheese, oregano, garlic, butter, olive oil, basil, and pepper in a small bowl.
With a spoon, place stuffing between the layers of artichoke leaves. Use half the stuffing for each artichoke.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until golden brown and warm inside. Serve hot.
 
Yield: Serves 2
Nutritional Analysis:  Calories: 390, Protein: 16 grams, Fat: 22 grams, Saturated Fat: 10 grams, Carbohydrates: 35 grams, Fiber: 12 grams, Sodium: 670 mg.
 
Recipe by: Steve Petusevsky for "The Oldways Table"

INDUSTRY PERSONALITYIndustry


This time we recognize Mary Quicke, head of Quicke's Cedar in England. She was awarded the Oldways Cheese Coalition Exceptional Contribution to Cheese at the World Cheese Awards.
 
Mary is the 14th generation guardian of an idyllic piece of land in Devon, England, and is producing one of the best clothbound cheddars in the world. Her work to maintain this traditional cheese was recognized and celebrated during an emotive ceremony in Birmingham, England during the World Cheese Awards.
 
Her contribution to the cheese industry goes beyond her work to secure a legacy for cheddars, support producers around the world, and serving as a technical judge at the American Cheese Society annual competition.
 
We are proud to highlight her work and call her a friend. To learn more about her and Quicke's Traditional Cheddar, please visit their website and seek out her cheese at your local retailer. 

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHTStore

Cheese and Provisions
Denver, Colorado

 

Meet the newest kids on the block, Steve and Kim Duty. This dynamic and enthusiastic duo is opening the doors of its first retail outlet in Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood on December 15. 
 
Steve has culinary training and is an experienced winemaker. Along with Kim, he operated a sheep farm and dairy with the goal of making their own cheese. Now they embark on a unique path to educate and share their passion for good cheese, artisanal salumi, and in-store cheese plates.
 
We have really enjoyed watching their journey on Instagram and seeing how they built their store from the ground up, got all permits in order, and even dealt with the debacle of the cheese fridges arriving before schedule. Cheese and Provisions will be the place to be in the new year.
 
If you live in Denver, make sure to visit them and order your cheese for the holidays from them. Let's welcome Steve and Kim and wish them luck on this exciting endeavor.


THANK YOU

Sincerely,

Sara Baer-Sinnott
President
Oldways 




Carlos Yescas
Program Director, Oldways Cheese Coalition
carlos@oldwayspt.org

To fi
nd even more information and delicious recipes, please visit: 

            

Let the old ways be your guide to good health and well-being.

 www.oldwayspt.org 

       

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