Saturday, January 21, 2012

In the Midst of the Illustrious Republican Primary: Cheesemonger of the Year

I was listening to NPR today in order to follow the progress of the South Carolina Republican primary and in my frustration at the progress (or lack thereof) of the primary was glad to have the news interrupted by an interview with someone who I respect far more than Newt Gingrich: Steve Jones of Portland, Oregon's Cheese Bar AKA Cheesemonger of the Year at the 2nd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational (and no this story was not lifted from the Onion).

Steve's NPR interview gave details of the competition which included a blind cheese tasting, a slicing portion and a visual presentation portion. Steve also gave some valuable tips about storing cheese. As a lover of wine and cheese parties, I thought I would share some of those tips with you here:

  • If your cheese has a label, remove it before you store the cheese so your cheese can BREATHE
  • Store your cheese in perforated paper instead of plastic wrap
    • Perforated cheese paper is sold by the brand Formaticum online and this particular brand was the Cheesemonger's recommendation for at-home cheese storage
    • Steve did mention, however, that if you could not order Formaticum paper the best way to store cheese was by wrapping it loosely in parchment paper or wax paper and then placing that parchment-wrapped cheese in a ziploc bag to protect it from the dry environment of a refrigerator
Listen to Steve's interview to explore a seemingly lost art, learn tips for protecting your cheese for your next wine and cheese party  and to laugh a little (either at or with, depending on your devotion to the cheese world) at the details of a cheese nerd's version of Comi Con.

NPR Splendid Table with Cheesemonger Steve Jones

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