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[photos] Guerilla cheese party - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-11-09 05:24
Subject: [photos] Guerilla cheese party
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Mood:hungry now
Music:my tummy gurgling
Tags:cheese, conventions, new york, photos
It doesn't take a lot to get me onto cheese. After the Australian party in New York last week, a number of us went to a lovely Italian dinner under the intrepid leadership of ellen_datlow. I sat between Margo Lanagan and her highly entertaining husband, and in the course of the meal we discussed cheese — specifically sottocenere al tartuffo, which is pretty much my favorite cheese. (I believe it came up in connection with a comment on how different people taste truffles differently.) I told Margo I'd try to drum her up some truffle cheese in Saratoga Springs.

Fast forward to Thursday of that week, and me in the Putnam Street Market (which is not on Putnam Street, but I digress). I went to the cheese counter and began speaking cheese, whereupon someone appeared who spoke cheese back to me. It was sadly agreed that there was no sottocenere to be had in Saratoga Springs, but they did have this lovely Oregon chevre with a truffle infusion, truffle tremor, and would I like to have some? $150 later, I was all set.

The next problem was venue. This cheese party was not on programming, and had never been on programming. I was fine with it being open, but didn't want it to be so open it became a buffet line. We switched venues about four times before the magnificent dave_gallaher (to whom congratulations are in order, btw) got us the use of the swag room for an hour or so. Sharon Sbarsky was very kind and patient about that, as well.

With logistical leadership from lasirenadolce and a strong assist from klingonguy, set up ensued.

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DSC_8445

The cheeses are, in order, Colton-Basset Stilton, Truffle Tremor, Drunken Goat, Urgela and Pierre Robert. Only the truffle tremor and the urgela were new to me. The truffle tremor has no goatiness at all, and a very nice mellow flavor with a bit of contradictory kick to it. The urgela was a strong, borderline stinky yet firm cheese — I'm used to the stinky cheeses being softer. Strongly recommend the truffle, recommend the urgela if you want to experiment just a little without going crazy.

We also had a drop-in cheese from icedrake and katfeete, who are professional cheesemakers from Meadow Creek Dairy called Whitetop. I have lost my notes on the name, but I believe it's Whitetop. Semisoft, a young cheese they're still working on, very buttery and pleasant. They want to bring it to a lighter texture, more like a triple cream, before they start marketing it. Test cheese or no, it went over very well with the cheese partiers.

To round things out, Team Oz was able to provide some very nice wine, courtesy of I'm not sure exactly whom except that Garth Nix and Trevor Stafford were involved.

Then people showed up.

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Including the guest of honor.

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The moral of the story? Cheese can happen any time, any where. And I always do like a well rinded convention experience.

All photos courtesy of lasirenadolce. As usual, more at the Flickr set.
Post A Comment | 17 Comments | Share | Link






When life gives you lemmings...: Food... transcendant food.
User: danjite
Date: 2007-11-09 14:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Food... transcendant food.
N.V.

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Jay Lake: food-ribs
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-09 14:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:food-ribs
Non-vintage?
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When life gives you lemmings...: Karl
User: danjite
Date: 2007-11-09 14:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Karl
Originally envy, has morphed into envuii, due to duration.
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Lawrence M. Schoen
User: klingonguy
Date: 2007-11-09 14:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're too kind.

I did not so much "assist" as hang out. But it was quite enjoyable.
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Deanna Hoak
User: deannahoak
Date: 2007-11-09 14:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I absolutely loooooved that Pierre Robert. I have to figure out where to get some.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-09 15:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you have a Whole Foods (or similar yuppie store) near you, inquire at the cheese counter. Also, look for upscale specialty grocers. Sometimes wine shops have a cheese department as well.

You're looking for a "French triple cream." There's a handful of cheeses rather similar to Pierre Robert, but they all fall under that description. Always wise to ask for a taste before you buy a new cheese, though. Triple creams can vary a lot in texture and the degree to which ammoniac undertaste may be present.

Edited at 2007-11-09 03:05 pm (UTC)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-09 15:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you!
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J.K.Richárd: Aroo?!
User: neutronjockey
Date: 2007-11-09 16:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Aroo?!
mmmm professional cheese making peoples...aahhhhh...
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Mister Eclectic: satan claus
User: howeird
Date: 2007-11-09 19:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:satan claus
What a friend we have in cheeses.
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klages
User: klages
Date: 2007-11-10 16:59 (UTC)
Subject: I Used to Teach Sunday School
Cheeses love me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little rounds or wedges long;
Some are weak and some are strong.
Yes, cheeses love me.
Yes, cheeses love me.
Yes, cheeses love me.
The Bible tells me so.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-10 17:19 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I Used to Teach Sunday School
Milking it for all it's worth, I see

"I don't care if rains or freezes
"Long as I got my sack of cheeses
"Hanging on the dashboard of my car
"...two, three, four"

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desperance
User: desperance
Date: 2007-11-10 18:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you like truffled cheeses so much, are you equally fond of the truffle on its own, or is it the combination that works so well for you? (I'm a total truffle hound, me, but am aware that mileage varies...)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-10 21:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The truffle as an accent works quite well for me, but it's like a lot of the hotter peppers -- I don't much care for the taste as the key ingredient, or all on its own.

Have you tried sottocenere al tartuffo? Worth going to some trouble to lay your hands on, as you're a truffle hound.

Edited at 2007-11-10 09:32 pm (UTC)
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desperance
User: desperance
Date: 2007-11-10 23:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I haven't, but I am seeking as we speak. I know some good cheesemongers.
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desperance
User: desperance
Date: 2007-11-10 23:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
PS - I am also a hot pepper fan. I grow my own chillies (when the cats don't destroy 'em), and they're all at the hotter end of the range. I guess I like primary colours, urgent flavours. Grate a little truffle over a plate of buttered pasta, and I ask for nothing more...
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-11-10 23:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sure. I put habanero in my potato salad sometimes. But I wouldn't eat it on a plate, yanno? Different strokes, etc.
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