Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A memory of Daphne Zepos

I was shocked and saddened to read today of the untimely death of Daphne Zepos, founder of the Essex Street Cheese Company and a leading light in the US cheese community.

I spent a brilliant day with her in New York a couple of years ago when she showed me round New York's best cheese shops including the Bedford Cheese Shop, Stinky Bklyn and Saxelby's Cheese and generously shared her knowledge of the American artisanal cheese scene.

This is a picture with Tia Keenan of Murray's Cheese, then the fromager at Caselulla cheese and wine café, which perfectly captures the spirit of the day.

There's an excellent tribute to her on the Culture cheese magazine site from Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman's.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pomi-fritti fromage Corse

Apologies, first of all for the unannounced absence from the blog. I've been devoting my energies to the relaunch of my website Matching Food & Wine and to tell the truth haven't come across much in the way of cheese to report on lately. But this is the mother of all melted cheese experiences!

It was in the unlikely venue of a Corsican wine bar and restaurant in Bordeaux called A Cantina which, as you'd expect, had great artisanal charcuterie and cheese (Corsica being noted for both). And a CHIP MENU! Including a dish, pomi-fritti fromage Corse, with chips and melted cheese.

It was at the end of a long day and the bar was packed so I failed to get round to asking which cheese they had used (lax but we were knackered) but it had a tangy edge that suggests to me it was a sheeps' cheese and a wondrously molten consistency that indicated it was quite young. You'll have to play around with different cheeses.

The potatoes they used, by the way, still had their skins on and were hand-cut and there were a few little slivers of fried ham dotted about just to add to the calorie overload. I like the three forks impaled in the potatoes which encourages you not to eat them all on your own ...

The restaurant also offered a delicious warm crumble of goats' cheese and pistachio we had to try and which I might try to recreate. Again, young goats cheese, I suspect, layered with sliced tomato (I'd be inclined to skin it first) and topped with finely chopped pistachios, possibly blitzed with a bit of flour. Served with toasted baguette. It's very rich - you need to slather it on something.

I'm going to have to get experimenting.