Cheese Louise

Local flowers July 12, 2015 18:22

I get really miffed when I go to a supermarket and blossoms are stuffed in plastic and suspended in time in cold temperatures - and goodness knows how far a journey the flowers took to get to Sarasota. They're not local. So I set out to find someone out there who grows flowers locally, and happily I discovered Lindsey Easton. You'll see her flowers at the shop fresh on Thursdays and Fridays, just in time for the weekend. 

Lindsey's poseys are Grown, Gathered, and Styled by her. They range in price from $12-$15, and when you purchase local, just like any of the products sold in small batches, you're supporting a movement of change.  


Here's a great article about Lindsey from Grower Magazine

A Passion for Open Pastures
| Anne-Marie Hardie
>> Published Date: 5/29/2015
Childhood for Lindsey Easton was partially defined by the beauty and wonders of the outdoors. She has fond memories of visiting her grandparent’s dairy farm, which was surrounded by 500 acres of both farmland and open fields, and her own childhood home set in the country. Growing up in Ohio, for Lindsey, farming was a regular part of life. Like many of her childhood friends, Lindsey’s high school job was working for a local family, where she helped both in their greenhouse and local farm stand. It was here that Lindsey began to learn about all aspects of growing and farm life. 

With an eye for beauty, Lindsey majored in art in college with a specialization in interior design. She begin her career applying techniques in how to create beautiful homes, and with a booming housing industry, Florida was the perfect place for this. Despite her love for interior design, Lindsey was dismayed by the fact that more and more Florida ranches were being sold to make room for new construction and subdivisions. 

“It really wasn’t until I moved away from Ohio to Florida and was surrounded by concrete that I found that I missed the agriculture,” said Lindsey. 

 Now with two children of her own, the call to reconnect with nature has become even louder. In a world that’s increasingly become master planned, Lindsey wanted to create a space where nature thrived. Her dream was to create a rural area that would serve to reconnect both her own family and her community to a natural living space. Instead of lamenting about the lack of green space in her community, Lindsey took action, converting a portion of her 20-acre property in Wimauma, Florida, to grow cut flowers.  

Lindsey’s hope was to provide her community with a selection of flowers that were increasingly being brought in from abroad. Most of the cut floral industry has moved overseas, limiting the selection to varieties that can survive over 1,000 miles in a cardboard box. Lindsey wanted to offer her community flowers that may have been planted in “your grandmother’s garden,” but that much of the population has forgotten because these flowers are rarely seen.  

The cut flower farm, L. Easton and Co., is really a family affair. Her husband Kenny’s full time job is as a firefighter, but on the days that he’s home, he provides much needed man power. While amongst the beds, 3-year-old Alden tours his toy dump trucks and 6-year-old Ammarae proudly helps plant the larger seeds. 

“They understand what we are doing. Now it’s just a matter of showing them that this is our lifestyle,” said Lindsey. “It takes constant work, but for them to see these things blooming that they helped plant, I think that’s worth its weight in gold.”

For Lindsey, choosing to grow cut flowers was a perfect fit pairing her interior design education with her love of horticulture. 

“It’s a good marriage between the cut flowers; they still allow me to be creative, with the colors and textures and all that,” said Lindsey. “But I can still instill an agricultural farming childhood to our children.”

With a climate that allows yearlong growth, Lindsey has two main growing seasons, beginning seeds in February and October. Currently, the entire crop consists of annuals, including sweet peas, dahlias, delphiniums, anemones and snapdragons. To compensate for the tropical rain, everything is grown in a raised bed and planted in landscape fabric. This fabric not only suppresses the weeds, but allows Lindsey to quickly figure out the spacing requirements of the plants and have a more accurate estimate of yields. 

In addition to the annuals, the Easton family is beginning to add woody plants that will be used as cuts to add both unique foliage and blooming branches to the bouquets. Lindsey’s hope is to add a cutting orchard that will include several trees unique to the Florida landscape such as olives, kumquats and persimmons. 

Local is key, particularly since the cut flower industry in Florida is sorely lacking. 

“It has kind of made it a challenge for me because I would love to bounce some ideas off of people that are in my growing zone, but they are not there,” said Lindsey. Instead she had to be resourceful, joining associations like the ASCFG  (Association of Specialty Cut Flowers Grower), where a recent conference in Georgia helped connect Lindsey to a supportive community of growers. 

“The association has connected me with a group of female farmers, that have been very helpful to bounce ideas off of,” said Lindsey. 

The learning curve in the first year was steep, where Lindsey not only had to learn the needs of the plants, but how to adapt to the unique climate of her Florida home. Equipped with several questions from how to get taller plants to controlling the bloom time, Lindsey has begun the journey of learning the ins and outs of cut flower growing in Florida. 

“It’s blood, sweat and tears without a doubt. Farming is hard work, but if you want that lifestyle, you have to keep going,” said Lindsey. 

With a population that seems to be expanding exponentially, Lindsey hopes to maintain that sense of a small farming community within her family’s backyard. Today, L. Easton and Company’s cut flowers can be found in the Tampa Bay farmer’s market and a few specialty shops. Lindsey’s hope is to expand her farm to be able to supply additional local florists and get her foot into the whole foods market. She also dreams of her farm becoming that go-to place for either a nice day out or an escape from the concrete. 

An artistic creative person, Lindsey would love to see the farm expand to include a shop where she could not only sell fresh cut flowers, but other items that depicts that homestead lifestyle. GT

We're Hiring March 05, 2015 16:24

Do you love cheese, dream about cheese, then we'd like to talk to you. Please no calls or drop ins. Please don't be in touch unless you have read the following and understand all that it might mean. We're a specialty cheese shop located in sunny Sarasota in our 3rd year, in a highly seasonal town. (No snow in Florida in the wintertime!)

We're looking to bring on a key member of our staff to do some cheese-mongering with us. Before you read any further, you have to be able to work Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays, and an occasional evening when we have a cheese class. You'll also be able to pick up shifts if people need time off. So we're looking for a pinch hitter who will help out as needed and be cheerful about it! Please don't be lactose intolerant. Here's who you have to be -- crazy passionate about cheese and you have to love food, and want to know where it comes from.

You have to love people, and want to treat our customers like royalty to help take the intimidation away from gourmet. You must be enthusiastic so that it spills over to the customer. You have to understand that we are in the customer service business. You must not have any kind of attitude, entitlement issues, and limit the use of "like" (as in -- "this cheese is like, really, like good") to once a day. You can be a little quirky. Maybe you loved art history, or wrote poetry instead of handing in your algebra homework? Maybe you didn't know where to fit in and you're still looking for that place to thrive? Maybe you're a hipster? You can have tattoos, but not ones all over your face that might scare our customers. You can also be a total geek nerd. You must be clean. You must be organized. You must love to keep things clean and organized. You have to feel comfortable in your own skin. You need to be able to take directions easily, and cheerfully. And you must follow through. You must play well with others.

You must be a good listener and not talk too much. You must be able to take direction. It's hard work and you have to be able to work hard. You need to be a story teller and want to talk just the right amount about cheese, small batch artisan products. You have to be flexible. You cannot be political on the job. You can't be late, or have a history of calling in sick with silly excuses. We've heard them all before. All of them. You have to be curious. If you don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese, you must want to learn. Please don't be annoying, surly, or needy. It goes without saying you have to be honest, and love to help people.

We are not interested in people who are prima donnas or dons. If you have a tendency to look for the blame in others, then we won't get along. If you are sweet, kind, happy, quirky, creative, curious, tidy, outgoing, have smarts -- then you're the one. If you love reading about food, cheese -- then you're the one. If you get excited about new restaurants, chefs, food blogs, farms, cook books -- then you're the one.

Here's a bit more -- We're looking for someone who can lift up to 25-30 lbs. Someone who is energetic, diligent. If you dabble with hard drugs, don't even think about trying to get one by us, you must be drug free. If this offends you, I am sorry, but we might not be a good fit if it does. You HAVE to be able to work on Saturday as a requisite for working with us. You'll have a set schedule every week tailored to your and our needs. Experience in retail, and/or restaurants food service desirable. We'd like you to be proud of your appearance and want to come to work, all tidy and put together. We're a stickler for food safety, so you have to be too. You have to be able to stand on your feet for hours at a time. You have to like being in the kitchen, or behind the counter.

Former cheese experience would be excellent, but we are happy to train you. We're a small locally owned business, this is not a negotiation, it's a pretty straight forward job posting. We can promise you a respectful and safe workplace. We can offer you a nurturing environment where you can learn and grow. We're a small business, not a franchise. We'll train you. We'll find your talents. We are fair. Kind. Happy. Making lots of money should not be your motivation for applying for this job.

Training period starts at $10+ an hour. Send me a resume, or a couple of paragraphs about you, along with details on the last three to four jobs you've held. Basically tell me who you are and why this cheesemonger job would interest you. Don't call us please, we are quite busy chatting with customers. Or cleaning. Thank you!

Life of a Cheesemonger, What a Year Has Brought Me September 25, 2014 15:50

Cheesemonger AngelaWow!  What a difference a year makes!  Since my journey began last June my cheesemonger status and experience has sky rocketed!  I know I've spoken of it much on social media (first time via blogosphere) but my attendance to this years American Cheese Society's Annual Conference completely struck my heart.  

The trip was made possible by my Cheese Leader, Louise Converse first and foremost.   Along with many contributors to which the trip would have been but a bus caught the following year.  To everyone I am extremely grateful.  I was served experiences that have enhanced my confidence behind the counter and beyond. My once terror stricken 101 classes, where I would be nervously approaching the attendees hoping they wouldn't ask me what rennet was is now but a memory.  

I research, I learn, I love.  It's hard not to embrace such a world and not want to share it with those who grace our shop or our classes.  The education I have received while working at Artisan Cheese Company has flipped my world view on cheese.  

We are a group of strength and passion, lifting the artisanal cheese making world to it's highest priority. I know that sounds very "cheese superwoman" but if the apron fits, people. The shop is approaching it's 3rd year, which in Sarasota speak means season.  This means the crisp fall morning wind will become more of a constant and with that comes new customers to share my passion with. New cheeses to handle with care and curiosity.  It's been real as a cheesemonger…real delicious and my real life. Cheers to the coming months.  

Hope to see you soon! :)

Photographed: Me, myself and the glorious Bonne Bouche from VBC.  Ash ripened loveliness that becomes extremely spreadable as it ages.  A good mouthful indeed!  Yeasty sweetness with just the right amount of goaty tang.  Heaven you are, pure heaven.

Willoughby From Cellars at Jasper Hill June 04, 2014 09:27

willoughby, the cheese of cheeses. Louise said it right when describing our newest soft cheese inhabitant. "They're like stinky marshmallows dunked in butter." ~Louise Converse, owner Artisan Cheese Company This beautiful example of a washed rind cheese has reappeared through the Jasper Hill Creamery in Greensboro Vermont.  Production was spun to a halt due to a creamery fire in 2011 at the creator's Ploughgate Farm.  With Marisa Mauro's blessing, the cheese is now aged and sold through the Cellars at Jasper Hill and as always, we are extremely happy! For those of you who are still warming up to the stinkdom that can and almost always is a washed rind, Willoughby takes you by the hand and gently introduces you to brevibacterium linens (think cheeses the color of Florida sunsets).

Aged 6-12 weeks using pasteurized cows milk, this little button will be a sure winner on any cheese plate.  Right now, Willoughby is in complete palate balance.  Tasting notes are not spiking, it's an even buttery ride.  We love it! Pairing fun begins with a light red wine, saison or simply just a cheese knife ;)

RICOTTA! May 11, 2014 21:49

Screen shot 2014-05-11 at 9.45.24 PM  

I first made ricotta in my humble kitchen in Limerick. Gravitating toward simple recipes, with only a few, easy-to-find ingredients, it came as a surprise to me that I could make cheese cheaply and often.

As a grad student, living on €50 or less per week, food became both a burden and a pleasure. I learned how to be thrifty in the grocery store, often times walking to three or more shops in one day because I knew where all of the cheapest veggies, meats, spices, you name it, could be found. And though most of my money went to providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself, cooking daily became a release; a giant, happy exhale after a hectic day of class and oftentimes inclement weather. One of my biggest joys was feeding home-made food to my roommates, testing out new recipes, and introducing some of my favorite comfort foods from home to tongues which would find the taste unfamiliar. However, somehow, I have a hard time recalling anyone but me eating the ricotta. That is probably because I would eat it so quickly after the last little drop of whey drained from the fluffy curds, nobody else even noticed its existence.
This ricotta shape-shifts between appetizer, dinner, breakfast, dessert, snack, midnight spoonful. It smells like buttered popcorn when it's on the stove, and cools down to become thick, yet remains moist.
We use whole Dakin milk, and organic cream and buttermilk. It's important to us that the milk, the main staple of this recipe, comes from a local, sustainable farm. Eating food which comes from our community is not only great for that community, but it nourishes the environment, as well as our bodies.
I smile at the memory of opening my fridge in Limerick and seeing happy little jars of white curds, begging to be spread on pizza dough or eaten with fruit. And when I brought a small jar of the stuff to Louise and Kiera one Saturday morning, I had a feeling that good things would happen. And now my ricotta can be yours to enjoy, too.

Hunkadora from Prodigal Farm May 06, 2014 16:02

hunkadora from prodigal farm. One of the notable highlights of cheese mongering (thus far) has been knowing when a certain cheese, seasonal or usual suspect, has reached it's ultimate aging window.  I have found myself, on numerous occasions, sampling a cheese and although enjoying it's youthfulness, I secretly in my mind of minds...wait for it's slow break down. Right now, after about a week or almost two the Hunkadora form Prodigal Farm has reached it's sweet spot.  The fudge like paste still exists yet the rind in all it's ash, molded glory has begun transcending .  The cream line, which is formed by the rind breaking down the fat and protein in the paste, is heaven all it's own.  This causes the cheese to mature, already forming it's own opinion and ready for college. You'll find the Hunkadora resembling Selles-Su-Cher, they've tossed around this familiar recipe and created something brilliant, tangy and creamy.  Late Spring and early Summer is in the air and so is Prodigal Farm.  Kathryn Spann and Dave Krabbe, through their years of beginning and now perfecting, have warmed our cases and our hearts.  Their love of land, farming and cheese making is tastefully tangible. See you at the shop!

Asher Blue Cheese and One Delightful Pairing May 01, 2014 14:47

Asher Blue Cheese + Shotwell Candy Co. Asher Blue Cheese + Shotwell Candy Co. Lately I've found myself sweetly surprised by cheese and pairings.  At heart, I'm a purist, who would like nothing more than the cheese to do the talking (wink wink Louise). Yet last week, our Taste of the South cheese class rendered me speechless. 

We had gotten to our last cheese of the night, Asher Blue from Sweet Grass Dairy located in Thomasville GA (one of my favorites).  I'm not sure how I had one salty caramel left, but I did.  So I thought what the heck, let's marry these two and see what happens. At first, I tasted...then my eyes widened.  Everyone must know what I had done! "The blue is fantastic with the caramel", I softly suggested.  Suddenly other cheese 101'ers agreed...this was a match made.  The grassy saltiness from Asher danced with the depth of the Shotwell Candy Co.  Salty Caramel.  It's  as if I wanted the caramel to be stuffed with blue cheese.  They brought out the best in each other. Both being from the south they represent tradition, memories and serious palate appeal. 

Who knew after so many years I would find such an artisan friendship in our little shop on one southern night.  There are of course some pairing "rules" but I find the best way to go about it is trusting what your taste buds tell you.  I still find myself surprised after 11 months of mongering, and for me, the best is yet to come.


Bonne Bouche from Vermont Creamery September 18, 2013 08:52

bonne bouche

If  the words "farm to table" are ever in the air, my eyes widen and my heart warms.  I think of seasons, vegetables in dirt and happy farm animals.  This highly hard working world magically finds it's way into our kitchens or perhaps my dreams (insert dream bubble here...) a long natural wooden table with simple plates, jar candles, wild flowers and cutlery.  Nature is not only our landscape but now our personal friend...a nutrient rich friend. Vermont Creamery is, as they say "Artisan Cheeses from Farm to Table" and not just one but 17 family farms; each yielding 150 happy goats (on average) and all operating under the movement to improve local agriculture.  Inspired by European cheese making, Co-Founders Allison Hooper and Bob Reese learned long ago that "quality originates at the source".  This is why we love them dearly.  They're a living, breathing movement that we're supporting...and it's delicious! Bonne Bouche meaning "good mouthful" is a French style award winning (circa 2011, gold) ash ripened cheese.  Starting with pasteurized goats milk, Bonne Bouche goes under slow curd formation where it's then hand  ladled into molds, drained and sprinkled with salt and ash.  From here the aging process begins...the process that not only gives us that geo-wrinkly rind but also the earth yet bright tasting notes.  Aged 10 days before it's sent out then up to another 80 thereafter.  Anything with that large a delicious window is A-OK in my book.

I particularly enjoy Bonne Bouche further into it's aging.  I love the breakdown, the soft liquid cream line is all sorts of  heaven...almost dessert-like.  I'm not sure what my life was before Bonne Bouche but I see a bond that will last many years to come!   See you at the shop!

Life behind the counter... August 18, 2013 17:20

My first post as a cheesemonger (in training).  

Life behind the counter if you will.  My world in artisanal cheese culture has expanded so much in the past few months that it's only fair to start writing about it.  You'll find my likes, loves and everything in between.  There's so much to learn and taste, keeping it all to myself would be a mongering tragedy.  Learning combined with palette exploding moments are what hooked me from the moment I tip toed into the shop. The monger team embraces everyone with such knowledge and enthusiasm.  This is how it began for me as a customer  and what I hope to bring to the cheese board...err, table.  I couldn't be happier sharing it with Louise, Parker, Kira and Megan.  Cheers!

cheese boards. 

Cheese knowledge and Recipes.

 lil bo' sheep.

..."how long have you been here?" January 29, 2013 17:13

we get asked this all the time by our customers. Because we are so consumed with life at Artisan Cheese Company, we are always so surprised that people come in all day long and tell us that they didn't know we're here. Or, "when did you open?". For those of you just stumbling upon us, we opened at the end of March in 2011, so we are nearing the end of our first infant year. We are loving being in Sarasota and we love where we are on Main Street. But it seems it's a bit hard to find us. So here are some key pointers -

We're across from Living Walls, on Lower Main Street. So if you know where Epicure is stand on that corner and look towards Marina Jack and you'll see us a bit kitty corner across the road.

Look for the Red Ship's Funnel. It's a real ship's funnel, an icon that has been on the roof line of Sarasota since the Cunard folks had a sales office in our spot.

There's always parking at the Palm Avenue Garage. And it's Free!! Thank you Sarasota.

Or, there's usually two hour parking around the corner on Gulf Stream in angled parking. In fact, I've never not seen a parking space available there.

Or if you're lucky you might find a parking space open right out front of the shop or across the road if they're not being squatted by employees of some of the near by businesses (sorry, it's a pet peeve, especially since we have such a fabulous free parking garage steps away!).


Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company December 06, 2012 00:20

David & Jo Clarke of Upton England make this traditional English cheese much in the same manner as it was originally done in 1745. Sparkenhoe Red Leicestershire has a soft silky rich creamy mouth feel with a nutty quality and just a hint of the grassy pasture you'll recognize from some of the best farmhouse Cheddars. It's rich in flavor and honors its legacy. I wanted to bring a cheese to the case that would be a center piece on a cheese board, something that would bring a pleasant mouth feel and would appeal to just about everyone. I think the Sparkenhoe Red Leicester is it. Sparkenhoe is made on a Leicestershire farm in England, near where my family comes from (middle of the country). This is the real deal and nothing like the red leicesters you'll find squeezed into plastic at your local supermarket. Sparkenhoe is an old Leicestershire name meaning gorsey nob. It was the name given to the old medieval one hundred area and as the farm is situated in the middle of this area it was named Sparkenhoe Farm. The last time Leicester cheese was made on a farm in Leicestershire was in the 1950’s by a Mr Shepherd of Bagworth. He was a dairy farmer and was said to have made the finest Red Leicester Cheese and supplied all the local butchers and cheese shops. Over 50 years on this age old art has been revived by Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company making the aptly named ‘Sparkenhoe’ Leicester. Come in and ask for a sample from any one of our mongers.

Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company December 06, 2012 00:20

David & Jo Clarke of Upton England make this traditional English cheese much in the same manner as it was originally done in 1745.

Sparkenhoe Red Leicestershire has a soft silky rich creamy mouth feel with a nutty quality and just a hint of the grassy pasture you'll recognize from some of the best farmhouse Cheddars. It's rich in flavor and honors its legacy.

I wanted to bring a cheese to the case that would be a center piece on a cheese board, something that would bring a pleasant mouth feel and would appeal to just about everyone. I think the Sparkenhoe Red Leicester is it.

Sparkenhoe is made on a Leicestershire farm in England, near where my family comes from (middle of the country). This is the real deal and nothing like the red leicesters you'll find squeezed into plastic at your local supermarket.

Sparkenhoe is an old Leicestershire name meaning gorsey nob. It was the name given to the old medieval one hundred area and as the farm is situated in the middle of this area it was named Sparkenhoe Farm.

The last time Leicester cheese was made on a farm in Leicestershire was in the 1950’s by a Mr Shepherd of Bagworth. He was a dairy farmer and was said to have made the finest Red Leicester Cheese and supplied all the local butchers and cheese shops. Over 50 years on this age old art has been revived by Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company making the aptly named ‘Sparkenhoe’ Leicester.


Road trip to Great Hill Blue July 08, 2012 11:43

I recently had the good fortune to visit the Great Hill Blue cheese-making adventures of Tim and Tina Stone. Tina and Parker (mister artisan cheese) grew up together in the small town of Marion, tucked away in Buzzards Bay. When Parker and I met 12 years ago, I lived in Cambridge MA and he lived in Marion. I'd trek the 60 miles to Marion every Thursday evening for the weekend, where we'd spend much of our time in the kitchen creating culinary feasts for friends. I don't remember a time when we did not have Great Hill blue on the table at these gatherings, and Parker always, always proudly shared the story of how his childhood friend is now making Great Hill Blue cheese. We like to say that we fell in love over Great Hill Blue, because we did. We keep this cheese in our case not just for the nostalgic narrative, but because we genuinely adore this cheese. It's easy for us to sell something that we can stand behind. Great Hill Blue has been made in Marion by the Stones since 1996 as they discovered that there was no raw unhomogenized blue cheese being made in the US. They changed that. They started off using their own Guernsey heritage cows with a line traceable back to Tim Stone's great grandfather. The Stones now bring in their milk from neighbouring Jersey cows - (including the Shy Brother's Farm milk). The flavor is rich and complex, slightly dense, with what we feel is the perfect amount of blueing. It's both crumbly and mouth creamy. We love it with honey, or a preserve, or just plain on its own. Thank you Tim and Tina for showing me around the cheese house.

shy brothers make great cheese... July 05, 2012 22:06

a couple of weeks ago I trekked back up to MA for three whirlwind days to take care of some appointments. I flew into Boston, rented a neat little Italian Fiat (keeping it mind for our next car purchase, or a delivery car for Artisan Cheese) and dashed down to Buzzard's Bay to see friends and to visit two cheesemakers. I stayed in Mattapoisett at our friends Neil and Nancy, a lovely evening like so many others we've spent together. I watched Nancy create effortlessly, and with ease, a perfect early summer dinner. Before we tucked in Nancy and I visited Shy Brothers Farm in Westport. I had a small window to get there, despite wanting to stop ten different times to breath in June. It was a perfect afternoon/evening. Postcard landscapes. I really want to bring in products that are unique to Sarasota, not for the novelty factor, but because we want to provide shelf space for the amazing cheese makers and artisan producers. We want to tell their stories. Barbara is a Southern lady living in MA, and she oozed all that I love about the South - comfort, charm, and good sensibility. And she's passionate about Shy Brother's cheese. Barbara and her husband Leo have been working with the Shy Brothers (Kevin, Arthur, Norman, and Karl) for some years now. The Santos brothers - two sets of fraternal twins - are really Shy, thus the name "Shy Brothers". Barbara Hanley met us at the Cheese House in Westport, just down from the Shy Brother's Farm, where we tasted Hannibels and Cloumage, which I plan to bring in to the case as soon as I can figure out how to get it down to Florida.
Cloumage™ is a fresh lactic curd made from our cows’ milk at Shy Brothers Farm. When cooked, Cloumage™ has the texture of a baked ricotta. Salad—potatoes—salmon—tarts—all flavors are enhanced by the zip of this curd.  The lactic tang of the curd marries well with both sweet and savory flavors.
Barbara loves it simply with fresh cracked pepper or fruit. We think you're going to go crazy over this curd. We're already thinking up ways to add it to our favorite pasta dishes.
Hannahbells are tiny artisanal cheeses hand made. Some folks call them thimbles. The French call them “boutons de coulottes”, or “trouser buttons.” The brothers call them Hannahbells, after their mom.
They're just so lovely that they'd bring drama to any dish. They're classics and we can't wait to bring them to Sarasota. We have to wait a while for the weather to cool down as these magical buttons have a short shelf life.

that was then, this is now May 17, 2012 20:52

a lot of people have asked us what used to be in our cheese shop space. That's a good question, and it's hard for us to imagine what it all looked before as we've been living breathing the shop for what feels like forever (7 weeks). We found the space back in October 2011, and started the build out in earnest on December 26. We knocked walls down, moved walls, added walls. We changed plumbing, added plumbing. We completely upgraded the electrical as it was sorely in trouble.

We love our shop. We hope you will too and that you'll come to think of it as your neighborhood cheese shop where you not only drop in for cheese, but you'll stop in to grab a coffee, a scone, a chat.

Cheese gives me the Blues! April 25, 2012 15:57

The first day I first started working at Artisan Cheese Company, Louise had me write down the phrase, "I love cheese, especially stinky cheese!".  While the former half of the sentence is true for me, the latter half was certainly not so true.  Still, this did not stop Louise from feeding me several types of blue cheese over the course of the day.  I tried the Stilton Colston Bassett from England, the Bayley Hazen Blue from Vermont, and the Asher Blue from Georgia.  No matter where it was from, I could not enjoy it, even if I tried!  By the end of the day, when I finally thought I'd had enough, Louise gave me one more bit of blue, but this time, it had honey on top of it.  Finally, I began to understand the mystique of that pungent, moldy cheese! Now, it still isn't my favorite type of cheese, but I've learned not to judge a cheese too quickly.

harvest singing April 23, 2012 23:38

if you don't know Harvest Song, stop in soon and pick up a jar. Harvest Song are crafted from fresh, hand-harvested fruits. We love anything that is small batch, and when something is so obviously cared for as Harvest Song jams, we fell in love.
Harvest Song Ventures, based in New York, is a partnership of James Tufenkian and Sylvia Tirakian is a specialty food company that imports fresh, natural gourmet food products directly from Armenia. We cater to discriminating consumers who demand convenience and natural ingredients without sacrificing taste. More and more consumers are educated about health, fitness and the environment. They’re looking to satisfy their passion for fresh, exotic foods with choices that can help them stay young, slim and healthy.
Pair these Walnuts with a Stilton, (try our Colton Basset, it's our favorite and we bring it in from Neal's Yard). Or pair the Tea Rose Petal with Brie de Meaux, a really lovely combination of flavor profiles. Enjoy.

Coupole - an American original April 11, 2012 23:26

Don't know Geotrichum? Geotrichum candidum to be exact. Well, it's a mold used in the maturation of washed and bloomy rinds. It's what helps a bloomy bloom, ending up in sweet loveliness. Coupole, from Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery, in Websterville, VT, have mastered the science as evidenced in COUPOLE. Look at that brain-like wonder? The paste is sweet, aged, dense with mild goutiness.

Aged Goat Cheese

This American original is named for its likeness to a snow-covered dome shape and is one of the creamery’s signature geotrichum rinded cheeses. In the landscape of cheese varieties, it stands out as a distinct goat cheese. Coupole is made with fresh pasteurized goats’ milk from family farms that has been coagulated and shaped. Coupole’s center has a dense texture and fresh, milk taste. Coupole’s allure is attributable to the intriguing contrast between the strong ripened flavor of the rind and the delicate fresh taste of its interior. The wrinkled coral-like appearance makes for an impressive centerpiece on any cheeseboard or melt on top of a perfectly grilled steak.

such a pretty cheese April 11, 2012 00:17

We are in love with Landaff. So much so that we talked it up to our customers and we sold out in ten days. But have no fear, it's on the way back in. The geniuses at Jasper Hill Cellars  have partnered with Landaff Creamery. We will work hard to make sure that Landaff is always in our case.
Doug and Deb Erb manage Landaff Creamery on Springvale Farm in Landaff, NH. Their farm has show-quality Holstein heifers and the Erbs are held in high esteem by other New England dairy farms. Their closed herd gives very high quality milk and provides an ideal raw material for their cheesemaking operation. Landaff has a rustic natural rind and a semi-firm paste showing subtle aromas of cave and grass.  Its balanced complexity harmonizes a bright buttermilk tang and savory brown butter notes. Landaff is versatile enough for the kitchen, as it melts exceptionally well, retaining a smooth body and indulgent character. Milk Type: Raw Holstein Cow Rennet: Traditional Rennet Style: Natural Rind Tomme Aged: 4-5 months Size: 8.5 lb Wheel Availability: Year-Round

jammin April 10, 2012 22:42

We love that there are folks out there who are passionate about fruit, so much so that they jam pack oodles of fruit and not much else (perhaps a bit of sugar) and cram it into jars that end up on our shelves. Pair the jam with goat cheese, or a sharp cheddar (we have those) or just savor it on toast in the morning. We'll be adding jams all the time. Old fashioned goodness. We've introduced you already to Bonnie's Jams. And we'll go more in depth in a post in the next few days. But have you tried INNA JAM (get it, I'm in a jam!) INNA JAM makes fresh, seasonal jams from organic fruit grown within 100 miles of their Berkeley kitchen. Their single-varietal and spicy pepper jams capture the vibrant, unique flavors of each fruit at its seasonal peak. INNA jams are made in small batches and are delivered by bicycle! Although for Artisan Cheese Company, they allowed us to have them shipped in by a slow moving truck.

stichelton - you say that three times fast! February 24, 2012 22:30

I trekked to Formaggio Kitchen in the South End of Boston sometime last year. I knew that they carried some Neal’s Yard cheeses, and I had a hankering for a bit of blue. I know that I can’t get Blue Monday in American, which is such a shame. (note to self!) So I settled for a wedge of Stichelton. It’s made from unpasteurised milk (Cow) with animal rennet. The cheese is a newcomer – five years ago it came on the market, but it’s made with the bacteria that was used in making now banned unpasteurised Stilton. (thank you Listeria) The cheese, hails from a dairy in Nottinghamshire – think Sherwood Forest, run by an American Joe Schneider in collaboration with Randolph Hodgson. But enough of provenance. To the cheese. It’s creamy and lingers long in the mouth. Not as shocking as one might expect from a blue, still sharp, but rich and pops with flavour.