Episode 12: No. Cheese. ‘Til Brooklyn!

If you don’t know that I’m referencing this song– I’m taking away your 80’s cool card.

So the Bobster and I took a little trip down to that tiny city to the south for my friend Lauren’s wedding and we visited one of my bestest friends Amy and her husband Sean (and family) in Park Slope, Brooklyn for the afternoon.

Total Foodie aside…at the wedding, the wedding cake was this crazy ‘spit cake’ where cake better is dripped over a spit (like a lamb spit) and slowly rotated until the cake builds up.  It was so cool looking and uniquely tasty.  And what do you know that next week the New Yorker actually wrote a article on the cakes – weird coincidence.

A word on Park Slope.  It’s one of those ‘not known to people who don’t know New York’ stupid beautiful brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods.  If your stereotype of Brooklyn is tragically hip Williamsburg kids or burning tires in streets, you don’t know Brooklyn. Park Slope is the official yuppie land of Brooklyn (on the downwards slope of Prospect Park) filled with lesbians, young families, Heath Legder’s ex Michelle Williams and baby and Jennifer Connelly.  It’s baby central in NYC – seriously you cannot walk down the sidewalks because of all of the twin strollers (some serious late-life baby manufacturing takes place in this hood- hence the plague of twins – well not really plague – they are adorable!)

Like any good yup-tastic neighborhood there’s a fantastic foodie selection.  We choose to go to a store called ‘Grab.’  Laura, the owner was fantastic and very nice.  They’ve been open three years and carry cheese, their own homemade beer (awesome) and chocolate, coffee and other such goodness.  A lot of their stuff is locally made, which is also always good.

Laura and her staff gave us three special cheeses:

1. Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery. Oh man – this is one stanky cheese, but very tasty.  It’s a triple cream wash rind cow’s milk (from the Strauss Family Diary) cheese – super young. Like so young you need to eat it with a spoon.  We’ve had cowgirl creamery cheese before on the show – see episode 8ish for more info on the lovely ladies of the creamery in Cali.  This is Laura from Grab’s favorite cheese.  It was damn good, but soooooo smelly.  Not something for a dinner party.

2. Neal’s Yard Montgomery Cheddar  (from the UK)  They have an awesome website and even whole sheets on their cheese- here’s the one we tried’s info.  They are really less of a dairy than an wholesaler of cheese from British farms. It’s really made by  Manor Farm in North Cadbury, Somerset  – which looks just lovely to visit:

This was the oldest cheese that Grab has in the store, at 3 years.  It’s a very very tasty cow cheddar (can cheddar ever be bad?).  We all liked this one and thought it would be a good snacking cheese.

3. Rouge River Blue – This supposedly won ‘best blue cheese in the world in 2004.’ So there.   No really it was pretty darn good.  It’s made in Oregon and is wrapped in grape leaves which have been macerated in locally made brandy.  It’s was a pretty fruity tasting blue and not quite so strong.  A very good dinner party blue.   I actually had heard about this cheese from some random interwebs wandering and even was going to buy it online, so I was pretty stoked to see it at Grab.

So I’ve been thinking a bit about my desire to someday own/work in a cheese shop.  You know – the whole reason I started this adventure was to see what it would be like.  I must say 12 episodes in, every person/cheesemonger/shop owner I have met have been such awesome people who seem truly passionate about cheese and food in general.  It’s encouraging.  They all are so ready to share their knowledge and educate you about these handmade little slices of tastiness.  So a big Thank You to everyone!

I highly encourage you to find one near you, and believe me – there is one near you, you just don’t know it, and just go in and ask them to give you three interesting cheeses.

Ok, enough high horse, back to gorging myself on thanksgiving dinner…..


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