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Cheese Blog

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The Cheese Blog

 

Holiday Cheese Bling: My Favorite Stocking Stuffers

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Winter brings on an urge to invest in cashmere socks and sparkly Christmas trees, to light menorahs, and attend festive classes. And, gifty feelings! Happy holidays to my readers and cheese lovers out there! It's time for cheese gifts.

Below are a few things I'd love to find in my stocking this year. Some cheese bling picks are for my San Francisco Bay Area crew, and some go further and wider into the cheese world and are order-able online.

This holiday season, stay warm. Excuse yourself to watch extra puppy videos and sip mulled wine if Aunt Doris starts to ask you about your career choices at the holiday table, and eat well. This is Cheese Season, after all.

Much love and happy holidays

Cheese Bling & Gifts, Holiday Style

San Francisco Bay Area Local Picks

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June Taylor's Mince MeatSo classic, so English, so amazing with cheddars. June Taylor's Still Room is open extra holiday hours this week. She also makes the best preserves in Berkeley and Christmas cakes with hand-painted wrappers. Still, my fave for the holidays is Taylor's mince meat. Tastes just like what my Aunt Becky used to make. Gift with a farmhouse cheddar like Fiscalini, Westcombe, or Montgomery's.

Baby Tomales Farmstead Atika

Baby Tomales Farmstead Atika

Tumalo Farms & Tomales Farmstead Cheese & Farm Tour

Tomales Farmstead is not only one of the top new creameries in California, it is one of best places to visit in Marin. Seriously, this place is gorgeous. Baby goats, a stream running through the property, and an inspiring view of the green hills that will make you forget about any lack of water in our beautiful state. But the best part may be cheesemaker Hadley, who walks you through the farm, tells you which goats are named Corky or Peanut, and tell the stories of the cheeses she and the Tomales team make on site. Pair with a visit to a local winery.

Cheesemaking 101 & Wine: Two Cheeses, Cultured Butter & Wine

Saturday, Jan 28th, 2:00-5:00pm, Berkeley, Potliquor

Yes, this is my class! From pressing fluffy curds into fresh cheese to churning your own cultured butter, learn the basics of cheesemaking and culturing in this hands-on, 3 hour, lively class. After a breezy cheesemaking we’ll make queso fresco, fromage blanc, rich butter, and sample what we just made with wine!

Or.... private cheese classes. Hit me up. I make pretty gift certificates.

Beyond the Bay Cheese Bling & Gifts

Books: These books are written by some of my favorite people and cheese buddies, ever. Congrats to them and their books this year!

Photo by Noah Feck for Art of The Cheese Plate, below.

Photo by Noah Feck for Art of The Cheese Plate, below.

The Art of the Cheese Plate by Tia Keenan

The photography by Noah Feck and Tia's recipes for cheese condiments (matcha marshmallows, anyone?) puts this one in my top 10 cheese book list. Here's a link my interview with Tia, which asks her to pair cheese to famous people like RZA.

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The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Drinks

Cocktails. With Cheese Pairings by blogger and author Tenaya Darlington. Enough said.

The Oxford Companion of Cheese

An ultimate cheese reference book. A joint project written by amazing people in the cheese industry like Dr Catherine Donnelly and Mateo Kehler. Kind of like a mini-encycopedia of cheese.

Other Things to Wrap

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Cool cheese boards.

A tree slice, above.

A tree slice another way.

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Or a round cheese plate from Brooklyn Slate, circle.

Cheese plate edibles

Honey: For your honey and cheese lovers out there, Formaggio Kitchen has an amazing selection of the golden stuff, like this Wild Thyme honey from Crete.

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 Cheese & Chocolate 6-Month Club, Saxelby Cheese

Saxelby Cheese is a legendary shop, and they don't hold back in the gift-ables either. Chocolate and cheese is the new.... gourmet Friday night?

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Talbot & Arding's Fruit and Nut Loaf

For all the soft cheeses in your life. Pair with a young goat cheese or rich sheep's milk like Abbaye de Belloc, or an Alpine like Comté. Or, just toast and top with cultured butter. Also gluten-free.

Cheers!