It's Not You It's Brie

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Vermont, Ground Cherries & Cheese Con.

The Erb girls saying hello. There are prolific writers, like Jeanne of Cheese Underground or Tenaya of Madame Fromage, who write as many great cheese blog posts as Prince produces albums. They write them while working their normal job(s), maybe while raising a child or two, and traveling. They even write two or more posts during the crazy busy American Cheese Society Conference (I'm pretty sure I saw Jeanne write one during ACS while explaining the merits of Canadian poutine to me, slicing cheese with one hand, and shaking the hand of a cheesemaker with the other). I'm a little jealous.

Me, eh, I'm a slow writer. My blog gets a little upset with me when it hears that I'm going to be traveling. It knows that I'll forget to call it or text it every night to tell it how much I adore it, and the posts will slow down to one a week, or less. We've agreed that this is a issue we need to work on in counseling, but in the meantime, "It's Not You, it's Brie" readers, I'd like to share a little of my trip that was keeping me from you.

I spent the last weeks of July and the first two weeks of August traveling around Vermont and Montreal. Vermont, to interview cheesemakers for my book, and Montreal, to eat massive amounts of foie gras and cheese, and you know, maybe hit up the ACS conference while I was in town. I had a blast. I met some new people, went on play dates with some old ones, and went to one ACS session where I tasted six different cheeses made by nuns or monks. And then I got tired.

I wanted to share a few photos from some of my favorite places and people I visited in Vermont and Montreal. Much more to come.

Kathleen Cotter of The Bloomy Rind with Twig Farm's girls.

Kathleen Cotter of The Bloomy Rind and I visited four cheesemakers, one of them was Michael Lee at Twig Farm, in an area of Vermont that Lee called "almost Appalachian." We followed Lee and the goats around and tried to understand what Lee was saying while he was moving a mile a minute and we kept tripping over tree roots.

Cheesemaker Michael Lee of Twig Farm

The next day we headed to Doug and Deb Erb's place, where we were introduced to some of the friendliest, forward Holstein's I've ever met.

The Erb girls saying hello.

An Erb heifer working the scratching brush.

The backyard of the Lake View Inn, where we stayed while visiting Jasper Hill Cellars's cheesemakers.
Of course, while in Montreal, we had to hit up the markets. Montreal has some of the biggest open air markets outside Europe. And just like in Europe, you'll also be spoken to in a foreign language (Canadien français!). The stands and the offerings were unbelievable. Turkish candies, French pastries, cheese, organic blueberries, ground cherries, spring rolls, pineapple mint popsicles....

Heather the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Ari of Zingerman's marketing it up.

Ground Cherries, a northeastern stonefruit.

Tiny organic blueberries from a lake a hour outside Montreal

Rachel and Amy from Lucy's Whey in New York, a lovely girl from Forever Cheese, and Lance of Scardello's in Dallas.

Lance, with a handmade pineapple-cilantro market popsicle.

Wild morrels at the market.