Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Magical Stuff that Makes Blue Cheese Blue


(Best fungus ever) 
This is the stuff, baby- Penicillium roqueforti.  It came in the mail yesterday from Leener's and I'm thrilled to my toes.  

When I get back from this weekend's 10th annual Weston A. Price convention (this year in Chicago!), I'm taking the plunge and making Roquefort.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

9 comments:

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Yummmmm!!!! I went to the WAPF last year. Wish I'd spent more time scarfing samples. Some good info, only went for one day. Lucky you to go for more. Have a great time :~)

chaiselongue said...

Oh, that's really exciting! The original Roquefort is made near here and I love it. Good luck!

The Bunns said...

Now listen .. we need/would like your studied opinion in maybe a later blog post.

Is this "sustainable, whole earth, go green, eat local, eat your yard, organic, permaculture, etc." food producing business really going to work? Is it close to a cxritical mass? Can it create incentive for more people to do/use/care about it? Are today's farmers on board? I mean like Michigan farmers where many are family from several generations ...

Kateri said...

Let me know when it the Roquefort is ready. I'll coming over to visit! =)I'm glad your are back in the blogging world. I've been enjoying reading about cheese making adventures. I did some of that when I lived on my parents farm. I wasn't anywhere near as scientific as your are, though and mostly winged it. I did make some pretty tasty hard cheeses, though. I know it's a lot of work, but very rewarding.

Paula said...

The Baroness de Penicillium Roqueforti. She gives cheese the blues. The Roquefort blues.

ilex said...

Bunns, I think/wonder about this all the time (that is, when I'm not thinking about cheese).

The crux of it is, we'll have to. We're running out of cheap, easy-to-come-by oil, and it's the lifeblood of our modern global food system. It won't be easy to relearn the old ways, but we got by without petroleum for millennia and still created some pretty impressive civilizations with local foods and local economies. We'll figure it out.

A surprising number of Michigan farmers are on-board. And the small centennial family farms have been leading the way back to sustainable practices.

I can write ad-infinitum on this topic-- but I have to pack for Chicago.

eatclosetohome said...

Bunns - I was at a meeting of farmers and environmentalists a couple years back and it's ironic. The small, hereditary farmholders in Michigan would often like to farm without chemicals, because they're so expensive and trash the waterways. But they think they have nothing at all in common with environmentalists - in fact, they feel attacked by them. So asking them if they want to contribute to sustainable, diverse, local farming practices often gets you a stony eye and a cold shoulder. Even though these folks want nothing so much as to be able to continue farming, sell their products for a living wage, and maintain good soil and water quality.

The folks who *talk* about local/sustainable in those terms are usually new farmers, and there's precious little cooperation and knowledge transfer among the groups. One organic farmer I know tells a story of his neighbor farmer (Nth generation on that land) who wanted to have a man-to-man talk about the "problem" occurring on the organic farm: women, in overalls, in plain sight from the country road. Shameful!

Emily

Rabbits' Guy said...

Well, to keep this thread going a bit more ...
yes, Emily, I have seen that here too. I live in the Skagit Valley in NW Washington - some of the richest farm land in all the world. Small - 80,000 acres. Most of the farmers are multi-generational - many from the original settlers in late 1800's. Lot's of specialty crops and seed production. We (citizens, farmers, local politicians, kids) all want "Eat Local", for example. Makes so much sense on one hand. But these farmers grow hundreds of acres of berries or potatoes or peas. They have to sell their product all over the world - there aren't enough mouths in all of Washington State to eat their stuff. So I see them so conflicted. We should "Eat local" but the people "over there", who they must sell to, shouldn't. And the "Eat Local" slogan - so powerful - applies to "us" but not to "them" and thus becomes sort of a joke or a mantra for a passionate few or a plea from a pandering politician or a survival need from 1/2 acre carrot farmer. Crimmeny - I want my morning banana. We don't grow them.

There is no question that here, if we are not succesful, the wonderful great Skagit flatlands of fertile soil, edged by Puget Sound and the majestic Cascade Mountains, will be developed into great walled retirement centers just like the old well-irrigated citrus groves and cotton fields around Phoenix have become. The pressure of money is just too great. The battle of "Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland" is being fought day by day, hour by hour here. It needs now solutions.

IMHO the solution is to find, encourage and use every possible way for a farmer to be financially successful as a business person, short of mass subsidy. Give the person with 1/2 acre or the one with 500 acres lots of opportunity, incentive, and "Real" purpose, not partially true programs.

The Bunns said...

RG - goodness - calm down.

Somebody help that man ....