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Aug 14, 2007 11:19 AM


I'm cheese-obsessed and looking for a variety of ways to cure that obsession.

I've searched whole foods upcoming classes and none of them involve cheese-tastings. I am looking for something like the cheese tastings at the Artisanal in NYC. I do realize I am not in NYC, but are there knowledgable people doing tastings in Austin?

Also, I'm interested in working with cheese. I want to learn by doing -- whether that is as a cheesemonger or a cheesemaker, I am not picky. Anything like that available in Austin?

And for those of you in the potential "know" -- is there anything I should be studying or learning to have an "in?" I'm pretty knowledgable in the basics of cheese, but I'm itching to know more.

Anyone know why there aren't any stand-alone cheese-shops in austin?


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    Visit the website of our very own internationally recognized dairy in nearby Dripping Springs.

    Or get thee to one of our local restaurants in the above link and share Austin's love affair with Queso

    1 Reply
    1. re: scrumptiouschef

      No, no queso for me....I mean, I love queso, but right now I am looking for a much snootier version of cheese. I want cheese classes, I want giant wooden platters of stinky cheese with impossible-to-pronounce names, I eventually want to be behind the scenes and I want to know what I need to get there. I am going to check out pure luck -- hopefully they have a cheese making class there that will get my goat.

    2. Hey meetmeat: I remember reading that Central Market is having an international beer and artisinal cheese tasting sometime next month but i believe the cost was $50 or so and of course these are pairings, not just the cheeses on their own. If this interests you, you might call and check it out. I much prefer the cheese section at CM (N. Lamar) to the one at WF for some reason... I think it's because there is one cheesemonger there (olive skinned bloke with glasses and [French Algerian?] accent) who gets really excited about the cheeses. I remember recently I was looking for a particular goat cheese and somehow he and I ended up in a little convo about the glories of Humboldt Fog. Those are the kinds of things that make me want to buy cheese from them. The people at our WF (So. Lamar), in my experience, seem like they're just there to do a job. Now I was at WF in NYC in June and that was a different story: their separate tasting room was amazing and the staff was much more enthusiastic about cheese than the staff I've encountered at Austin WF, especially considering this is their headquarters! But I digress. Best of luck to you meatmeet. I hope you are able to find/create some great cheeese in Austin. And don't forget to hit up central market for their Canadian Oka; havent found it anywhere else in town for some reason and it is top notch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: femmenikita

        Thanks so much -- this is exactly the kind of info i'm looking for!

      2. Off the OP's topic, but still on fromage, does anyone know where to find Hooligan? I had some at a restaurant in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and this thread reminded me that I need to look for it here. Guidance appreciated.

        1. Of course, you might also consider picking up a book and giving it a whirl at home. Some of the fresh cheeses aren't too complicated (of course, getting it right is challenging) and that could be a starting point. Might want to take this over to the Home Cooking board though ... and you could also check out this thread I came across on another (unmentionable?) site:

          I actually think I might prefer the cheese selection at Central Market over WF too (as mentioned above). I recently tried their own fresh mozz which was also really quite good.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Nab

            Two suggestions: First, go to the Sunset Valley farmer's market on Sat morning. There are a few artisinal cheesemakers usually there including sometimes a Pure Luck booth. Maybe they'd invite you out to participate at the farm.

            Second, in addition to Central Market N. Lamar, check out Grapevine Market off Anderson Lane just east of Mopac. They have a smaller but exceptional cheese dept and very enthusiastic and helpful staff. Don't know if they offer classes or not on cheese. I'm assuming a cheese only retailer simply wouldn't make it in Austin - need wine or other specialty foods along with it.

            1. re: boshtx

              If I were to ever do a retail shop in austin, it would be a specialty shop, though likely not wine.

              Good idea about grapevine and I'm reminded that specs has a good specialty section as well.

              1. re: boshtx

                I second that--SSV market has a cheese booth every week from Full Quiver Farms. They have some great firm cheeses as well as soft spreads. I like the white cheddar and the colby.
                Pure Luck Farms has not been there this year, much to everybody's dismay. But the good news is that their time off is for a good cause--instead of selling off the baby goats this year, they have decided to keep them and enlarge their herd. Therefore, there is less milk for cheese since the babies are drinking it. (This FFA moment coming from a city boy w/ no knowledge of animal husbandry, so please forgive me if this terminology is inaccurate.) I believe they are still filling orders for WF and CM. I look forward to their return to the market.

            2. Austin Homebrew Supply carries cheesemaking supplies. The guys there are very down-to-earth and friendly when I go there with homebrewing questions, so maybe hit them up with your cheese curiosities.