Cheese Society Sale
The annual Cheese Society's show and competition was this last week in Austin. Earlier today they sold off all the remaining leftover cheese for $5/lb. There were only about 20 people in front of us when they opened the flood gates, and about 200 people there when we left a half hour later. I headed right for the high-end stuff - most of which was gone in 15 minutes.
I didn't mention it here beforehand since I wanted it all for myself. Tough luck, Eh? ;-)
Some of the cheeses are only labeled by their competition numbers. I didn't know or don't remember what a few of them are, but I will find out as I open them. My list of goods goes like this:
Delice de la Vallee (Cow + Goat)
Show Goats Triple Cream Brie
Motzarella Company's Fresh Motzarella (Dallas)
Bellwether Farms Crescenzo
Bellwether Farms Carmody
Du Village Lady Laurier d'arthabasta
La Moutonniere Cabanon
Cowgirl Creamery Organic MT Tan Triple Cream
Saga Blue Brie (two of those)
Marin French Cheese Company Petite Blue
Marin French Cheese Company Petite Triple Cream
Smoked Chardonay Cheddar
Cypress Grove Ripe Goat Cheese w/Ash
Meyenberg Smoked Jack Goat
Vermont Butter and Cheese Co. Coupole
Roundous Tripple "Fest"(?)
Firefly Farms Buche Noire
Westfield Farm Classic Blue Log
St Pete Blue
76 TO 01
37 KF 14
164 FC 02
And one that was completely unlabeled
I have a lot of cheese to eat. It''s going to be a tough week here at Casa Sqwertz.
(Hatch chiles are $.88/lb at Newflower and the CostCo-sized salami is for all that cheese
They were not cutting any cheese down and wrapping. What you saw is
what you got. And many of the cheeses were 10... 20... and even 30+
pounds. My take was a mere 14lbs for $70.
Austin needs to host more specialty food shows.
1327 entries this year.
Overall Best In Show
Rogue Creamery Rogue River Blue
2nd: Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk
3rd: (tie) Carr Valley Cave Aged Mellage & Consider Bardwell Rupert
I picked up 11 lbs of cheese and 4lbs of butter.Managed to grab a nice hunk of best in show and 2nd place but couldn't find the two that tied for 3rd.
I've been on a goat kick of late so I concentrated on goat butters and cheeses.I wish I could've scored some of the ash rolled cheese I saw in one of sqwerts pics.
It was a nice scene.I hadn't seen an antique credit card slider in awhile.That's the reason the line to buy stretched to well over a hundred people long at times.
I felt bad for the worker/volunteers.They had a cash line that about 4 people utilized but you had to stand in line with the plastic people to get weighed before you could take advantage of having a pocketfull of greenbacks.
I made the mistake of actually hanging out for a bit at the coffee shop at ground level of the Hilton before the show.I usually only get by there once or twice during Southby but it was handy.
It's now the official hangout for the cabbies that line up like crows on a power line outside the hotel.They were all standing around hustling their balls and spitting.Occasionally hollering at the top of their lungs to one another as cabs came and went.
I broke out my laptop to play some music.You know it's bad when some hard banging hillbilly music on wdvx can't drown out the buffoons.
Not sure where the Cheese Society[it's out of Kentucky] will be having the event next year but given the rapaciousness of the buyers this morning Austin wouldn't be a bad choice.
Hope y'all made it by there and scored some fine cheese.
Next years festival is in Seattle.Making travel plans now...
More news from the fest:
A few highlights:
In the “American Originals” category:
1st place, cow, Roth Kase USA (WI), Valfino (in a tie for 3rd, Vermont Ayr by Crawford Family Farm/Cellars at Jasper Hill)
1st place, goat, Carr Valley Cheese Co. (WI), Cocoa Cardona
1st place, sheep or mixed, Carr Valley Cheese Co. (WI), Cave-Aged Mellage. (Carr Valley: 2nd place for Marisa and 3rd place (tie) for Shepherd’s Blend.)
First place in clothbound cheddars (aged less than 12 months) West River Creamery’s Cambridge Classic Reserve[Vermont]
Beehive Cheese Company’s (UT) Barely Buzzed won the best flavored-with-things-that-aren’t-peppers cheddar category.
Meadow Creek (VA) Grayson, 2nd place in Washed-Rind, cow
Firefly Farms (MD) Bella Vita, 2nd place in International-Style, goat
Sweet Grass Dairy (GA) Kelle’s Blue, 2nd place in Blue-Veined, goat
Hidden Springs Creamery (WI) Farmstead Feta took 1st place in Feta, sheep .
Surfing Goat Dairy of Maui, placed 3rd in the flavor-added marinated category for their Maui Secret Sicily.
Minnesota’s PastureLand Cooperative :butter (2nd place salted, 3rd place unsalted)
1. Wisconsin, 25 first place, 92 total
2. California, 14 first place, 47 total
3. Vermont, 14 first place, 33 total
4. Oregon, 6 first place, 22 total
5. New York, 4 first place, 19 total
did anyone else go to the tasting last night? it was absolutely overwhelmingly amazing! cheese freakin everywhere! i went in w/ the intention of scoping things out, pacing, etc. but everywhere i turned, i wanted to try something. if you didn't try it then and there, there was a good chance you might not be able to find it again. or it'd be forgotten. i fully expected to be mezmerized by all kinds of pugent blues and goats, and i was. but i was surprisingly drawn to the mascarpones. i guess given all the strong flavors around, i ended up craving something creamy and subtle. another good one was Sweet Fire, a fruity goat cheese with a very defined burn at the end. i didn't even think about trying the butters, i bet they were good though. and after we had reached the breaking point, we still walked around so many things that we hadn't even thought of seeking out (fresh mozzeralla? damn, why didn't i come across that earlier on!). at the end, one of the cracker vendors was unloading all of their shelf-stable products. we ended up walking out with some blue cheese walnut crackers, a jar of orange blossom honey, a jar of Figcoco (cocoa flavored fig jam, yum!!!!), a crystalized ginger-dark chocolate bar, a log of salami, couple packs of serrano ham. overall, there was so much more cheese than anyone could ever taste. i
Went to Sat eve festival. Life-long Californian, but was very proud to see Texas so well represented. Disappointed, though, that our "premier" food markets (WF & CM) have such a slim selection of Texas cheeses. This seemed to be the view, as well, of talented Texas cheesemakers at the festival. Would that this meeting would go some way to improving the situation.
sqwertz: don't hesitate to invite guests over to your house to help you out with all this cheese. We'll bring the Cali Cab & Zin!