Slow Foods @ Old Soul

by Sarah on March 20, 2010

Just a quick post today. Thought I’d fill you in on that Slow Foods event I attended a couple of weekends ago. It was about local, family owned cheeseries….wait a minute, that’s not a word……you know cheese making people. The owner dude at Old Soul did a quick bread making demo which was totally pointless because you couldn’t see anything.

I like supporting Slow Foods stuff when I can afford to (sometimes they’re awfully expensive) but the Old Soul in the alley really isn’t a great locale for a large group to listen to a talk. It’s an awkward space and was really too loud and echo-ey to hear the cheesemakers.
The complimentary coffee was very good, however.

After we signed in, we were directed to take a cheese plate.  There were 3 pale yellow cheeses, some chevre and a couple pieces of focaccia.

First up, Pedrozo cheese.  These guys operate out of Orland, where they maintain their own herd of cattle and produce a few different cheeses—but all using the same basic cheese recipe.  First up was the traditional Blondie’s Best–which was named after Blondie the Cow.  Good, young and mild in flavor.

I think I’m holding the right one–the Northern Gold…..it’s hard to tell because it’s the same basic cheese as Blondie, but this wheel had coriander seeds in it, giving it a hint of sweetness.   This or the Blondie’s Best taste great on their own, but I think would be equally at home in a gratin or in a grilled cheese sandwich.

Next was their strongest offering, Black Butte Reserve.  Here’s what their website says:   “Black Butte Reserve, made only during spring when our grasses are green and lush. The intense flavors of the grasses influence the milk, which we then make into 20-pound wheels and age at least 6 months. This cheese won a gold medal for aged hard cheeses at the 2007 California State Fair”. This was my favorite of the Pedrozo cheeses.

Next was the chevre!  I like fresh goat cheese, I do, but it doesn’t usually knock my socks off.  Well, this one did.  North Valley Farms Chevre is located in Cottonwood, CA, up near Redding.  They do plain chevre, garlic chive and herbs de Provence.  I think I had some plain and some with the garlic chive.  They were so creamy, tangy and delicious!

These cheesemakers also raise their goats sustainably and with great care.  In fact, they have earned an Animal Welfare “approved” seal.  They also sell cheese at the farmer’s market on Sunday (seasonally) and I believe at Taylor’s.  You can even become Facebook pals with them.

And just a cheesy reminder….there’s only a couple of spots left in the Cheese class on March 27th!  Email me at undercovercaterer@gmail.com if you are interested in attending.


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