What's a Feminist Cheese?

All About Women (and Cheese)

March is Women’s History Month and this Sunday, March 8 is International Women’s Day, so we’re all about celebrating women. (I mean, as a strong woman myself - and being married to a man who likes a strong woman, we’re all about celebrating women every day!) Some fun facts about women and cheese:
  • Historically in Europe, men tended to the animals (“outside work”) and women did the cheesemaking (“inside work”). There are a few exceptions (ie for some large format and transhumance cheeses made in the mountains) but this was the common practice
  • Did you know that the modern artisanal cheese movement in the United States is accredited to women? Mass-produced and big factory cheese was a result of wartime cheese and industrialization. Inspired by the back-to-the-land movement of the 70s, individual women across the states were on similar paths for different reasons, and would lovingly come to be known as the “Goat Ladies of the 80s,” including Mary Kehn of Cypress Grove (California), Allison Hooper of Vermont Creamery, and Judy Schad of Capriole (Indiana) to name a few - all featured cheesemakers whose products are today represented in our case
  • A majority of Central Texas makers are women with goats. Because they’re smaller, goats are generally easier to manage and milk than cows and allow for a quick entry point into the world of cheesemaking. Amelia Sweethardt (Pure Luck Farm) carries on the work her mother Sara started and taught another local maker Chrissy Omo (CKC Farms). Additionally, I don’t know a single local producer who doesn’t love her goats. In fact, that’s why Lisa Seger (Blue Heron Farm) and Jenna Kelly Landes (Bee Tree Farm) are even in the cheesemaking biz. For the love of goats!

...and Women and Wine!
For the month of March, we’ve partnered up with the awesome team behind local nonprofit Wonder Women of Wine, with a mission to advocate for gender equality in the wine industry. (Check out their 3/28 & 3/29 conference in Austin: Empowered Women Empowering Women!) To that end, we’re making sure to especially highlight the wines in our shop that are made by women or are women-owned. Come look for this logo, and you’ll know you’re supporting strong, talented women. We’re also providing tasting samples (and will happily pair with cheese), so don’t be a stranger.
Our feature for today is Big Salt made by winemaker/owner Ksenija Kostic House at her sustainable and organic Oregon winery, Ovum. This white is a blend of predominantly Riesling and Gewurztraminer grapes. It’s fresh, dry, and breezy with notes of sea spray, spices, rich citrus, and stone fruits. Pair it with any of our fresh seasonal Chevres arriving in the house or even a funky washed rind. (91 points on Wine Enthusiast!)

Wine & Women Numbers (from WWOW):
Women represent 60% of wine buyers in the United States
Women make up half the workforce but account for only 5% of chief executives at the largest companies
In 2015, female somms reported earning an average of $7150 less than some that were male.

Our Cheese Around Town
Two of our restaurant partners are featuring all women-made or women-owned cheeses on their cheese plates for the month of March. Visit either of the District Kitchen locations for a board featuring selections from Michelle Buster (Forever Cheese), Sue Conley and Peggy Smith (Cowgirl Creamery), and Susan Rigg (River Whey Creamery)

Starting this weekend, you can also visit either Easy Tiger location for a female-focused cheese board, including Jessica Little of Sweet Grass Dairy. While we’re at it, congrats to the Easy tiger team for landing a nod in the March 2020 issue of Southern Living Magazine! We love partnering with them for their cheese plate selections, and also getting to sell their awesome breads in our Shop! Nothing beats a baguette, a plate of fantastic cheeses, and a beer in their beer garden downtown on 6th St, or on the patio at their LINC location!

Female-Focused Events
Check below for upcoming events but while we’re on the theme of women, I wanted to shift focus to a couple of women-focused events that may have escaped your radar. (Click bold titles for more info and ticket purchasing links.)
Bubbles, Brunch, and (Goat) Babies at Bee Tree Farm - come out for a beautiful day to meet the maker Jenna, cuddle her hardworking and lovable goats, and eat her cheese (paired with Corkless Wines). Three opportunities: April 11, May 2, or June 6

Women Behind the Wheels - a special tasting of 7 different cheeses made by iconic women in our industry (and pairings will be female-focused too!). Event on Tues 5/12 from 6:30-8:30 pm

Mother’s Day Brunch - back by popular demand! Skip the long lines, busy service, and typical options. Mom will feel super special at a table with up to 6 of her loved ones. Note: we only have 4 tables; so this is an easy way to feel exclusive and control the cost. Each table is $250 and includes cheese, charcuterie, a bread assortment, multiple pairings, and one complimentary bottle of bubbles. You can have 1-7 guests in total. Two seatings available on Mother’s Day Sun, May 10: 10 am or 12:30 pm

Cheese-y Bus Tour - On Sat, May 9, we’ll be celebrating our last #CheeseyBusTour of the season, and I’m working on convincing my own mother to visit from North Texas. Consider this a perfect gift on Mother’s Day weekend to spend a day with mom on a bus eating cheese, drinking bubbles, visiting a farm and playing with goats, having a cheese and wine pairing, visiting a brewery for a cheese pairing, and concluding it all with red wine and chocolate pairing. It’s from 10-4.

March is looking pretty booked up, but we have a handful of opportunities left to get into a class. Otherwise, check out our full events schedule here, noting we’ve posted through June! And remember, you can always view all our upcoming public classes or book your own private tasting. (Click on any bold title for more information!)
Fri 3/13 (6:30pm) - Raclette Interactive Experience (1 table left!)
Sun 3/15 (6:30pm) - Raclette Interactive Experience (1 left!)
Sun 3/22 (6:30 pm) - Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
Tue 3/24 (6:30 pm) - Booze Washed Cheeses
Sun 3/29 (12:30 pm) - A Day in the Life of a Farmer - 2 tix avail (PREV SOLD OUT!)
Sun 3/29 (6:30 pm) - Cheese 101: The Seven Styles of Cheese
Sat 4/11 (11 am) - Bubbles, Brunch, and (Baby) Goats at Bee Tree Farm - 7 left!
Sat 4/18 (10 am) - Cheese-y Bus Tour: Pure Luck Farm & Dairy and then to Revolution Spirits
Sat 5/9 (10 am) - Cheese-y Bus Tour: Pure Luck Farm & Dairy and then to Family Business Beer

Stay Cheese-y!
John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team