March Tasting Schedule!
You’re Making a Difference
(Deep breath. Where to start…) We hope this finds you as well as can be expected, especially our Texas folks, considering the events of the past week. It’s yet another one of those “there’s no getting back to business as usual” when folks are still suffering. Yesterday, I worked a water and food distribution site all day; the need is still very real, great, and heartbreaking. I had to tell an 81-year old single woman to wait in line, the same as I had to tell the dad with four girls in the car, the same as… and so it went. But. But! When we opened the gates and cars flooded in for supplies, it was also so humbling and rewarding to see our community coming together to support each other. When water ran low, I gave a personal call to my friend Dave at Rambler. And despite them making deliveries all over, they were able to do one more. And all the other water folks. And all the restaurant folks and chefs. That’s just it. Every person doing more, coming together, pushing ourselves past where we think it’s possible. If you want to get involved locally, places are still accepting donations - both monetary and supplies, as well as volunteers. If you’re afar and want to make an impact, lots of places need financial support. And thank you. Last week, we put our “Protein Packs for Neighbors in Need” on our website, and 161 of you purchased over 1000 within 24 hours. The immediate need last week was for folks with no food. Now that more restaurants are operating again and can fill that gap, we’ve started supporting those chefs and volunteer teams who are working 14+ hour days to serve others. And we intend to keep this program going, and through your - and our - combined donation efforts, giving out supplies on a monthly basis to needing communities. Lastly, if you’re in a particularly rough spot, please feel free to reach out to me by responding to this email, and I’ll see what I can do. You are not alone, and there are folks to help.
Last week wasn’t the time to chat about it (and perhaps it’s not now either) but I couldn’t let another week go by without appreciating y’all for truly helping us “Spread the Love” for our 11th birthday celebration. We donated over $2500 to 11 local nonprofits, gained over 15,000 new followers for Texas businesses, gave out 45 pounds of free cheese to restaurants, and hosted 35 customer giveaways. Our goal with our annual anniversary celebration is always to find innovative ways to live our mission to Do Good. Eat Good. While we had to make it work during a pandemic, we are so grateful for your support and participation to help us spread the love in our community.
New to the Shop
We’re always looking for delicious pairings for cheeses to showcase different flavors. We were thrilled to bring in last fall two options from Le Bon Magot. Born in Karachi, raised in Tehran, and having lived everywhere in between (from Hong Kong, to Boston, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, and more), producer Naomi Mobed was frustrated with both mainstream and “ethnic label” products. So she made her own! Both her Tomato & White Sultana Chutney and Brinjal Caponata compliment cheeses, cured meats, and conservas. Honestly, I just eat the Brinjal Caponata (pictured here) with a spoon! It features purple eggplant seasoned with cumin and curry leaves. Considered the “king of vegetables” in the Middle East and South Asia, it’s “revered in Indian folklore [and] said to attract untold prosperity and treasure.” Pair it with hard aged cheeses like clothbound cheddars or with salami. The Tomato & White Sultana Chutney is seasoned with ginger and garam masala and is delicious paired with fresh and triple creme cheeses. (Just think of it as a fun play on a Caprese Salad!) Both products are developed from heirloom recipes using natural ingredients, high-quality and seasonal produce, custom-blended aromatics and no preservatives. If the flavors don’t lull you in, hopefully Naomi’s words will: “For as long as I can remember, food has given me a sense of belonging wherever I was in the world. It was, at once, familiar and new; both, a reminder of my history and a call to adventure. My family traveled on its stomachs and wherever life’s journey took us, we embraced local customs, quickly adopting and fusing them to our own culinary traditions. Through these voyages, food bound us and enabled us to communicate with the world - to show both our differences and similarities – to help us assimilate, make friends and settle into the ever-changing landscape. From the ritual of sharing meals with friends and family emerges Le Bon Magot or “the hidden treasure.”
Announcing our MARCH Virtual Tasting Events!
Local: Ticket sales are now up and running for all our March events. From your regularly offered monthly favorites to one-of-a-kind unique events, to new topics altogether, we’ve got great offerings for those of you who have done 20+ tastings (woohoo!) and those of you who have yet to join us. You can search by class topic here or by date here (scroll down and click on the date). Questions? Check out our most frequently asked questions here.
Outside Austin: While we can’t ship you our cheese class plate, you CAN still take a virtual on-demand cheese tasting with us. Check out our Cheese Class in a Box, available for nationwide shipping in the continental USA. Each box has enough goodies to feed up to 4 folks (or leftovers for 1 person!), comes with a 10-min plating video, and an hour-long guided tasting led by John and me (Kendall). Folks can simply enjoy everything at their own leisure or take the included class. (Note that any orders made online now will be shipped the first week of January.) Current selections include:
This past week has really shown who is working to take care of Austinites (and who isn't). Show your appreciation (if you have power) and vote for them in the Austin Chronicle! Unfortunately, there's no category for specialty shops like ours - even though there are many of us these days! Take the chance to write in the category and/or we appreciate your vote for best pivots if you’ve loved our Virtual Tastings and Cheese Class in a Box, our on-demand tastings that we ship.
John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team.