FIRST Charcuterie 101 Class Tomorrow
It’s International Women’s Day!
And we’re all about celebrating women. Did you know that, of the 400 offerings we carry at any given time, we’d estimate that over 50% are made by woman-owned businesses? It’s honestly not all that surprising since the modern day artisanal cheese movement in the USA is attributed to women and the hard work of the “goat ladies of the 80s”: Judy Schad of Capriole, Alison Hooper of Vermont Creamery, Jennifer Bice of Redwood Hill, Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove, and more. Add on the fact that many artisan cheesemakers are family-run operations, and there’s often a woman at the helm (or co-helm). And in Texas - especially locally in the Hill Country - the cheese game is strong with makers Amelia Sweethardt (Pure Luck), Jenna Kelly-Landes (Bee Tree), Chrissy Grundy (CKC Farms), Susan Rigg (River Whey), and Claudia Ragels (Goatilicious). So, plan to celebrate today by ordering a selection of woman-made/run/owned cheeses, jams, honeys, pickles, chocolates, wine, cider, beer and more. (And thanks for supporting our 50% woman-owned biz too!) Photo taken circa 2014 from our Texas Goat Milk Cheese class, featuring from left to right awesome Texas cheesemakers Amelia Sweethardt, Anne Jones, Jenna Kelly-Landes, Lisa Seger, Chrissy Grundy, and Adriana Omo.
Charcuterie 101 Tasting (DAIRY-FREE)
Tuesday 3/9 - This is our FIRST EVER class to offer that doesn’t include cheese. I know. Big moment. But we know we’ve got lots of customers with diverse eating preferences, allergies, and habits - and we’re honored to still be your go-to source for artisan foods...even if you don’t eat cheese! So, help us sell out this class and show us you want us to keep it on the calendar once a month. Now to my soapbox (which I try not to get on a lot!). Social media is rampant with excitement for “charcuterie boards.” … Which is great for us! But! Folks are using the word incorrectly. And while we’re all about making the selection and enjoyment of artisanal foods non-pretentious, we’re also about education. Join us for this virtual tasting to find out what charcuterie actually means, what it refers to, the history behind these preserved foods, and - most importantly - tasting a lot of them! We’ll explore different preservation techniques from salting and dry curing to canning (or tinning), various methods (whole muscle to ground), and more. The tasting includes 7 meats, as well as mustard, an assortment of pickles, bread, and Spanish quicos corn nuts. Whether you like cheese or not, this is a fun deep-dive class into the world of cured and preserved meats. Purchase your tickets here by midnight tonight!
Booze Washed Cheeses Tasting
Thursday 3/11 - From cider to beer to wine to various liquors, cheesemakers often choose to wash, bath, or soak their cheeses to impart distinct flavors and aesthetics. From iconic to lesser known cheeses sourced both domestically as well as from across the pond, our selection even includes a cheese we've never tasted before. Hope you'll join us this Thursday for our “Facebook Live with the Antonellis” virtual tasting. Get tickets here now, pick up your plate via curbside on Thu from 1-5, and join us at 6pm on Facebook for the live, interactive tasting. If you can’t join at 6pm, you can watch the tasting at your convenience anytime after 7pm when the video loads on our Facebook page (but note we still recommend enjoying the plate the same day we make it for best taste). Includes 7 cheeses, 7 pairings, and other bites.
In The Shop - NEW
We’re thrilled to welcome a new offering from local makers Visca Charcuteria, operating in Wimberley. Their Wagyu Bresaola is melt-in-your-mouth, “our kids almost ate all the samples before we could get a bite” approved. Maker Eugene Watson sources the whole-muscle wagyu beef from Bucker Creek Ranch in Dripping Springs, cures it in a Visca spice blend for two weeks, and then air dries it for sixty days. Many of those spices are sourced from Texas. The result is a bite that transports you straight to Italy but is full-rooted in Texas. While this is delicious straight up, you can also enjoy it with parm shavings, arugula greens, and a drizzle of EVOO and fresh squeezed lemon. Other offerings from Visca include their Tuscan Salami (seasoned with red wine and toasted wild Calabrian fennel) and Chorizo Español (with white wine and Spanish Pimentón).
Eugene worked in finance “forever” and, realizing it was “re-wiring” his brain in a terrible way, he decided he wanted to work with meat, quit his job, and moved to Europe to learn how to make authentic charcuterie. He spent time butchering and curing in both Spain and France, brought back what he learned, and launched one of the first USDA-certified meat curing facilities in Texas. Today, Eugene’s favorite part of the job is meeting other Texas producers and seeing their passion at work and the fruits of their labor. Although he’s exhausted after a day spent hauling 50-60 pound meat lugs all day, he’s reinvigorated the moment he gets home to his wife Kate and his little boy Lawson greets him for some “goofy” run around time. If Eugene could correct one misconception about what he does, he kindly asks that folks not interchange “salami” and “sausage” since they’re two different things. (Want to know the difference? Take our Charcuterie 101 Virtual Tasting tomorrow!)
MARCH Virtual Tasting Events!
Local: These "Local" tastings are for Curbside Pickup only. 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:
Our Cheese Around Town
Check out Matthew Odam’s recent coverage of Carpenter’s Hall in The Statesman and Austin 360 and claim that their “tortellini in Parmesan brown butter is one of Austin's best pasta dishes.” And as if that wasn’t enough to entice you, Chef Hernandez and his team were some of the awesome folks feeding our community when resources were non-existent during the ice-pocalypse. Even more reason to order take out!
John & Kendall
And Your Awesome cheesemonger Team.