Summertime CheeseI feel like there’s no more iconic summer salad than a Caprese. With its striking contrast of red tomatoes, white mozzarella, and green basil, the dish visually screams “I’ve got Italian roots!” as it mimics the Italian national flag. In fact, this dish most likely traces back to the island of Capri. One story is that an Italian created the dish as a patriotic tribute post WWI. Whether dressed simply with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, drizzled in balsamic vinegar, dotted with pesto, or subbed for burrata, the variations on this fun classic are limitless. We’ve even tried delish versions with peaches and other fruits. Do you have a favorite twist on this classic? Or is the straight up original your best bet? I think it often comes down to the ingredients. If I have fresh, amazing ingredients - like this Calabro Mozzarella di Bufala, I’m often happy letting them simply speak for themselves.
No, it’s not an oxymoron. While we know many folks turn to cheese as a comfort food in the cooler months, we love the refreshing summer dishes you can make with cheese. In fact, when you don’t want to stand over a grill or heat up the kitchen with the oven on, a simple fresh salad with added cheese for protein is just what you need for a complete (and healthy!) meal. So yes, eat cheese in the summer! I mean, many of us Texans eat queso year-round, right?!
It’s also blackberry season, so I’m all over this summer greens, radishes, edible flowers, blackberries, and blue cheese dish. We dressed it with blackberry balsamic vinaigrette (from Con’Olio ingredients), but it would also be perfect with a homemade honey vinaigrette too…. Because honey and blue cheese? Yes! If you like a bit of an earthy blue, opt for award-winning Caveman Blue, made by Rogue Creamery and aged in limestone caves. For a little more tangy bite, try Carr Valley’s Billy Blue, a goat milk blue cheese that has flavors reminiscent of a feta.
Small Tasting Events
A couple weeks ago, we had a local culinary program come in for a private tasting experience to learn more about cheese. Yes! We do private tastings - both in our cheese house or at your local destination. Here's what Chef Currie had to say after bringing his students in for a tasting with Nicholas.
I just wanted to send a personal thank you for hosting the students and myself today at your shop. Your presentation was fantastic and you delivered some very important and useful information about the world of cheese. The students were very impressed and they are also very thankful for the knowledge you gave them. I also learned a lot about cheese and am very thankful to have had the opportunity to taste and enjoy the selections you provided. Our Department Chair also enjoyed the selection and she was very impressed with the thought and effort put into the presentation. Again, thank you very much for the tour and tasting, and we look forward to partnering with you in the future, introducing your brand to our students and incorporating the gained knowledge into our courses. P.S. The Stilton version you have in the shop is awesome. It tastes better than the English version. You will see more of me in the retail shop in the near future. ~Chef Bryant Currie, Chef Instructor, Austin Community College
In Person AND Virtual Cheese Tasting Events
Whether you want to book your own private tasting event or you’re just craving experiences outside your house and want to attend one of our in person public classes, we’re happy to oblige! Click here for the full schedule of events or for more info.
Sun, Aug 1: Preserves & Cheese Pairing
Tue, Aug 3: Cheese & Gelato feat. Dolce Neve
Thu, Aug 5: Chocolate & Cheese Pairing
Fri, Aug 6: An Antonelli’s Date Night
Sun, Aug 8: Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
Tue, Aug 10: Soft Cheeses: Rich, Gooey, Delicious
Tue, Aug 10: Balsamic Vinegars & Cheese Pairing AT Con Olio (Bee Cave)
Wed, Aug 11: Rose Wine & Cheese Pairing with the Wine & Food Foundation
Thu, Aug 12: Taste of France
Sat, Aug 14: Bubbles & Brunch AT Bee Tree Farm - SOLD OUT
Sat, Aug 14: An Antonelli’s Date Night (late night seating at 8PM)
Mon, Aug 16: Cheese & Wine Dinner AT Juliet Italian Kitchen (Arboretum)
Tue, Aug 17: Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
Wed, Aug 18: Chocolate & Cheese Pairing
Fri, Aug 20: Conservas (tinned seafood) & Cheese Pairing
Sun, Aug 22: Honey & Cheese Pairing
Fri, Aug 27: Pickles & Cheese Pairing
Sun, Aug 29: A Cheese-y Kids’ Class
Mon, Aug 30: Cheese 101: The Seven Styles of Cheese
If you’re still in need or want of virtual experiences, we’ve got you covered! Virtual event ticket details are here. You’ll pick up your plate via curbside or have it delivered. (If you’re outside of Austin, consider our Cheese Class in a Box on demand tasting experience that we can ship nationwide!).
Our Cheese Around Town - Suerte
“Homemade masa reigns!” That’s a core belief at Suerte (at E 6th & Chicon), and their tortillas are the perfect accompaniment to their Eggplant Al Vapor - beautiful steamed eggplant topped with smoked tomato salsa and Caldera Espana, a Spanish-inspired smoked cheese from River Whey Creamery in Schertz, TX.
Stay Cheese - y!
John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team