A Time to Come Together-

Cheers to Collaborations!
In decisively polarized times, we love reasons to bring people together over a shared experience of food. (I mean, do you recall how heated folks got over just deciding whether the dress was blue or gold?!) And it’s even better when we get to team up with like-minded businesses and people in hospitality to do what we all do best - serve you in one-of-a-kind experiences. Here are some fun, upcoming August collabs:

Tue, Aug 10 - Balsamic Vinegar & Cheese Pairing at Con’Olio (Bee Caves)
Salt. Fat. Acid. There’s a whole book on it! ...or rather, multiple. So put those book - and palate - skills to the test, and join us to find out why balsamic vinegars are truly one of the most complimentary pairings to cheese. Con’Olio owner Tabatha Conarko herself will co-lead through this tasting, talking through this history of traditional balsamics, as well as introducing fun, novelty flavors while we guide you through a Cheese 101 tasting of the “Seven Styles of Cheese.” Think summer peach balsamic with burrata….you get the idea. Other accoutrements including bread from Thoroughbred, chocolate, spanish olives and marcona almonds and chilled water are also included. Tickets and details here.

Wed, Aug 11: Rose & Cheese Pairing with the Wine & Food Foundation
Our very own Casie Wiginton, a certified cheese professional and our wine buyer, will introduce two different rose wines, each with 3 cheese pairings and complementing bites. The Wine & Food Foundation cultivates and invests in the wine & food community through education, appreciation, and enjoyment. Tix almost sold out! Details here.

Mon, Aug 16: Italian Cheese & Wine Dinner at Juliet (Arboretum)
Join us for an evening of five different courses curated by Juliet Italian Kitchen Chef, Robert Mata. Each dish will feature an artisan Italian cheese and will be paired alongside an Italian wine. Marco Sapagnini of The Italian Selection and our own Casie, CCP, will guide you through a true Taste of Place culinary experience. You'll have the opportunity to try the cheese on it's own and then incorporated into each composed dish. We can't wait to see you there! Tickets and details here.

Featured in the Shop - 1605 Manchego
We occasionally get asked, “What’s so special about a cheese shop? I can get {insert cheese name} at the grocery store.” While the response can get nuanced, the gist of it is that:
  • Our hands were most likely on that wheel of cheese TODAY - or rather, it’s precisely because we’re small with a curated selection that we can make sure each cheese sells at its best (and isn’t sitting around)
  • We cut each piece of cheese to order
  • You can taste it before you commit to it
  • Our goal is to showcase smaller producers and/or the best of the best; and,
  • It’s all about the curated selection.

By way of example, let’s take Manchego! Now, many folks are familiar with Manchego.* (If not, read below.) And you can generally get some form of Manchego at any specialty grocer. But when you’re comparing, make sure you compare apples to apples. There are many producers of name controlled Manchego. And we only carry one. We specifically curate 1605 Manchego. It's produced by Maria José at Finca Sierra La Solana, a ranch from 1878 that grows grapes and almonds and has recently returned to cheese production, milking 500 La Mancha breed ewes on the ranch. Much of the animal's feed is grown on the land, under the direction of Pedro Belmar who is also deeply involved with the cheesemaking. This is one of the only Manchegos that is made with unpasteurzied milk from a single herd and aged with an unwaxed rind by affineur Jose Luis Martin. By allowing it to develop a natural rind, the cheese flavor develops a mellow yet balanced flavor of sweet almond and spice notes that never get too harsh. This cheese is a partnership with Essex Street Cheese Co, founded by cheese legend Daphne Zepos with the mission to bring amazing old-world cheeses to the states. Instead of limiting themselves to a specific age or price, they select purely on flavor. We select for sweetness and balance, avoiding the overly salted and fiery flavors that afflict many Manchegos. The waxless rind allows the cheeses to breath; the cut cheese aroma is clean with notes of hay and almond. Enjoy the hints of meatiness and sheepy sweetness with a tannic red or dry white. Or go with a more traditional pairing of membrillo paste and a glass of dry sherry. Feel good eating it too. These folks have won the award for most humane farm (not just sheep specific) in all of Spain for the past 8 years! They have even patented a design for air quality control in their stables to ensure the health of their animals. Just an extra note to showcase our commitment to supporting quality and humane animal husbandry.)

*The most popular cheese in Spain, Manchego comes from the La Mancha region, the same area where the fictional character Don Quixote resides. La Mancha is a dry area that is great for raising sheep (and making sheep’s milk cheese!). The cheese wheels are traditionally made with the milk of 100% Manchega sheep, which do well in rocky terrain where cows cannot graze. Manchego has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), which designates that it must be made in La Mancha with Manchega sheep milk to be called Manchego. Traditionally, the wheels were wrapped in grass to create a unique weave pattern on the rind. Nowadays the process has modernized and cheesemakers use plastic moulds with a similar pattern to shape the rind. Manchego is aged anywhere from 6 months to more than 12 months. The longer it is aged, the nuttier and more intense in flavor it becomes.

Antonellis In The News
Thanks to local author Laurel Miller, Culture: The Word on Cheese, a national magazine dedicated to all things cheese, is featuring a Cheesy Road Trip in Texas this month. In Central Texas, Laurel not only recommends a visit to our shop or one of our tasting classes, but to also check out events at Bee Tree Farm (Manor), get cheese from Pure Luck Farm (at local farmers markets), and take cheesemaking classes at River Whey Creamery (in Schertz). (Of course, we happily and fortunately support all three of these makers, so you can taste some of their goodies for free in our shop!) There’s a slew of other places for a locavore to check out as well. Thank you Laurel!

Also, Culture Map Austin just announced the top 9 Restaurants to Raise Your Spirits, and we’re all over this list. While I’d eat at every one of these places ten times over, special congrats to our restaurant partners Carpenter Hall, Dai Due, Hestia, and Suerte.

Our Cheese Around Town …. TEXAS
When the pandemic hit Austin, we had two major goals in mind: (1) Do everything in our power to keep our whole team employed, and (2) Do everything in our power to keep Texas cheesemakers in business. (Hooray and fingers crossed! So far, we haven’t furloughed a single person, nor have we heard of a Texas maker closing up shop due to the pandemic. That’s in thanks to you. Let’s keep it up!) To achieve the second goal, we had to switch up our operations. We teamed up and collaborated with other distributors and larger specialty grocers, specifically to keep the Texas cheese flowing and moving off of shelves. We’re grateful to say that we picked up Eataly in Dallas. Then we helped Whole Foods launch Texas cheeses throughout southwest stores. And lastly, Central Market picked up some of our Texas offerings. Each is unique and carries - and features - various Texas cheeses and meats that fit their needs. So check them all out! The challenging part is that we barely make pennies on wholesale movement. (It’s about the quantity and economies of scale.) Don’t get us wrong; we’re grateful for it! And it helps move the cheese! But we started needing to build other customer bases in Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston to be able to afford to just drive there and break even. (Have a connection? Hook us up!) That means, for our Texas friends that aren’t in Austin, you may have local opportunities to get some Antonelli’s sourced cheese. Woohoo!

Dallas - Elm & Good
We’ll kick it off with a little visit to Dallas. Make sure to hit up Elm & Good. Folks like Chef Graham Dodds of Elm & Good in The Pittman Hotel in Deep Ellum, who is currently offering a 44 Farms Beef Carpaccio, served with arugula pesto, marigolds, Fresh Sheep Cheese from Green Dirt Farms (MO), and griddled paisano bread.

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.
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!).

Stay Cheese - y!

John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team