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Building a Blue Cathedral of Cheese

By Lorrie Baumann

Gremmels portrait for webDavid Gremmels’ addictions are cheese, chocolate and coffee, not necessarily in that exact order at any given moment. “I can tell you what’s in my fridge with cheese,” he said as he drove the 31 miles between Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon, and the Rogue Creamery Dairy Farm in the countryside near Grants Pass, Oregon. Those are, in the order they came to his mind: a piece of “that lovely Tarentaise” (Farms for City Kids Foundation/Spring Brook Farm, Vermont, winner of this year’s best of show award at the American Cheese Society Judging & Competition), Mt. Tam (Cowgirl Creamery, California), a piece of handmade Halloumi from Cyprus (Aphrodite), TouVelle (Rogue Creamery), Mount Mazama (Rogue Creamery), a few wedges of Rogue River Blue (Rogue Creamery) and a single wedge of Smokey Blue (Rogue Creamery) that he’d temporarily misplaced, so that he’d had to root through the refrigerator for it when he’d had a craving the previous evening. He found it at the back of his cheese drawer. “I knew I had a wedge,” he said with an air of triumph. “Those are the things I think about as far as my food group addictions.” Continue reading.

14th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival

Oregon cheeseThe 14th annual Oregon Cheese Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday March 17 and 18 at Rogue Creamery, 311 North Front Street in Central Point Oregon. Held under two large tents, 15,000 square feet of space, at the creamery’s Central Point facility, the annual festival invites guests to shake hands with cheesemakers and other artisans.

Continue reading.

SIAL Paris Just Around the Corner

It is now more than half a century since SIAL (Salon International de l’Alimentation – International Food Exhibition) first espoused the ambition to become the world’s most important network for food professionals. A daring wager, but one which has paid off, as evinced by the success foretold of the upcoming edition of SIAL Paris, to take place from October 21 to 25, 2018 at Paris Nord Villepinte. This key biennial event has become the go-to, inspirational meeting place for the entire food processing industry, because it is here that the food of today goes on show and the food of tomorrow is conceived. Read more.

Kroger’s Organic Produce Sales Achieve $1 Billion

The Kroger Co.’s organic produce business has achieved $1 billion in annual sales, according to the company. “Kroger offers one of the largest organic produce departments in America, and we are proud to have led the way in making this category more mainstream, accessible and affordable,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising. “We have a dedicated procurement team that partners with more than 300 organic produce growers and suppliers every year to bring our customers an exciting selection of organic fruits and vegetables.”

According to IRI, the U.S. organic produce market reached $5 billion in 2016 and it is growing. Kroger recently announced Simple Truth® reached $2 billion in annual sales, marking the growing popularity of its brand of natural, organic and free-from products.

2018 sofi Awards: Best in Specialty Food Entries Accepted February 1-28

For more than 45 years, the Specialty Food Association has honored the best in the industry with sofi™ Awards. The sofi recognizes culinary excellence and creativity in multiple specialty categories. Throughout February, entries will be accepted for the awards, considered one of the highest honors in the food world. Continue reading.

Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest Drives Wisconsin Cheese Sales

It’s almost time for the annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown, the largest Wisconsin cheese promotion of the year. Backed by six weeks of marketing and public relations support including digital ads, celebrity judges and more prize money, this year’s promotion will be more successful than ever. Last year’s participating retailers saw up to a 15 percent increase in Wisconsin cheese sales. Continue reading.

New Trade Show Focuses on Better-For-You Food

The new SmartFood Expo™ is launching June 25-27 in the South Hall of Chicago’s McCormick Place. Co-located with United FreshMKT Expo, the B2B event is focused entirely on better-for-you food, across all food and beverage categories. This new event will deliver to retailers and foodservice professionals exciting and exclusive access to new healthy trends in food and beverage.

For more information, or to reserve booth space, contact Nina Sader, SmartFood Expo Manager at 202.303.3401.

Green Dirt Farm Wins 2018 Good Food Award for Cheese

PrairieTomme for webGreen Dirt Farm, an artisan cheese maker from Weston, Missouri, just northwest of Kansas City, has won a 2018 Good Food Award for cheese with Prairie Tomme, a rustic, mountain-style, sheep’s milk cheese.

The Good Food Awards celebrate food that is made by producers who are driven by standards and ideals beyond the profit motive. This year’s awards were celebrated on January 19 at an awards ceremony and marketplace in San Francisco to honor Good Food Award recipients.  Continue reading.

Cheeses from the PrairyErth: Green Dirt Farm

By Lorrie Baumann

PrairieTomme for webGreen Dirt Farm was born of Sarah Hoffmann’s desire to give her children the kind of grounded life that her parents provided for her on the various farms to which her family moved as her father’s duty assignments as a pilot for the U.S. Navy took him from place to place. “We moved every two years, but wherever we moved, we lived on a small farm,” says Hoffmann, who is the Proprietor at Green Dirt Farm today. “My dad did the work when he got home from work.”

Even today, Hoffmann’s father, John Hoffmann, though at 83, long since retired from his Naval career, still maintains draft horses. “My dad, we always teased him that he was a closet farmer, but he’s not a closet farmer – he’s a farmer at heart,” Sarah Hoffmann says. “He grew up loving the farm, and he communicated that to his kids.” Continue reading.

American Cheese Society Launches ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test

The American Cheese Society (ACS) is launching a new certification exam, the ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test™ (Technical, Aesthetic, Sensory, Tasting Evaluation). The exam evaluates cheese professionals’ knowledge and skills in the assessment of cheese, from determining cheese condition and quality to evaluating cheese flavor, body, texture, and appearance. Individuals who pass the exam will earn the title of ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator™, or ACS CCSE™. Continue reading.

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