Whenever I travel, I always try to build a cheese board by shopping at local markets. It’s a great way to taste a place, and it gives my trip a pairing-driven purpose. Pack a cutting board on your next road trip, and you’ll have more fun nibbling, guaranteed.
Take last Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin: My brother Andre Darlington and I hit three Dane County farmers’ markets before 9 a.m. to assemble this Wisconsin Farmers’ Market Board, complete with tender strawberries, fresh herbs (even a little Sweet Woodruff), and zingy radish pods — a great palate cleanser that tastes like a pea pod that eloped with a daikon.
Give a listen to Andre’s new podcast, The Farmers’ Market Report, in a special July 4 episode devoted to all things Wisconsin Cheese. We interviewed all the makers connected with the cheeses you see on the board (pictured, counter-clockwise):
- Landmark Creamery’s Petit Nuage (top left)
- Bleu Mont Dairy Bandaged Cheddar Reserve
- Capri Farm’s Saint Dorian The Good
- Creme de la Coulee’s Saint Jennifer
- Hook’s Little Boy Blue
Details, details: Landmark Creamery’s etherial clouds of fresh sheep milk still leave me breathless. Bleu Mont is better than ever — Willi’s bandaged reserved paired beautifully with dark chocolate. Capri Farm’s Gouda-esque Saint Dorian is an Alpine sweetie, unlike any other firm sheep’s milk cheese I’ve tasted. Creme de la Coulee is new for me (cheesemaker Bill Anderson interned with Willi Lehner of Bleu Mont) and I am excited about his commitment to stink — although I want more funk in his Jennifer. Hook’s sheep-milk blue soothes — it’s fatty-sweet and so good with berries.
High Street Farmers’ Market | Saturday, July 11, 2015 (10:30-3:30)
This small summer market includes a table of guests I help curate on a bimonthly basis. This Saturday, you’ll meet Marisa McClellan from Foodinjars (she’ll be signing books until 1:30), along with Carly Dougherty from Food and Ferments. For a list of my upcoming guests, click here.
Also, don’t forget that July 16 is Eli Kulp Day, and High Street is planning a benefit dinner to help with Chef Eli’s medical bills that have followed his injury in the Amtrak crash. I’ll be at the benefit curating a giant cheese board, with the help of Birchrun Hills Farm and Di Bruno Bros. Tickets here.
Vermont Cheesemaker’s Festival | Sunday, July 19 2015
I’m headed up to Shelburne next week to sniff out the hunks of Vermont! Let me know if you’ll be there. We can float on Lake Champlain with curds in our pockets. Tickets here