Tag Archives: Pairings

Recipe: Mia’s Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese

Mia’s Kitchen is a collection of quirky, gourmet-loving foodies who are passionate about creating high quality products that people love. The company, headed by Mia of the Sebastiani family, makes incredible pasta sauces and olive oils that will make your kitchen smell amazing.

We asked Mia to share one of her favorite family recipes: Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese. It has all the deep complexities of her Nonni’s long-simmered bolognese, and uses a jar of Mia’s Kitchen Bistro Marinara for an extra rich flavor. Pair this hearty pasta dish with a full bodied red wine such as Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon.

Get Mia’s recipe after the jump! Continue reading

Five Cheeses for the Beginner Cheese Connoisseur

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So you LOVE cheese and you feel like you’re ready to move onto
the next level of the cheese world BUT where do you even begin? We know how you feel,  the cheese world can be overwhelming! There are stinky cheeses, moldy cheeses, soft cheeses, cave-aged cheeses and so much more…  

We’ve picked five cheeses for the beginner cheese connoisseur— an introduction to the world of fine cheeses:

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Raw Milk Cheeses, What About Them?

Cheese-Platter

One of the hottest food trends right now is eating raw. So what about raw milk cheeses?

This may be to your surprise, but it’s likely you are already eating raw milk cheeses. For hundreds of years, traditional European cheese recipes have used only raw milk. Often you will find that raw milk cheeses are sharper and more defined in taste. That’s because when milk is heated or pasteurized, much of the good bacteria (which create the rich flavors in cheese) are killed. In fact, certain cheeses are only legally certified if made with raw milk, such as Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano. France’s AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) and Italy’s DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) define the region, production and maturation process for many European cheeses. Though less common, you can also find raw milk cheeses produced in the United States. Continue reading

Dungeness Crab and Chardonnay: A marriage of food and wine

There are just some things in nature that are made for each other. One of those “perfect pairings” is Fresh Dungeness Crab and well made California Chardonnay. As the first boatloads of fresh, sweet crab meat arrive at our stores, we are ready to pair it with two of our favorite Chardonnays: Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay and Hahn SLH Chardonnay.

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Cheese of the Week: Fiore di Bufala

FIORE DI BUFALA

  • Producers: La Casera
  • Region: Lombardy, Italy
  • Milk: Pastuerized buffalo’s milk
  • Ripening: Fresh
  • Texture: Soft

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In 1991, Eros Burratti opened La Casera, a small shop specializing in wine, cheese and cured meats. His dedication to superior local cheeses allowed him to expand to later include a ripening labratory and aging caves. The success of La Casera prompted Eros to export his cheese internationally, and now we get to enjoy the quality cheeses produced in the surrounding northern hills of Italy. An example is their Fiore di Bufala, small soft pillows of pasteurized buffalo’s milk. Rich and buttery, this fresh cheese has a comforting smooth flavor, much like chevre or fromage blanc. Try it added to a salad, spread on toast, or in any dish that could use some extra creaminess.

La Casera showcases their range of cheeses here.

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Cheese of the Week: La Tur

LA TUR

  • Producers: Caseificio dell’Alta Langa
  • Region: The Langhe, Piemonte, Italy
  • Milk: Pasteurized cow, goat, and sheep’s milk
  • Ripening: 8-10 days
  • Texture: Soft

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The Langhe region is an agricultural center of northern Italy, producing many famous wines and cheeses. Caseificio dell’Alta Langa’s cheese factory is set among the scenic hills and meadows, and makes classic cheese with local ingredients. The area is known for Robiola cheese (a blend of cow, goat and sheep’s milk) and La Tur continues that deep-rooted tradition. It is aged for 8-10 days, and emerges with a dense cylindrical rind and a lush, creamy center. Its sweet and buttery texture contains traces of cream and fresh grass with a subtle, mild flavor. La Tur pairs well with white wine, fresh fruit, lagers, and atop sweet walnut or raisin breads.

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Cheese of the Week: Camembert di Bufala

CAMEMBERT DI BUFALA

  • Producers: La Casera
  • Region: Lombardy, Italy
  • Milk: Pasteurized buffalo’s milk
  • Ripening: Soft ripened
  • Texture: Soft, slightly runny

La Casera is a special artisanal cheese shop tucked away on a small street in Verbania, Italy. Proprietor Eros Burratti is a “stagionatura” (ager) of local cheeses complete with his own aging caves. La Casera sells cheeses to the surrounding community and, luckily for us, also distributes internationally. Produced in the northern rolling hills of nearby Lombardy, Camembert di Bufala is an Italian take on the French classic. La Casera soft ripens this pasteurized buffalo’s milk cheese until the rind is firmed and bloomed with a slight white coating, and the inside is soft and creamy. The flavor grows more intense and spicy as it is aged, and provides the perfect complement to your favorite Italian red wines such as a Barolo or Chianti.

Explore the range of Italian artisanal cheeses from La Casera here.

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Cheese of the Week: Cave Aged Truckle

CAVE AGED TRUCKLE

  • Producers: Ford Farm, on the Ashley Chase Estate
  • Region: Somerset, England
  • Milk: Pasteurized Dorset cow’s milk
  • Ripening: 4 months
  • Texture: Hard

The ancient art of maturing cheese in caves dates back to the 16th century. Across the pond on an international world heritage site in the English countryside, the cheesemakers at Ford Farm are reviving that tradition. First, they make their signature full-bodied cheddar from their herds on the farm. The cheddar is then wrapped in cloth and taken deep into the nearby Caves at Wookey Hole. Throughout the aging period of up to 6 months, they taste test the cheese regularly to ensure that it is developing the right firm texture and earthy taste. The finished product is a crumbly yellow cheese with a distinct nutty, tangy flavor. This time honored cheese-making technique requires significant time and effort, but results in a unique, delicious cheddar.

More on Ford Farm’s variety of English cheeses here.

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