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The Agriculture Queens of Louisiana

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 20, 2020 - 1:00pm
As climate change threatens exports like oysters and rice, residents cling to a pageant tradition that celebrates them.
Categories: Food

The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 20, 2020 - 9:00am
Beauty and wellness products you can fit in your pocket — and more.
Categories: Food

Thai Diner, From the Uncle Boons Team, Opens

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 19, 2020 - 7:19pm
Asian street food-style fare in Midtown Manhattan, drinking and dining in a garment district hotel, and more restaurant news.
Categories: Food

‘Like The Camera Wasn’t Even There’: Capturing Nude Cooks

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 19, 2020 - 1:17pm
Respectfully photographing a nudist resort in Florida for the Food section presented several challenges. But Jason Henry had a plan.
Categories: Food

The Culinary Couple Who Built a British Empire

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 19, 2020 - 12:18pm
The chefs Fergus and Margot Henderson have forged an identity for modern British cooking, grounded in technique and tradition. But will their legacy survive the divisions of Brexit?
Categories: Food

Julia and the Hendersons

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 19, 2020 - 11:30am
Julia Moskin spent some time with Fergus and Margot Henderson, and brought back a recipe from each: beans and bacon, and a comforting braised chicken.
Categories: Food

The Best Party Trick: Make Your Own Gravlax

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 11:51pm
Transform raw salmon into translucent, persimmon-red perfection with just sugar, salt and time.
Categories: Food

At the Intersection of Cookbooks and Women’s Marches

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 3:59pm
“Rage Baking,” which donates some profits to Emily’s List, features recipes and essays from more than 40 contributors.
Categories: Food

Sugars With a Floral Note

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 3:53pm
Il Fiorista now sells dusting sugars flavored with jasmine, cloves or orange blossoms.
Categories: Food

There’s a Story Around This Cake

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 3:43pm
A new loaf cake from Breads Bakery is wrapped in a short story from the Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
Categories: Food

The Bean for Your Irish Coffee

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 3:40pm
A coffee infused with Egan’s Irish Whiskey from Fire Dept. Coffee is the perfect match for that St. Patrick’s Day cocktail.
Categories: Food

This Shop Has Gone to the Dogs

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 3:40pm
At Not Just Chocolate in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the specialty is the choclified pooch.
Categories: Food

Dinners Laud Chefs at Beatrice Inn

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 3:11pm
Angie Mar, the chef and an owner of the West Village restaurant, has special events planned honoring some of her culinary heroes.
Categories: Food

The Whole-Grain Grail: A Sandwich Bread With Mass Appeal

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 1:26pm
Bakers around the country have joined forces to make a soft, sliced, affordable bread with whole wheat. Their only obstacle? Every other loaf in America.
Categories: Food

Life at Caleta 111 Revolves Around Limes and Tiger’s Milk

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 12:11pm
A new Peruvian restaurant in Richmond Hill, Queens, specializes in ceviche and its citrus-based marinade.
Categories: Food

The Anything but Humble Carrot

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 18, 2020 - 12:09pm
Yotam Ottolenghi thinks this root vegetable has a fascinating history and is best enjoyed intact, its color and shape on display.
Categories: Food

Cheese by the Numbers

Planet Cheese - February 18, 2020 - 12:00pm

The numbers are in and they’re not pretty. Wisconsin lost a record number of dairy farms last year. More than 800 farms folded. More than 2,700 have called it quits in the past five years.

How does this happen when artisan cheese consumption is booming? And what does it mean for all those amazing Wisconsin cheeses we love? For insights, I turned to a couple of Wisconsin’s most respected cheesemakers: Andy Hatch (above right) of Uplands Cheese Company, a farmstead producer of Pleasant Ridge Reserve and Rush Creek Reserve; and Bob Wills (above left) of Cedar Grove Cheese, who buys milk from more than 30 Wisconsin farms for his cheeses. This post is longer than usual, but these gentlemen have a lot to say and we need to hear it.

First, some background: The average milk price paid to Wisconsin’s dairy farmers cratered after peaking in 2014. Too much supply, too little demand. Americans are consuming less. (Soy latte, anyone?) The Chinese are buying less. And cows have gotten way more productive. So while Wisconsin has lost thousands of dairy farms, the ones that remain are much bigger and they’re turning out too much milk.

Andy, doesn’t this oversupply mean that Wisconsin cheesemakers are paying less for milk? That’s good for them, right?

Peak moment: Little Mountain named 2016 Best of Show for Wisconsin’s Chris Roelli

Hatch: Smaller cheesemakers who make their living on quality, not efficiency, pay a premium to their farmers and always have. They don’t ride the tide of the commodity milk price. They recognize that they need to keep their farms healthy.

You’re a farmstead cheesemaker; you have your own cows and don’t buy milk. Is your business affected by this crisis?

Hatch: Our little business is sustained by the dairy infrastructure in Wisconsin: the number of vets in the countryside, the people who service milking parlors, the trucks picking up milk. When that infrastructure is threatened, our survival is threatened. All these services require critical mass. One thing that made Wisconsin special is that we had enough small farms for these services to exist. Big farms have services in house. They have their own vets and repair people.

Are you alarmed by this decline or is it just part of an economic cycle?

Hatch: The milk market has always been cyclical, but this is an aberration. Prices have stayed low for so long because the supply hasn’t contracted. Big farms are adding more cows. Dairy farming was an economic miracle in the early 20th century and it built our whole state. Does it need to be replaced by something else? Yeah, maybe. But we ought to be careful before we let it go. It has been so good at distributing prosperity throughout the countryside.

You go through Iowa and Nebraska now, with their huge corporate farms, and the tractor dealer is rich, the seed guys are rich, and a couple of farmers are rich, but there’s nothing in between. The great thing about small dairy farms is they kept our small towns full. I don’t know what could replace them that would be as good for our rural economy.

What’s wrong with big farms? Number one, consolidation of wealth. Number two, can they manage their environmental impact responsibly? It’s a lot of manure on fewer acres and that can pose risks. But you can’t just say that big farms are worse. A lot of small farms don’t have the resources to invest in facilities to handle manure properly.

Wisconsin gem: Deer Creek Indigo Blue

Beyond the environmental risk, there’s a big risk in consumer perception. The upswelling of public sentiment against animal agriculture has been incredible. A lot of it is due to the rise of plant-based meat and cheese. They’re demonizing animal agriculture, and most Midwest farmers I know just have their heads in the sand over this. The optics aren’t good. We are not doing a good job of explaining animal agriculture.

Bob Wills, if there’s plenty of milk and the price is low, is that not a good thing for you?

Wills: If I have to buy from a few really big farms it creates instability for me. If one of them picks up and goes somewhere else, it can really disrupt my supply. We prefer working with smaller farms we’ve worked with for a long time. We know their values and the quality of their product. Plus, a lot of small farms are grazing, and our preference is to have a significant component of grass milk in our cheese.

Immigration issues can’t be helping matters.

Wills: Finding any employees is ridiculous right now. We’ve located potential employees and then they were unable to get visas. The labor situation is killing industry in this country. There’s only so much growth you can do if you don’t have money to mechanize or people to do the work.

Are you alarmed by this decline or is it just part of an economic cycle?

Wills: It’s up to consumers. Whenever there’s really low-cost cheese coming into the market, it challenges us because the way we do things is not cheap. As the price gap grows between factory-farm cheese and artisanal products, it’s a harder choice for consumers to make. But it is their choice. They have to understand who they are buying from and why.

Whole communities are falling apart. In our town the grocery store has closed; the restaurant has closed. The farmers who went out of business were customers in their community. Last summer I went to a funeral in a tiny church for one of my farmers—a natural death—and learned that two farmers in the community had committed suicide that year. The community toll is a lot more important than what’s going to happen to artisan cheese.

Categories: Food

Valpolicella, the Old-Fashioned Way

NYTimes Dining and Wine - February 13, 2020 - 2:01pm
The classic style has been overtaken by richer versions, but the fresh, lively original still has a place because it’s delicious.
Categories: Food

Four-Star Cacio e Pepe

Planet Cheese - February 11, 2020 - 12:00pm

The classic Roman dish, spaghetti cacio e pepe, seems to be having a moment. I have no idea why. Americans tend to prefer pasta with more stuff on it. This sauce is about as simple as it gets, although it’s easy to screw up. With Valentine’s Day on the brain, I bought a truffled pecorino recently and started to wonder if it would work in cacio e pepe. Genius, I must say.

The sauce’s name, cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), is practically the whole grocery list. You’ll need long dried pasta like spaghetti, linguine, perciatelli or bucatini. You’ll need a pepper mill or, better, a mortar to make freshly cracked black pepper—lots of it. And you’ll need some cheese. Pecorino romano is traditional, but a truffled pecorino ups the ante.

I’m not aware of any creamery that adds the prized black winter truffles (Tuber melanosporum) to cheese. Most cheesemakers use less expensive summer truffle plus truffle aroma. The truffled pecorino I purchased was Moliterno al Tartufo (pictured below), an aged sheep’s milk cheese from southern Italy that’s injected with truffle paste. I guarantee you the truffle aroma persisted in the dish.

Despite the few ingredients in this recipe, there’s some technique involved. The cheese needs to melt into a creamy sauce, but it wants to clump. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s method, which I stumbled on online, is convoluted but foolproof. It works if you follow it.

Cacio e Pepe al Tartufo

Moliterno al Tartufo

Lopez-Alt’s method involves some back-and-forth between two skillets but it works. The sauce comes out creamy, as it should. Have the wine poured and be ready to eat. This dish waits for no one.

  • 6 ounces spaghetti

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt

  • ½ cup freshly grated Moliterno al Tartufo or other truffled pecorino, plus more for garnish

Put the spaghetti in a 12-inch skillet with lightly salted water to cover by about ½ inch. Have ready a tea kettle of boiling water in case you need more. Bring the water in the skillet to a simmer over high heat and cook until the pasta is al dente, according to package directions. Add boiling water from the tea kettle if needed to keep the spaghetti covered.

While the pasta cooks, put the olive oil, butter, black pepper and salt in a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When the butter melts and the mixture begins to sizzle, set it aside.

When the pasta is almost ready, add about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water to the oil in the skillet. With tongs, lift the spaghetti out of the pasta water (don’t shake it dry) and into the smaller skillet. Pour off but RESERVE the pasta cooking water, then transfer the contents of the smaller skillet to the now-empty large skillet. OFF THE HEAT, add the grated cheese and begin tossing and stirring vigorously, adding a splash of the reserved pasta water if needed to make a creamy sauce. The cheese should melt, not clump. Divide among two bowls, top with a little additional cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 2

Cheese Class: Raw-Milk Cheese Showcase

Wednesday, April 15
Silverado Cooking School
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

We’ll celebrate tradition in this class devoted to cheeses made exclusively with raw milk. For many purist cheesemakers, in the U.S. and abroad, working with full-flavored, unpasteurized milk is non-negotiable. Come taste some standouts.

Categories: Food

The Culinary Insider

American Culinary Federation - November 21, 2019 - 12:19pm
Categories: Food