GJETOST: you either love it or you hate it…


089_gjetost_2There is no in between with this “cheese”  and I put “cheese” in quotation marks to lend the idea that some do not refer to it as such.  It actually is a product made out of whey.  Nothing at all like ricotta.  Just to set the record straight.

I have been a Gjetost (pronounced “yay-toast”)  fan for many years….long before I married the cheesemonger.  It is an accquired taste…almost along the same lines of liking provel.  Gjetost (as we know it in N. America) literally means “goat cheese” in Norwegian.  The Norwegian name brunost (the name used on the other side of the Atlantic) means ‘brown cheese’.  Over here  it is referred to and sold as gjetost, which is an older spelling of geitost that is no longer frequently used elsewhere.  Now…with that all straightened out…let’s talk about how wonderfully delicious this cheese is.  Gjetost is made by boiliing a mixture of milk, cream and whey carefully for several hours so that the water evaporates. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel which gives the cheese its characteristic taste. It is ready for consumption as soon as it is packed in suitable sized blocks. A low-fat variant is made by increasing the proportion of whey to milk and cream..but let’s be honest, it’s not as good. I found a great recipe for making gjetost in your own kitchen.  I have yet to try it but looking forward to it.

I did a little jig this afternoon when trolling my local grocer to find it in the cheese section.  Simon turned his nose up at the sight of it…but I am happy.  I couldn’t wait to get home and dig in.  I prefer mine on toasted bread or naan/pita.  I also like it with apples or pears.  It has a decidedly unique nose….some refer to it as fishy.  I smell the caramel…but I also smell the pungent “barnyard” of the goat’s milk.  It very thick on the tongue and is best served in light curls from a cheese plane.  I chunk would be just too much in your mouth…like a heaping spoonful of cold peanut butter or rich fudge tasting of caramelly goat cheese….not too pleasing in that respect.

It has a great nutty quality and silken texture when cut right…I have yet to find a good wine to pair it with…but I do enjoy it with beer.  A dark stout or a strong lager.  It is a wintery cheese in my mind…but I do eat it all year long.  I have been playing around with making an apple/gjetost pie.  I wonder if Cupcake Project would be willing to brainstorm with me…Stef is good at this sort of thing…

I have found it at Global Market and Whole Foods in St. Louis….here in AZ it was at Basha’s.

Wine Dinner at Niche


Niche

and

Classique Wines

Present

An Australian Food & Wine Experience

Featuring the Wines of

Gemtree Vineyards, McLaren Vale

Michael Crosby, North American Sales Manager

Thursday, May 7th at 7:00 pm

First Course

Scharff Farm Asparagus with Crab, Ramp Vinaigrette,

Claverach Farm Poached Egg and Parmesan

Moonstone Albarino

Second Course

Pea Soup with Farrar Out Farm Pork Belly,

Morels and Preserved Lemon

Tadpole Shiraz

Intermezzo

Fourth Course

Fruitland Farm Organic Ribeye, Cauliflower & Potato Purée,

Fava Beans, Roasted Garlic, Claverach Farm Red Verjus

Cadenzia Red Blend

60% Grenache, 20% Tempranillo, 20% Shiraz

Fifth Course

Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème

Uncut Shiraz

$75.00 per Person

excluding tax and tip

1831 Sidney Street

For Reservations or Questions Please Call:

314-773-7755

Space is limited, credit card required for reservations.

Cancellation deadline – Tuesday, May 5th.

To learn more about these wines visit:

www.gemtreevineyards.com.au

Returning home….


It’s been a long year (well…7 months to be exact).  But by the time we return to STL permanently, it will have been a year.  I am looking forward to getting back home, close to friends and family…and especially to the city that I have come to love all over again.  I was born and raised in StL.  I left as soon as I found a car able to handle the drive….but after my years of living away from my hometown, I found myself falling in love with it when I moved back in 2004…seeing it through new, unbiased eyes….gosh, I can’t wait to get back.

We plan on doing a bit of a detour before heading home.  We will leave PHX and take a round about way home…heading over to L.A., up Hwy 101 to Napa…the Oregon Coast…up to Victoria BC….over to Glacier NP….through Montana and N. Dakota…across Minnesota…stopping in Glidden, WI to spend some time with Grandma & Grandpa…then a straight shot down to St. Louis. …then catching our breath for a couple days before flying to Massachusets for a wedding!  Whew!  It will be a whirlwind summer trip but my goodness…it will be spectacular.  4500 miles in all….over 75 hours driving time.  We hope to camp, hike…do some good eating and drinkin’…check out some dairies and meet some cheesemakers…..not bad before I head back into the final year of graduate school….

Stay tuned for a more detailed plan…and I’m always up for suggestions!!

Chris Sommers goes to Washington


photo by Whitney Curtis

photo by Whitney Curtis from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

…and he’s bringing some pizza with him.

After having a slice on the campaign trail…Barack Obama was hooked,  just like most of St. Louis, on Pi….and who can blame him.  It really is great pizza….in my book…the BEST in StL has seen in eons.  Now, I am an Imo’s fan…don’t get me wrong but as we all know..it’s an accquired taste…one that is moslty only appreciated among natives.  But Pi on the other hand is delicious any way you look at it…from any location in the Union.  That is why Barack had Chris and his crew come up to DC this week to throw some dough for him and his brood.  Now that is what I call great delivery service!!!

Not bad Sommers….not bad at all.