Archive for March, 2010

Cheese Bowl Part I (updated)

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

How well do you know your fromage, cheese lovers? Find out right here at the CLB, where we’ll be adding cheese trivia to test your gourmet knowledge.

Here’s the first two questions:

How many pounds of milk does it take to make one pound of cheese?
Answer: Approximately ten pounds.

Where did the term “Big Cheese” originate?
Answer: “The Big Cheese” originally referred to people wealthy enough to purchase whole wheels of cheeses.

If there’s a cheese fact you’re dying to know, ask it in the comments section and the CLB will do its best to find the answer for you!

Rise and Shine with Ile de France

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
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Tired of eating the same bland cereal or bagel for breakfast everyday? You’ve come to the right place!

The CLB will be featuring special breakfast recipes that are easy to make and feature delicious French cheese. Ditch the banal breakfast and start your day the flavorful way! First up in our breakfast series is a simple and tasty ham and cheese breakfast pie.

Ham, Cheese and Tomato Breakfast Pie

Ingredients:
8-oz cooked ham, diced
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 -9-inch frozen unbaked pie shell
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Morbier, Compté or Fol Epi cheese, or a blend of the three, shredded
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
basil and pepper, to taste

1. Sauté ham and onions in a large skillet over medium heat until ham is brown and any liquid evaporates.
2. Brush bottom of pie shell evenly with mustard; sprinkle with 1/2 cup
mozzarella cheese. Spoon ham mixture evenly over cheese, and top with single
layer of sliced tomatoes.
3. Beat egg and cream until blended; pour over tomatoes.
Sprinkle evenly with basil, pepper, and remaining cheese.
4. Bake on low oven rack at 425° for 20 minutes or until lightly
browned. Cool for 20 mins, cut and serve!
garnish, if desired.

Sneak Peak: April on Ile de France

Friday, March 19th, 2010
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The temperatures are rising and the sun is out longer and these welcome developments signal another important aspect of Spring: Switching up your cuisine to light, delicious and colorful dishes!

Soon the craving for hearty meals will be replaced by an itch for more elegant eats. In April, we’ll be adding new ideas and recipes for Dessert verrines, offering tips on what cheeses to savor along with a very famous carbonated wine, and will be unveiling our brand new recipe contest, which will feature a new twist and more prizes than ever!

Stayed tuned to the Cheese Lover’s Blog and IledefranceCheese.com for all the details and enjoy your (hopefully) nice weather this weekend!

Guinness and Brie – A St. Paddy’s Day Match

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Cheese Lovers! When you are celebrating try a slice of Brie with your brew – it goes great with rich beers like Guinness.

Smoked Cheese?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Would you combine cheese and tobacco? ? We’re guessing a resounding no, but Stuart Stebbings of De Pere, Wisconsin did just that when he patented the combo in 1964.

The inspiration for this, uh, interesting concept was sincere. He thought people were smoking too much because they weren’t getting enough satisfaction from their cigarettes – and that they got hooked partly because filters were not absorbent enough to block tar and nicotine. He found that cheese makes a very efficient tobacco filter – and a delicious one at that.

According to Stebbings, the filter works the best when a hard cheese is used because it allows the smoke to pass freely through the unique blend of particles. Curious? Directions can be found at the above link, but the CLB thinks there are much better uses for hard cheeses – like enjoying them with hard alcohol (enjoyed in moderation, of course).

Check out our cheese and liquor pairing articles.

Sweet cheese dreams

Friday, March 12th, 2010
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Remember the old myth about how eating cheese gives you nightmares? Well, it’s not true! The British Cheese Board recently did an in depth cheese and dream study that revealed eating cheese before bed can help cheese lovers get a good night’s sleep.

The study even found that different cheeses cause different types of dreams.

Of the 200 volunteers who participated in the week-long study, 72% slept well every night, 67% remembered their dreams and none recorded experiencing nightmares after eating a 20g piece of cheese half an hour before going to sleep.

“ One of the amino acids in cheese – tryptophan – has been shown to reduce stress and induce sleep so cheese may actually help you have a good night’s sleep,” says Dr Judith Bryans, Nutrition Scientist at The Dairy Council.

The old myth about cheese and nightmares may have originated from Ebenezer Scrooge, who blamed “a crumb of cheese” on his night time visitations in “A Christmas Carol.”

Nigel White, British Cheese Board secretary wants everyone to know Scrooge’s own miserly behavior caused his dreams:

“Now that our Cheese & Dreams study has finally debunked the myth that cheese gives you nightmares we hope that people will think more positively about eating cheese before bed!

The Cheese Board debunks some more cheese myths here.

A Cheese a Day Will Keep the Pounds Away!?

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
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Who doesn’t enjoy a mid-to-late night cheese snack? The CLB certainly does. All sorts of cheeses can be a great snack, from Brie to Parmesan. Of course, post snack you’re bound to ask yourself, was that the healthiest choice I could have made…? The common perception of cheese is generally skewed and is made out to be a very unhealthy snack. However, in recent studies it was shown that women who ate an ounce of full-fat cheese a day gained fewer pounds over time than those who didn’t. This information was collected and distributed by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Turns out whole-fat dairy may fuel your metabolism due to the conjugated linoleic acid it contains! Want all the details? Check out http://www.ajcn.org/ for more information.

Survey says . . . . . .

Monday, March 8th, 2010
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Nearly 3,000 people participate in our year end survey.

Survey-takers think IledeFranceCheese.com is providing well-organized cheese info – but cheese lovers do think a few things could be added to the mix.

More snack recipes, more wine and cheese pairings and more party tips were popular requests.

Cheese Lovers also expressed a taste for new coupons, contests and giveaways – all of which will be covered each every month both at IledeFranceCheese.com and right here at the CLB. Here’s a few other popular responses to our survey – and if you have anything to add, just make a comment at the end of this post and we’ll add it to our results!

What would you like to see more of?

Snacks
Deserts
Appetizers

Other comments and suggestions?
Wine pairings with cheese
Beer pairings with cheese
Vegetarian options

What do you want to see on the website?
Half hour meals using IDF cheeses
downloadable cookbook
description of the tastes of cheese

Cheese madness ahead

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

March Madness is coming – but it won’t be confined to the hardwood this year.

The Cheese Lover’s blog is happy to say Ile de France will be offering 10 different cheese coupons for visitors to www.iledefrancecheese.com beginning next week. Stay tuned for all the Cheese Madness details!

The coupons are a great way to stock up on fine gourmet cheeses to savor while watching the NCAA basketball tournament, which starts March 1!

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So, who are all the cheese lovers rooting for this year? The CLB is betting on deep tournament runs from Kansas State and West Virginia!

Cheese Loving Festivals

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Explore the world of cheese at these five cheese -filled festivals! Every year there are hundreds of different cheese events throughout the country – here’s five every cheese lover would enjoy. Click on the festivals’ names to visit the official sites.

The Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival

The Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival is held on the first weekend of every June on the eastern side of Wisconsin and kicks off “Dairy Month” in the state every year.

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Seattle Cheese Festival

The Seattle Cheese Festival is an artisanal cheese festival that draws many local cheese makers in addition to well-known world-renowned cheeses.

California Artisan Cheese Festival

California’s Artisan Cheese Festival is a nonprofit organization with a mission to celebrate and enjoy the creations of artisan cheese makers every year.

Monroe Cheese Festival

This city, in Orange County New York, has been well-known for its cheeses since the 18oos. Each year a huge festival is held to honor this history and to share the love of cheese.

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The American Cheese Society’s Festival of Cheeses

The American Cheese Society hosts an annual conference/world-renowned judging competition every year, which culminates into the Festival of Cheese.