Yea! The BFM (Boise Farmers Market) opened today for it’s 2019 season at their new location at Shoreline Drive and Americana in Boise. It was cold. No rain, though. And it was crowded. They did have treats for everyone as pictured here – Ham and Cheese Croissant – and other “goodies”. Dignitaries were there – Head of the Boise Chamber of Commerce, the BFM President and Mayor Dave Bieter. Great to have them all at the Grand Opening. Thank-You!
I have a new Air Fryer – actually several – recipe posted at Air Fryer Recipes on this blog and permanently listed above under Air Fryer Recipes. There is something that you should know before you try any of these recipes – and we hope you do and leave a comment – we DO try and work on ALL of the recipes in any of these locations and adapt them to our liking! Ideas come from many locations and resources – other food blogs, recipe connections, Food Network, PBS TV Recipe Saturday and many more.
And another note: The Boise Farmers Market (BFM) moves to it’s new location at Shoreline Drive and Americana Blvd on Saturday April 6, 2019! It’s been a long time in the works. Many, if not most of the produce and products sold at the market, work extremely well with the Air Fryer, and Instant Pot, recipes listed on this blog. See you at the Market! And from their email posting –
The Boise Farmers Market opens in TWO short weeks
on Saturday, April 6th! Join us for our Grand Opening Celebration
and all the goodness of Spring!
Parking and Navigating our New Lot!
The map below is of our new lot and the surrounding streets. Please take a couple minutes to look at it, familiarize yourself, and plan how you will arrive at the market.
Safety for our community, customers and vendors is the most important thing. Please be extra careful!
Directional arrows on the streets, entrances and exits.
There are light poles on the lot – be careful to watch for them when parking – especially when backing up.
Pedestrians! Scooters! Bikes! There will be pedestrians, scooters and bikes everywhere. Please look twice, or even three times!
5 Miles Per Hour is the parking lot speed limit. Please drive slowly.
When you are walking to the market entrances, please watch for cars.
We can’t wait to see you on April 6th!
What a great way to celebrate the birthday of Scottish Poet Robert Burns! An extremely good 5-Star restaurant in Eagle – Le Coq d’Or! 208-947-2840, 176 S. Rosebud Lane, Eagle, Idaho 83616. Tuesday-Thursday: 5:00pm-9:00pm; Friday and Saturday: 5:00pm-10:00pm.
The Restaurant at the Chateau draws upon flavor profiles from around the world: focusing on old-world traditional French and European cuisine, with subtle Eastern and Persian influences. All food served in our restaurant is made from scratch in our kitchen using locally sourced Idaho produce whenever possible. Fresh dining and artful ambiance makes the Restaurant at the Chateau a truly one-of-a-kind, well-rounded dining experience that will continue to enthrall you long after the last bite. Enjoy our house wine Roghani Vineyards or allow Christian Lamotte, our Maitre D’, to suggest one of our 100+ hand-selected wines from around the world.
And a great Truffle and Wine Dinner coming up Saturday, February 23, 2019. Call to make reservations and we will see you there! You will not be disappointed. In the meantime, here is what we had today. (Some of the photos are not the best – first time using the Samsung phone camera. Can only get better.) Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.
I would have any of these items again.Super good!
Wow! What a delightful and exciting wine dinner in Eagle, ID at Bacquet’s Restaurant. Yummy French cuisine! And the wines that paired so well with dinner from 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards. Just look at this menu, the wines and the photos of the food. Great to have a truly French restaurant in the area! (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged. Enjoy!
“Borscht (English: /ˈbɔːrʃ, ˈbɔːrʃt/ ) is a sour soup commonly consumed in Eastern Europe. The variety most often associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin, and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish its distinctive red color. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht … Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular. It is typically made by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – as well as beetroots – usually include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat or fish, or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold; and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink.” [Wikipedia] And “those other sour soups” that are cousins to borscht may come from day Lithuania and Belarus, the Ashkenaz Jews, Romanian and Moldovan cuisines, Poland, Armenia and even Chinese cuisine, a soup known as luó sòng tāng, or “Russian soup”, is based on red cabbage and tomatoes, and lacks beetroots altogether; also known as “Chinese borscht”. Wow! There are many varieties of borscht.
But there is only one original or authentic borscht. Borscht derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium, also known as cow parsnip), which lent the dish its Slavic name. Growing commonly in damp meadows throughout the north temperate zone, hogweed was used not only as fodder (as its English names suggest), but also for human consumption – from Eastern Europe to Siberia, to northwestern North America.
And what is generally served with borscht? “Pirozhki, or baked dumplings with fillings as for uszka, are another common side for both thick and clear variants of borscht. Polish clear borscht may be also served with a croquette or paszteciki. A typical Polish croquette (krokiet) is made by wrapping a crêpe (thin pancake) around a filling and coating it in breadcrumbs before refrying; paszteciki (literally, ‘little pâtés’) are variously shaped filled hand-held pastries of yeast-raised or flaky dough. An even more exquisite way to serve borscht is with a coulibiac, or a large loaf-shaped pie. Possible fillings for croquettes, paszteciki and coulibiacs include mushrooms, sauerkraut and minced meat.” [The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food, Anastas Mikoyan]
So. What is borscht usually made of? What are the components? Ingredients? Borscht is seldom eaten by itself. Buckwheat groats or boiled potatoes, often topped with pork cracklings, are other simple possibilities, but a range of more involved sides exists as well.
In Ukraine, borscht is often accompanied with pampushky, or savory, puffy yeast-raised rolls glazed with oil and crushed garlic. In Russian cuisine, borscht may be served with any of assorted side dishes based on tvorog, or the East European variant of farmer cheese, such as vatrushki, syrniki or krupeniki. Vatrushki are baked round cheese-filled tarts; syrniki are small pancakes wherein the cheese is mixed into the batter; and a krupenikis a casserole of buckwheat groats baked with cheese.
But please note, your borscht may be different from your neighbors. There are cultural differences in the borscht. Ingredients may include,beet juice, beet root, veal, ham, crayfish, beef, pork, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, cucumbers, radishes, green onion, hard-boiled egg halves, dill weed, leafy vegetables, sorrel, spinach, chard, nettle, dandelion, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, squash, to name a few.So whatever inspired me to write this post? Well, we made a borscht and I posted a photo of it (the one pictured here actually) and I got comments. One of them in particular, from a Ukrainian lady, and she said,”That’s not real Russian Borsch (smiley face). It’s beet soup (smiley face). My mom makes the best, she is a Gourmet Chef for over 50yrs, and specializes in Jewish Cuisine.” [Mara Rizzio] I spoke to Mara – she makes awesome pirogies – and it was a good discussion. Thank-You Mara for “setting” me straight. Thus, this blog post. Cheers. And here is a recipe for Borscht that I found in the internet, from NPR, that includes various ingredients. Have fun! Borscht Recipe.
From Demand Africa, “In Amharic, the state language of Ethiopia, ‘barbare’ means pepper or hot. Not surprisingly, berbere spice, the flavor backbone of Ethiopian cooking, gives traditional Ethiopian dishes that fiery kick. Berbere’s constituent spice is paprika (itself a ground spice made from Capsicum peppers), but the final blend could be made from up to 20 spices.
Ethiopian cooks of old were not short of kitchen experiments, and over time have added garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds, African basil, black and white cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, coriander seed, thyme, rosemary, turmeric and ajwain (carom seeds commonly used in Indian cooking) to the mix. This allows berbere to impart a richer, aromatic and more layered flavor to any dish it’s added to, whether Ethiopian or not…Amharic language scholars speculate that the name ‘barbare’ came from ‘papare,’ the Ge’ez word for pepper (Ge’ez was the language of ancient Ethiopia). While that is likely lost in the mists of time, the more probable theory is that berbere came at a point in Ethiopia’s history when the independent Axumite kingdom controlled the Red Sea route to the Silk Road. The Axumites knew the secrets of the monsoon winds, and harnessed it to send their ships toward India in summer, and back again to Africa in winter…Berbere is the cornerstone spice blend of Ethiopia; without it, ‘doro wot’ or chicken stew (Ethiopia’s national dish) would not have that distinctive brick-red appearance and rustic, savory intensity.
Doro wot is cooked during traditional festivities and is typically served with injera, fermented sourdough flatbread with a slightly spongy texture that serves as the plate and scooping utensil for the stew. Doro wot is ladled generously on top of it and served alongside vegetables and other dips. (To eat injera, Ethiopians pinch off a piece of it and use the same to scoop out a small portion of the stew.)”
You can buy the spice blend in your grocery store – our Albertsons carries it – but it is more fun to make your own. All of these spices should be locally available.
Berbere Spice Mix
Prep Time: 5 min Total Time: 5 min
1/2 c Chili Powder
1/4 c Paprika
1/2 t ground Ginger
1/2 t ground Cardamon
1/2 t ground Turmeric
1/2 t ground Coriander
1/2 t ground Fenugreek
1/4 t ground Cinnamon
1/4 t grated fresh Nutmeg
1/4 t ground Allspice
11/8 t ground Cloves
1/8 t fresh ground Black Pepper
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight jar.
Ethiopian cuisine (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ምግብ) characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. This is usually in the form of wot, a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 20 inches in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour.
A recipe from African Bites for
Ethiopian Chicken Stew -slowly simmered in a blend of robust spices. Easy thick, comforting, delicious, and so easy to make!
Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins Servings: 6
Calories: 470 Author: Immaculate Bites
3 Tablespoons Spiced butter Sub with Cooking oil or more
2-3 medium onions sliced
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons Berbere Spice (See above)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
½ Tablespoon minced ginger
3- 3½- pound whole chicken cut in pieces or chicken thighs
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
½ Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon dried basil optional
4-6 Large soft-boiled egg shelled removed
1-2 Lemons Freshly Squeezed (adjust to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Season chicken with, salt, pepper and set aside
In a large pot, over medium heat, heat until hot, and then add spiced butter and onions, sauté onions, stirring frequently, until they are deep brown about 7 -10 minutes. After the onions are caramelized or reached a deep brown color, add some more oil, followed by berbere spice, garlic, and ginger.
Stir for about 2-3 minutes, for the flavors to blossom and the mixture has a deep rich brown color. Be careful not to let it burn.
Then add about 2-3 cups water .Add chicken, tomato paste, paprika, basil, salt and cook for about 30 minutes.
Throw in the eggs and lemon juice; thoroughly mix to ensure that the eggs are immersed in the sauce.
Continue cooking until chicken is tender about 10 minutes or more Adjust sauce thickness and seasoning with water or broth, lemon,salt according to preference.
When I was 15 – many, many years ago – I had the awesome experience of living in India for a year. We were 120 miles SW of New Delhi in the state of Rajasthan and the town of Pilani. It was absolutely a wonderful year for me. I met Jawaharlal Nehru – First Prime Minister of India, Rajendra Prasad – Former and First President of India, Lady Mountbatten, Haile Selassie – Former Emperor of Ethiopia and several other heads of state. The people and the food was superb. I will never forget, and have not forgotten, the people and the food. When I walk into an Indian restaurant here in Boise, or overall in the USA, I want to smell the fenugreek and the spices. Then I know it is authentic. If in Boise, go into the Bombay Grill at 10th and Main and inhale the spice odors. There you will be introduced to true and authentic Indian cuisine. Or into the Punjab Market in Yuba City, CA. If you want some really good Indian recipes that use these spice blends or you want to learn how to make Naan, look at Demuths Blog Indian Recipes.
Here are two very basic, but very good, Indian spice recipes from the Southern India area. (The blends will differ from area to area.) [Demuths Blog] Most, if not all of these spices, can be found in an Indian or Asian market.
Homemade Curry Powder
An essential ingredient for numerous Indian recipes.
1 T whole Coriander Seeds
1 T whole Cumin Seeds
1 t whole Black Peppercorns
1 t whole brown Mustard Seeds
2 t whole Fenugreek Seeds
3 hot dried Red Chillies, crumbled. Careful!
3/4 t ground Turmeric
Dry fry all the spices except the turmeric until fragrant, but don’t let them brown as it will ruin the flavor.
Add the turmeric and quickly stir. Decant onto a plate and leave to cool.
Grind in a spice grinder/coffee grinder as finely as possible. Store in an airtight container.
Homemade Garam Masala Powder (Bese Bele)
This is an aromatic sweet blend of spices favored by the Brahmins of Bangalore. Used in numerous Indian recipes, including our masala dosas and masala vada (split pea dumplings in masala gravy).
1 T Cardamom Seeds
1 t whole Cloves
1 t Black Peppercorns
1″ stick of Cinnamon
1/3 of a Nutmeg
a curl of mace
1 sm dried Chilli
6 Curry Leaves
1 T un-sweetened Coconut Flakes
Dry fry all the spices until fragrant, take off the heat and add the coconut flakes. Grind in a spice grinder/coffee grinder as finely as possible.
Store in an airtight container.
Masala Spice Mix – Northern Indian Curry powder
Ingredients – Whole Spices:
2 T Coriander Seeds
1 T Cumin Seeds
1/2 Cinnamon Stick
1 t Fennel Seeds
1 t Mustard Seeds
1 t Fenugreek Seeds
1 t Kalongi/Nigela (A common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine, it is in the same family as caraway, dill or parsley. Cumin seeds are a good substitute because they have a peppery and nutty flavor that is similar to nigella seeds.)
10 Curry Leaves
1 Bay Leaf
Ingredients – Ground Spices:
1 t ground Turmeric
1 t ground Ginger
1 t Chilli Powder
pinch of salt
Dry fry the whole spices, until fragrant, cool and grind. Add the ground spices and mix in. This will store in airtight container for a month, or you can make a paste.
To make a paste mix the spice blend with a little vinegar and water until it resembles a paste. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Heat some oil in a pan and add the paste. Gently stir fry for about 5 minutes until the paste start to make a bubbling noise.
Remove from heat and leave to cool. The oil should rise to the surface.
Store in sterilized jars. The layer of oil on top adds to the storing process. Keep in the fridge.
The Bobby Burns Supper Night is coming up on the anniversary of his birthday on January 25. He was born on January 25, 1759. The supper night is celebration of his poetry and songs.
“Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, two miles south of Ayr. His parents, Willian Burnes[s] and Agnes Broun, were tenant farmers but they ensured their son received a relatively good education and he began to read avidly. The works of Alexander Pope, Henry Mackenzie and Laurence Sterne fired Burns’s poetic impulse and relationships with the opposite sex provided his inspiration. Handsome Nell, for Nellie Kilpatrick, was his first song. [robertburns.org]”
According to Wikipedia,
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire, Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.[robertburns.org]
He died July 25, 1796 at the age of 37. So why is he so famous?
“The Ploughman poet. Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect – The Kilmarnock Edition. The main reason Burns is so popular today is because of the themes and language of everyday life that he used. His poems were humorous and he used small subjects to express big ideas. [robertburns.org]
So, you say, what prose or poetry did he write that I might know? Try Auld Lang Syne But the poetry that I like best is,
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!”
You can find a list and links to his works at Robert Burns Works.
OK. But what about the party? The dinner or supper?
“The annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). Celebrated on, or about, the Bard’s birthday, January 25th, Burns Suppers range from stentoriously formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to uproariously informal rave-ups of drunkards and louts. Most Burns Suppers fall in the middle of this range, and adhere, more or less, to some sort of time honoured form which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.
Every Burns Supper has its own special form and flavour, though there are probably more similarities than differences among these gastro-literary affairs. Individual tastes and talents will determine the character of your Burns Supper. Some celebrants may contribute the composition of original songs or poems; some may excel at giving toasts or reciting verse; while others may be captivating storytellers. A particular group of celebrants will, over time, develop a unique group character which will distinguish their Burns Supper celebration from every other.” [robertburns.org]
Let’s start here –
There’s nane that’s blest of human kind,
But the cheerful and the gay, man,
Fal, la, la, &c.
Here’s a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man?
Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.
from Burns Night: My Supper With Rabbie
Is there that o’re his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scronful’ view
On sic a dinner? [robertburns.org]
Here is one recipe for the traditional supper.
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. shortening
5-6 T. ice water
1 and 1/2 lean steak (flank or round)
4 tsp. butter (or suet)
1 onion- finely diced
1 carrot- finely diced
salt and pepper
1. Sauté vegetables in the butter until soft
2. Slice meat into very long thin slices, on the diagonal. Cut into pieces 1 inch long. Mix with sautéed veggies. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Roll out pastry and cut into 4″-5″ circles. Arrange meat on top, brush edges with egg wash, fold over and crimp together. Slit a hole in each pie. Egg wash tops if desired. Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 10-12 small pies.
For the rest of the Bobby Burns Supper Menu, including Cullen Skink (haddock), Bridies (recipe above), The (Bagless) Haggis and Neeps and Tatties (turnips and potatoes), follow this like – Burns Supper Recipes [robertburns.org].
Sometimes in touring through the many files and friends we have on Facebook and through many blogs, we come across some interesting recipes and foods. A dear friend of ours, Bonnie Nees from Billings, MT recently went to Quito, Ecuador to visit an exchange student she sponsored several years ago. René Zambrado is this young mans name and he is such a kind and delightful person. He graduated from Facultad de Jursiprudencia at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador in 2010 with a degree in law. Bonnie posted many photos of her trip, but one in particular “struck my fancy”. Food! And in particular, Humitas. AKA, Ecuadorian tamales. (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)
So, just what are Ecuadorian Humitas? Good question. It seems as though there are as many recipes as there are families in Ecuador – everyone seems to have their own recipe. Like stew recipes in our Homeland. Let’s check with Wikipedia, first. “Humita (from Quechua humita) is a Native American dish from pre-Hispanic times, and a traditional food in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, although their origin is unclear. In Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru they are known as humitas, in Bolivia as humintas, in Brazil as pamonha, and in Venezuela as hallaquitas. It consists of masa harina and corn, slowly steamed or boiled in a pot of water…As in Chile, Ecuadorian humitas are prepared with fresh ground corn with onions, eggs and spices that vary from region to region, and also by each family’s tradition. The dough is wrapped in a corn husk, but is steamed rather than baked or boiled. Ecuadorian humitas may also contain cheese. This dish is so traditional in Ecuador that they have developed special pots just for cooking humitas. Ecuadorian humitas can be salty or sweet.”
And just what does “humitas” mean. Humitas literally means “little steamed things”
It seems as though you remove the kernels of corn from the cob, saving some of the “milk” as it aids in digestion according to some, and grind it in a food grinder to a “lumpy” consistency. (Maybe a food processor if a grinder is not available?) “…Depending on whether you’re in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela or the Caribbean, they’re known as humitas, humintas, tamales, tamalli, tamalitos verdes, chapanas, bollos, choclotanda, chumales, cachapas, chapanas, chiguiles, envueltos de mazorca, ayacas, hallacas, juanes, pamonhas. The filling can be sweet or savory, made with fresh or dried corn, plantains or potatoes, wrapped corn husks, banana leaves or parchment paper, steamed or baked, served as a snack, side dish, casserole or heavy stew…Lighter than the pork and chicken filled tamales… these [are] made of fresh corn pureed with scallions then blended with egg yolks, milk, cheese, and a little brandy. The filling is wrapped in corn husks and steamed then topped with ají criollo, a hot pepper sauce. Most recipes tell you that the water content of North American corn is too high in water and too low in starch. [Some people] solve this problem by adding cornmeal to get the right consistency.” [hungrysofia.com] Some recipes call for steaming the humitas and not to boil or bake. Traditionally, I think from what I have read, steaming is the way to go.
Now I suppose you would like a recipe. Ecuador Humitas Recipe. These are about as traditional as I could find. Don’t forget to grind the corn and don’t leave the kernels whole. The recipe link posted here also has the (a) recipe for the sauce, ají criollo, which can be hot and spicy, but doesn’t need to be. Experiment. Maybe I will be lucky enough to get René’s recipe.
It’s probably one of the greatest cheddar cheeses you could EVER eat! And it’s a cheese in a can! Not aerosol driven. So it is not Cheeze Whiz. Nor is it Velveeta! It’s pure, fantastic, fresh cows milk cheese.
Corti Brothers Store, 5810 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95819 916-736-3800, is probably one of the most fun grocery stores you will ever enter and they have some great information on this cheese! “…Frank Corti And Gino Corti started Corti Brothers in 1947…” and it has been open ever since. Darrell Corti, who Robin knows quite well and who I met several years ago, is the son of Frank Corti. From their website, Corti Brothers,
…Darrell, whose encyclopedic knowledge of food and wine attracts queries from around the world. As told by Ruth Reichel in her memoir Comfort Me With Apples, Colman Andrews described Darrell to her as the man “who knows more about food and wine than anyone else in the world.”
In 1967, using his role as an insider’s insider, he reached out to the rest of the country with a newsletter, featuring rare, high quality food items and wines discovered during his travels in Europe and Asia. After forty plus years of continuous publication, it is still prized for its wealth of information, including essential details about a product’s history, modes of production, uses, and occasional esoteric bits that ‘foodies’ adore. Never dull, Darrell is known for free expression of his wide ranging opinions, which are often iconoclastic and seldom sugar-coated.
Darrell’s contribution to the food and wine literacy of his friends, associates, and customers has been considerable. He played a large role in the development of wine production in Amador County. He was made a Cavaliere, the Italian equivalent of knighthood, by the Italian government for his efforts in promoting Italian products, not the least of which was the almost single-handed introduction of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale to America. Darrell, an early champion of local olive production, has seen his efforts bear fruit as chairman of the Los Angeles County Fair’s International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.
So when I say that Darrell Corti knows his cheeses and he likes to share his knowledge, here is what he says about Cougar Gold.
“COUGAR GOLD CHEESE is the result of war! In fact it may the only good thing ever to have come out of war. During World War II, it was created by Washington State University to be used as military rations. It is the only cheese that I know of that is made and aged in a tin can. Normally, one does not think of cheese aged in a can, but Cougar Gold has become famous for this methodology. It is a “cheddar” like cheese that I think is possibly the best cheese to accompany wine. It has very low acidity, which does not change the taste of wine, and does have the clean sharpness of an aged cheese. Unique, it is made only at Pullman, Washington, and deserves to be better known.
It is also an easy to care for cheese. Just buy several tins and put them in your refrigerator and turn them from time to time. They just sit there getting better and better. It is also a cheese that is firm, with a crumbly texture, a pale yellow color and it will have specks of tyrosomine on it. Once the can is opened, wrap the cheese in waxed paper and then film and enjoy it until it’s gone. I think it is perfect with an old Cabernet or Vintage Port, perhaps not rich enough for Burgundy. If you like cheese and have not had Cougar Gold, you owe it to yourself to try it. It is hard to resist. By the way, when was the last time you had a 10 year old cheese? COUGAR GOLD CHEESE 30 oz tin.” [Corti Brothers website]
Here is what the WSU Creamery says about Cougar Gold.
“Our most famous & popular cheese! Winner of several national and international awards. A rich, white cheddar with a smooth, firm texture. This unique cheddar has a depth and intensity that most people have never before experienced. Its creamy, lingering flavor will leave you wanting for more! Our current stock of Cougar Gold is just over one year in age. Buy 2 and store one for aging, as it becomes more sharp and crumbly with age, developing crystals throughout, which can give it kind of a crunch…Purchasing cheese from the WSU Creamery helps support student employees of Washington State University by providing competitive wages and valuable work experiences…In May of 1992, the Creamery moved from its old home in Troy Hall to a fantastic and modern new location in the Food Quality Building. This new facility allows the Creamery to be at the forefront of research in cheese production. It allows WSU students to gain work experience directly applicable to the work they may be doing in the Food Science field upon graduating… A portion of the revenue from the sale of WSU Creamery products is used for educational support of Food Science students.”
You can purchase it from Corti Brothers, see the link above, or you can purchase it directly from the Washington State Creamery at WSU Creamery. We usually send some to our family and friends at Christmas. But be aware, they do run out of it and then you will have to wait until early Spring or so to get some. And it ages very well. WSU claims that one of their customers had a tin of Cougar Gold for 25 years! And when they opened it, it was awesome. Robin and I have 1 tin of Cougar Gold produced in 2009. All tins come date stamped and who produced it.