I can't write more about the NASFT Fancy Food Show after this because I am in serious blogging trouble - I have a new post, complete with photos, ready to write, but I haven't finished the previous subject yet. So let's put an end to the Trade Show of My Dreams with a post about one of my favorite foods: cheese.
In a word: farmhouse cheddar.
My first favorite Farmhouse (why a farmhouse? Maybe because it sounds better than "Factory, but a rather small cozy factory") Cheddar was from the Fiscalinis of Modesto. They make a bandage-wrapped cheddar that is out of this world, despite the fact that "bandage-wrapped" conjures some up some rather unfortunate images in my brain. The cheese itself is white (why Americans insist on Safety-orange cheddar is beyond me), flaky and tangy andjust the best. I could eat this cheese al day long. They also make an interesting, nutty cheese called "San Joaquin Gold" that is very fine, too.
Grafton Village Cheese Company makes a 7 year old (ok, maybe it was 6 or 8, things were a little fuzzy at this point) cheddar that rocked me back on my heels, it was so good. A blast of pure cheddar power. This is a great cheese to eat when you want to KNOW you are eating cheese - this is a flavor you can't ignore. If you ever get the itch to send me a gift basket, make sure it has a chunk of this cheese in it. You can skip the beef log, thank you very much.
And then there was blue. I didn't taste much blue cheese at the show, but I am glad I stopped by the Rogue Creamery booth. Their Rogue River Blue and Oregon Blue Vein cheeses were as fine as any blues as I have ever tasted. Their highly-touted Smokey Blue, smoked over hazelnut shells, was a bit much for me, but if you are a member of the Lily Gilders Society, this may be the over-the-top flavor bomb for you.
One last crispy tidbit: if you need something to eat with your cheese, strongly consider picking up some E.A.T. flat breads from Eli Zabar. .I loved the Parmesan and Not-Quite-A-Chef Stacy swears by the cinnamon pecan (or was it the cinnamon raisin?) crisps. Really a rocking product. Everything a little tasty crackery thing should be. I could eat these every day, except that they are rather expensive.
All of the recommendations in these past zillion posts about the NASFT Fancy Food Show come from the merit of the products, not from any commercial endorsement deal. Though if you have a product and need a shill I might consider it...