Sure the Panthers and Broncos may be the ones playing in the Big Game this weekend, but as far as we know, no one is (yet) milking either animal for cheese … at least not that’s commercially available. Though I would like to see someone attempt to milk a bronco…. Fortunately for those of us who use America’s biggest television holiday as an excuse to, well, eat even more cheese, both teams do hail from states with a thriving craft cheese scene.

North Carolina cheesemakers created an NC Cheese Trail in 2014, while cheesemakers and retailers in Colorado have recently launched a Rocky Mountain Cheese Guild. We’ve featured several cheesemakers from both states here, but two jumped out at us as the perfect duo to face off over our Game Day cheeseboard: Goat Lady Dairy of Climax, NC and Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy of Longmont, CO. The Year of the Goat may be winding down, but why not take one last caprine adventure while we can?

cheese bowl 2016 | cheeseandchampagne.com

Beer may not be the conventional choice for pairing with goat cheese, but we’re hardly going to advise showing up to your party with a bottle of sauvignon blanc. Similar pairing principles apply, though: look for something bright, citrusy and effervescent, like a pilsner, wheat beer or IPA. As luck would have it, both Colorado and North Carolina have something of a craft beer scene as well, so the only challenge is picking just two bottles to join our CheeseBowl face off.

With no further ado, our game day matchup:

hashtag cheesebowl | cheeseandchampagne.com

Colorado: Haystack Mountain Snowdrop, a lactic, creamy bloomy-rind goat cheese is paired with New Belgium Brewing Snapshot, a tart wheat beer.

Carolina: Goat Lady Dairy Snow Camp, a decadent, buttery bloomy-rind goat and cow-milk cheese is paired with Foothills Brewing Torch Pilsner.

Join us on Facebook to sound off on which team you’re rooting for this #CheeseBowl, or share your own cheese match-ups!

If you’re feeling blue that your team isn’t in the game, why not make this Blueberry Chive Blue Cheeseball?

 

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As has become the tradition at the White House, the day after the State of the Union will once again be Big Block of Cheese Day. An Aaron Sorkin/West Wing-inspired throwback to the days of President Andrew Jackson, the event sadly no longer features an actual block of cheese but instead is a day during which representatives of the White House and federal agencies field questions over social media.

photo credit: WhiteHouse.gov photo credit: WhiteHouse.gov

 

To add further insult to injury, prior years’ sole photo of cheese depicted a lone sad, shrink-wrapped block of generic cheddar from the supermarket. We again call on the White House staff to support any of our local small businesses here in Washington offering real American cheese for purchase.

Further, we offer the following questions for those of you would like to see cheese policy addressed on a day ostensibly dedicated to cheese:

3 Questions to #AsktheWH:

  1. Why has the FDA arbitrarily lowered the threshold for non-toxigenic bacteria (non-toxigenic meaning totally harmless – these bacteria are naturally present in the human body) in cheese in the absence of any science or rulemaking process demonstrating its appropriateness for predicting the presence of harmful bacteria? (See https://welch.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/welch-leahy-sanders-challenge-fda-new-fda-cheese-standard.)
  2. Will the FDA’s forthcoming new rules for raw milk cheesemaking take into account European research and traditional practices that have safely produced raw milk cheese for centuries?
  3. Can the Administration explain why the FDA continues to target raw milk cheesemaking when its own data collection demonstrates that more recalls have been issued for pasteurized cheeses in the past decade? And that cheese overall is safer than eggs, spinach, and peanut butter – given the massive recalls over those products?

On a lighter note, as this is the last Big Block of Cheese Day of the Obama Administration, we pondered what cheese might be served should the tradition carry on in the next Administration.

Hillary Clinton, a self-professed cheese lover, will likely be keen on something from New York. Perhaps some Kunik made by female cheesemaker Sheila Flanagan at Nettle Meadow Farm?

It’s safe to assume Bernie Sanders, who has already shown support for his home state’s cheesemakers and taunted former Wisconsin Governor Bob La Follette by saying, “You should be very proud you have the second-best cheddar cheese in the country” — will certainly roll in a block of Vermont cheddar. (But will it be from Cabot, Grafton or Shelburne?)

photo credit: Long Clawson Dairy via the Independent

 

On the Republican side, there can be only one choice for Donald Trump: gold-flecked Stilton from the UK’s Long Clawson Dairy.

Ted Cruz, perhaps some of the 2015 ACS Best in Show Celtic Blue Reserve from Canada.

Rand Paul is a raw milk supporter; we can picture him enjoying some Flory’s Truckle from the heartland’s Milton Creamery.

paul ryan holding cheese photo credit: AP via Wall Street Journal

 

As always, we’ll be listening for hidden cheese messages in the State of the Union. New House Speaker Paul Ryan has been known to bring cheese to Congressional hearings; we’ll be looking for a block of Wisconsin cheddar on the dais tonight. Come join us on Twitter (@curdwise) for this annual collision of cheese punnery and policy, won’ t you?

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12 Days of Cheesemas!

December 24, 2015

Doing some last minute holiday shopping? Here’s our wishlist…. If you need a last-minute card for the special fromagaphile in your life, we’ve got a free downloadable version for you right here. If you haven’t heard, it’s a true Cheesemas miracle: Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese is BACK! After a one-year hiatus, it’s back in a limited […]

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And The Winners Are…

August 1, 2015

The 30th annual Academy of Cheese awards — technically the American Cheese Society Judging & Competition Awards, took place last night in Providence, Rhode Island. There were 355 ribbons awarded to the best of 1,779 cheeses entered from producers in North and South America. For the first time in competition history, the winner was a […]

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Ash is Good. 

July 31, 2015

At the American Cheese Society “Meet the Cheesemaker” last night, one trend caught my eye immediately — a fresh crop of Morbier-inspired cheeses with the signature striking ash line across the paste. True Morbier is a name-protected cheese which hails from its small namesake village in the Franche-Comté region. It was traditionally made to use […]

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ACS Cheese Camp 2015 Kicks Off in Providence RI

July 29, 2015

The 2015 American Cheese Society Conference & Competition kicks off in Providence, Rhode Island, tonight. Yours truly will be reporting live via the usual places (twitter – instagram – facebook) but I had to share a very important PSA for any readers in the area — Murray’s Cheese has brought a mobile cheese truck to […]

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Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day

April 16, 2015

Parmigiano-Reggiano, Comté, Roquefort — what do those famed cheeses have in common? Aside from being kings of the cheese world, they are all made with raw milk. New American icons Bayley Hazen, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, and Rogue River Blue? All raw milk cheeses as well. This Saturday, April 18, the Cheese of Choice Coalition and […]

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Super Blues and A Blueberry Chive Blue Cheese Ball #BigGameCheese

January 30, 2015

It’s here at last — the official weekend of cheese binging. (Others may refer to it as Super Bowl weekend.) And as is our tradition, we’re here to help you elevate your #BigGameCheese with real cheese. As fate would have it, both teams’ colors are blue this year, so we’ve got two Super Blues facing […]

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Cold Nights, Hot Cheese {News & Events}

January 21, 2015

Happy New Year, curd friends! We hope you’ve wrapped up those January juice cleanses and are refreshed and ready for a new year of cheese exploration. This week saw the official National Cheese Lovers’ Day (January 20), but for us it really is just the kick-off of a month of cheese lovin’ — I mean, […]

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12 Best Little Cheese Shops

December 18, 2014

The 12 Days of Cheesemas are here! And, there are just 12 shopping days before New Year’s Eve, the cheesiest night of the year. We’re highlighting today some of the best places to shop for your holiday cheeses — the independent cheese shops in your own backyard (we hope!). Sure, NYC may think of itself […]

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