Richard Sutton of the locally renowned St James Cheese Company was on hand at last night's Garden District Cookbook Club meeting. The cheesemonger then participated in an informal interview with Bookshop assistant manager Amy Loewy, discussing the surprisingly complex world of cheese. Among the topics discussed were Sutton's early cheese-mongering years in London, the state of cheese in today's USA, and the art and science of artisan cheese production.
A tasty sampling of cheese was on hand for event participants, who indulged in some of Sutton's favorites, as well as snacks brought in by Cookbook club members.
Always popular: Creole cream cheese with chives.
The delightful French cheese Comte Marcel Petite, a superb accompaniment to wine (and vice versa). Produced from the milk of Montbeliard cows, grazed in the Jura meadows of France's Franche-Comtè Region, it's a subtle and delightfully nutty, creamy firm cheese.
The cheeses Sutton selected.
This is an Appalachian cheese from Virginia's Meadowcreek dairy. Produced from raw cow's milk, this gently flavored and richly satisfying cheese is a new American favorite.
This is Tarantaise cheese, an artisan product hailing from Thistle Hill Farm in North Pomfret, Vermont. The region's particular terrior gives this cheese its bold, distinctive flavor. The organic cheese is produced in a fiercely traditional fashion, following European Swiss methods. The farm makes its Tarentaise in Swiss-origin copper vats, one of the few USA producers to do so.