Monday, November 7, 2011

Formaggio Kitchen Cheese Cave Tour & Tasting

by Tina Galante
Last week, 12 Tufts Slow Foodies visited Formaggio Kitchen, an artisanal cheese and specialty foods store in Cambridge, for a private tour and tasting event. The event started off with a tour of the store’s “cheese caves,” which are small underground rooms kept at the precise temperature and humidity ideal for aging young cheeses and maintaining moisture in older cheeses. Our cheese-monger, Julia (a Tufts alumn!), told us all about the store’s process of buying and importing cheese and went into great detail about the special relationships Formaggio builds with its small-scale producers.

After the tour, it was tasting time! We each got to sample a sizable hunk of 6 different cheeses, each carefully paired with a unique and delicious condiment. Arguably the biggest hit was a local raw cow’s milk Landaff cheese with an out-of-this-world tomato jam (I was hesitant at first, but I think this is my new favorite jam!). Another amazing combination was “Inspiration,” a washed rind, raw milk cheese from Vermont, paired with a piece of local dark chocolate (produced by a man who roasts his cacao beans in a toaster oven in Western Mass!)

Each cheese and condiment came with a story that gave us an even greater appreciation for the craftsmanship and care that went into each of these delicious products. It was truly the epitome of a Slow Food experience, and given that most of the group went home with at least one purchase from the store…I’d say the event was a success. :)

Thanks to Julia Hallman and Erin Weber of Formaggio Kitchen for making this event possible!

(And thanks to Rachael Kirk for the great photos!)

If any of you are interested, I’d highly recommend attending one of the upcoming events and/or classes hosted by Formaggio. Click here to check them out!

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