Genderqueer, lesbian, skeptic, atheist.
I'm kinky and geeky and fat, deal with it! Currently working as a noodle slinger for Noodles & Company
I am in a long distance relationship with the most amazing woman and I can't wait to see her again. I have added this widget if you are able and willing to donate to our goal of living together!
THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH. YOU’RE LIFE SAVERS. LITERALLY.
I DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE THERE WAS A SWAMP OF SADNESS HERE UNTIL I WAS ALREADY IN IT. THEY’RE PRETTY TERRIBLE. IT’S A REALLY LONG STORY, BUT MY COUSIN ARTAX ACTUALLY DIED IN ONE OF THESE. WHICH IS LIKE, SO SAD TO THINK AB-
AH, DAMN IT.
Today, we’re introducing the Cheese Expert Q&A series, where we’ll chat with leading American cheese professionals. First up is Laura Werlin - cheese author, educator, consultant and self-described “American cheese cheerleader.” As Laura prepares to head back to Madison for the 30th Anniversary ACS Conference & Competition - 15 years after her first ACS Conference - she looks back at how the American cheese landscape has changed and shares her favorite Madison spots.
Tell us about your first trip to the ACS conference.
Coincidentally, my first ACS conference was to Madison in 1998. I had made the decision I wanted to write a book about American cheese, inspired by the cheesemakers in my local farmers’ market (San Francisco), so I went to the ACS conference to get a broader picture of the American cheese scene. Suffice to say, I got it – and then some! I’d never seen such a spectrum of American cheeses, let alone tasted them. But more than anything, I got to meet people like Judy Schad, Mary Keehn, and Paula Lambert, who were heroes to me even though I’d never even met them.
How have you seen the American cheese landscape change since then?
Well, for example, at the Festival of Cheese in 1998, I probably tasted most of the 300 or so cheeses that were available for tasting, but frankly, most of them weren’t that good. So not only do we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,700 cheeses at the Festival now, an infinitely larger percentage of those cheeses are absolutely world-class. No longer is the vast majority of cheeses of the flavored variety; instead, they are not only artistically made, very often by hand, but they are made with extraordinarily impressive scientific expertise that simply didn’t exist back then on the scale it does now.
What are you looking forward to for this year’s conference?
In a way, I’m looking forward to looking back, to really taking stock of where we’ve come from as a Society and more, as a cheese making and cheese eating culture. In 1998, the phrase “American cheese” was sure to be met with a disparaging remark; now it’s met with delight and curiosity, as in “tell me more!” But I’m also excited about looking ahead. If we’ve come this far this fast, whether it’s the number of cheesemakers now dotting the American landscape, the birth of the Certified Cheese Professional™ program, the exponential growth of cut-and-wrap cheese counters and stand alone cheese shops, and so much more, it’s positively thrilling to contemplate what’s next.
What are your must-visit Madison spots?
Without a doubt, the Dane County Farmers’ Market is one of the most spectacular events of any kind one can experience. In a way, it’s the mother ship of all other farmers’ markets and because of that is something for which I have deep reverence and appreciation. As much as visiting the vendors there and buying things like hickory nuts that I can’t get in California, I absolutely love watching the migration of families, couples, the elderly – you name it – circumnavigating the extraordinarily beautiful Capitol. Then, once at the farmers’ market, a trip across the street to Fromagination is also a must-do. Ken Monteleone has done a magnificent job of curating cheeses and other food products, many Wisconsin-made, and the very act of walking in his store is, for me, kid-in-a-candy store time every time. I also love love love love Tory Miller’s restaurants, L’Etoile (founded by our keynote speaker, Odessa Piper) and his newer restaurant called Graze. Tory is the ultimate farmers’ market chef, and I find his food very exciting. Finally, to work all that good food off, I love running along both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, which afford beautiful water views as well as views of Madison itself.
What cheesy dishes are you cooking these days?
Well, having recently come out with a book all about macaroni and cheese, you can guess that there’s a lot cheese-grating and noodle-cooking going on in my kitchen. Fact is, I never tire of mac & cheese nor of grilled cheese, so some variation on those themes make regular appearances in my kitchen. Just as with everything, I cook seasonally, so right now I’m gearing up to make my asparagus, Swiss, and dill mac & cheese, and on the grilled cheese front, I’ll be making my recipe called “Cheese and Cherries a la Lynne,” (named for cheese woman extraordinaire, Lynne Devereux), which features fresh cherries, Gruyère, basil and fromage blanc. Say cheese!
just a reminder than tumblr gets face characters fired and if you keep going in this direction with the new Peter Pan face character you are all so suddenly obsessed with you’re going to make him lose his job
can you explain how that happens?
people find out his real name and call him that at the park, therefore taking him out of character and ruining the magic for the younger kids
SIGNAL BOOSTING THIS SHIT
I don’t care who you fucking think you are:
If a kid wants to show you something they’re proud of, you better fucking act impressed
I don’t care if it’s a small score on a video game or a piece of art made of nothing but blue paint or even a fucking fake burp
You better fucking act like you just saw Jesus materialize out of thin air.I bet John Winchester never saw this post
Ze said unto Hir people ‘You do not have to celebrate those who use your proper Words and recognize the validity of your existence. You do not have to be grateful for them. No more than you are grateful for and celebrate the Stranger you passed the other day because they did not punch you in the face simply because you were there. These are the behaviors of Basically Decent People. They are a starting point. Not a special goal to be achieved.’
The Universal Holy Scripture of Angry Trans* Individuals, 24:3