“Mambo Italiano” – This is not a dance class that I signed up for, it is an Italian cheese course and one should know there’s more to talk about than just Parmesan-Reggiano when it comes to Italian cheeses.
A very good friend, Janet Fletcher, is the ‘Queen’ when it comes to the world of cheese. For over three decades, she has inspired many of us here in the San Francisco Bay Area with articles sharing her knowledge and passion of food and wine. So lucky me I received her recent newsletter “Planet Cheese” and read about the upcoming World Cheese Tour Janet will be teaching. It only took about 30 seconds before I hit the ‘Sign Me Up’ tab and get registered for this course.
Once a month for the next eight months I will get to crisscross the globe tasting and learning about cheeses from Italy, France, Spain, Great Britain, Switzerland and across the U.S.
Excited and filled with anticipation I attended the first class a few days ago, “Mambo Italiano”. I knew it was going to be a good night when I saw a few familiar faces and old friends from my early restaurant days here in Napa Valley.
The two-hour class covered cheeses from Lombardy, Tuscany, Calabria and Piedmont. Even better was the variety of milk used by the artisan producers, which included goat, water buffalo, cow, sheep and a cow/sheep blend. I learned tonight that shape; texture and aroma all play an important role in the world of artisan cheese making. In addition, the class reviewed tips on how to choose, store and serve cheese.
As I walked away from this first class, all I could say to myself was WOW! What a great two hours, time very well spent. I can’t wait for next month, next stop France and Switzerland!