Fig & Olive Cheese Plate

Posted by Maddie on September 23, 2014 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (552)

I thoroughy enjoyed the selection of crostini appetizers and the foccacia with a tasting of three olive oils, the cheese plate wasn't as satisfying. Why? The small portion. While the cheese plate selection consisted of five cheeses that created a well-rounded combination (Fromage De Chevre (Goat), Robiola (Cow), Manchego (Sheep), Gorgonzola Dolce (Cow), and Rochetta (Cow, Sheep, Goat), the size was surprisingly small--I felt like I was almost eating the scraps Zabar's cheese counter hands out at the end of the workday...


In the center of the plate was rosemary, a giant fig, fig jam, and marcona almonds. I especially enjoyed the fig and the fig jam the most, considering that the portion of the cheese was extremely unsatisfying. I have to say I have tasted many cheese plates all over Manhattan, but this was the smallest cheese plate to date. And it's not like the cheeses were that special.. You can get your fill of Manchego, Fromage de Chevre, and Gorgonzola Dolce at Fairway, Zabars, or Citarella (for those New Yorkers out there).


If you ever make it out to Fig & Olive, fingers crossed you get larger portions than me!!



Sorry, I'm a Cheese Stickler... (An Entry in the form of Prose)

Posted by Maddie on August 18, 2014 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (81)

Being at college has greatly reduced my exposure to cheese. Back home in Manhattan, I lived across the street from a gourmet cheese shop. After high school each day -- it literally was every day --I visited the cheese shop in search for a cheese I haven't tried (which was rare) or chose one of my old favorites that I was craving in class earlier that day. Whatever the cheese, I've always bought in small quantity, asking for roughly .225 to .25 pounds. I have a weird habit which drives my parents crazy. I like to finish cheese I buy the day of. This is why I ask for the minumum weight the cheese monger will cut for me. The cheese just tastes fresher! My refrigerator is not calibrated to optimize cheese freshness because it's busy keeping leftover meat fresh for tomorrow's dinner, which unfortunately makescheese firmer than it's supposed to be. If I really can't finish the entire wedge, then I have no choice to put it in the refrigerator. But, tomorrow then becomes a waiting game: I need the cheese to sit out at room temperature for roughly 30 minutes (longer for harder cheeses) so I can get the exact consistency I want. But, its always worth the wait. 

Osteria Morini - Soho, NYC

Posted by Maddie on August 15, 2013 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (77)

After having a mini cheese fast (In Hawaii, I choose sashimi over cheese :-0 !!), I have resumed my cheese habit. With my family, we ventured to Manhattan's Soho to restaurant Osteria Morini (Chef Michael White : ). As any cheeselover would do, I ordered a cheese plate as my entree dish.

From left to right:

Nuvola di Pecora: Sheep's Milk, Semi-Soft (tastes like firm cream cheese, really! rind complements buttery taste, toothsome, tangy, not pungent, very mild. rating: +1 (from -2 to 2)

Toma Walser: Cow's Milk, Semi-Soft (acidic, bitter, rind is bitter --as you can tell by the adjectives, I didn't particulary like this cheese despite its smooth texture. rating (-2)

Robiola Bosina: Cow/Sheep milk, Soft (one of my all-time favorites! If you like cheese at all, you will love this. Buttery and creamy as robiola should be, for anyone who likes Brie, this is better. toothsome, nutty rind. rating (+2)

If you're in the area, I definitely recommend you to check out the restaurant!


T-Giving Break: Lancmarc Restaurant (Time Warner Center, NYC)

Posted by Maddie on December 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (118)

Whenever I come back to Manhattan for break, I'm upset to leave the comfort of my new home--my college campus, but happy to come back to family and good food. My third night back, the first night being the night of the Debutante Ball, I convinced my parents to go to Landmarc, which is in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. After a ton of Black Friday shopping, we had an early and much needed dinner at Landmarc, where I ordered my go-to entree: a cheese plate. Here are the 5 cheeses on the plate. Once again I used the Artisanal Cheese Company's Rating system I learned from Maitre Fromager Max McCalman: -2 (Dislike), -1, 0 (ambivalent) 1, +2 (Love)

From Left to Right: 

La Tur (Cow, Goat, and Sheep's Milk, Italy): +2: Really creamy, herby, tangy

Castelrosso (Cow's milk, Italy) Sheep; 0; mild like manchego

Humboldt Fog (Goat's Milk, United States): 1; powdery, airy, mild, toothsome

Shropshire (Cow's milk, Great Britain): -2; farmy really hard to eat; strong aftertaste, mild flavor

Forme d'Ambert (Cow's Milk, France): +2; smoky, creamy, toothsome

T-Giving Break: Waldorf Astoria Hotel for Deb Ball

Posted by Maddie on November 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (326)

Over Thanksgiving Break, I was invited to a Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria. So happy they had goat cheese as an appetizer! And it was a huge chunk too. 

Quick Snack: Melted Fontina and French Raclette

Posted by Maddie on July 6, 2012 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (123)

I like eating cheese the day I buy it. When I leave cheese in the refrigerator over night, the flavor is muted. However, there is a quick trick to collecting that flavor again--by melting it! I use the leftover cheeses, cube them and place them evenly on crackers; my favorite type of crackers are the stoned wheat type which adds nutty flavor. After I microwave the cheeses on the crackers for 40 seconds, I drizzle lavender honey in a zig zag pattern on the crackers. Enjoy!!

My Dates at Prom

Posted by Maddie on June 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Prom usually consists of three parts: pre-prom, prom, and post-prom. Pre-prom involves parents taking photos of their children with their children's dates, exchanges of corsages and bouttenaires, and hors d'oeuvres on silver trays making its rounds for takers. After the corsage-bouttenaire exchange with my date (it is impossible to pin on the bouttenaire without the flower falling lop-sided or the pin sticking dangerously out enough to stab someone) and an entire Facebook album full of traditional prom photos, I scouted the room for my favorite bite-sized snacks. In one corner of a large reception room, hidden behind crowds of teenagers taking photos of every combination, I found my go-to absolute favorite snack: cheese. I kept company with the cheeses, which were lonesomely forgotten in the corner. I was impressed by the selection of 6 cheeses from Murray's Cheese; in fact, I wasn't familiar with two of them! I would've expected the usual Brie, aged Cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

From the left bottom corner and clockwise, the cheeses are Brunet (Pasteurized Goat), Westfield Capri (Pasteurized Goat), Casatica (Pasteurized Buffalo), Blu del Moncenisio (Pasteurized Cow), Fiore Sardo (Raw Sheep), and Castelrosso (Pasteurized Cow). In this cheese plate, I particularly enjoyed Brunet, Fiore Sardo, and the Blu del Moncenisio.

All in all, I was fueled up on cheese and ready for the next two parts of prom!

Who Did It Better?

Posted by Maddie on April 12, 2012 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (1)

When dining out, whether you're the type who gravitates to one favorite dish or the kind who listens acutely to the daily specials, there is always that one ingredient that grabs your attention while skimming your menu. By now you know that if there's cheese in it, I probably ordered it. Confession: I'm an entree repeater. Take a look at my entree duplicates, and be the judge:

Who Did It Better?

Top: Dos Caminos: Queso Fundido (Mexican 3-Cheese fondue served with Mexican Chorizo)

Middle: Rosa Mexicana: Queso Fundido (Melted Chihuahua cheese served in a cast iron skillet with Chorizo and peppers)



Bottom: Via Quodrono: Crostini di Polenta (Gorgonzola cheese melted over cornmeal medallions)...An Italian twist, and with polenta.

Now, for salads, with goat cheese!

Top: Epcot's Les Chefs de France: Salade de Chevre chaud (Baked goat cheese,walnuts, fresh grapes, tomatoes, endive, salad)

Middle: Maui's The Pineapple Grill (Located in Kapalua Resort): Kula Baby Spinach Salad( Macadamian nut crusted goat cheess, Kapalua Farms cherry tomatoes, chilledasparagus spears, shaved red onions, toasted macadamia nuts,sherry-shallot vinaigrette)

Bottom: Serafina: Goat Cheese E Spinach (Baby spinach, warm goat cheese, pine nut, pine nut oil & honey vinaigrett)


Disney Cheese?

Posted by Maddie on March 22, 2012 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

No, the cheeses are not named after Disney princesses or in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head. Florida's DisneyWorld had legit cheeses--for the most part. In my third of four days at DisneyWorld, I spent the day at Epcot and visited every country... really! Epcot's layout reminded me of the Shanghai World Exposition 2010 because each country had some sort of pavillion where they marketed their own products: ex: Germany sold Werther's Caramel Hard Candies, which I just happen to love. When we got to France, and I took a look at the Les Chefs de France menu, I knew I just had to make my friends eat there with me. I ordered a salad appetizer and the cheese plate to finish--no surprise!

Salade de Chevre chaud - baked goat cheese, walnuts, fresh grapes, tomatoes, endive, salad... just look at that goat cheese! Delish!

Assiette de fromages de France - Imported cheese plate with raisin and walnut bread.

I had the waiter write down the names of the cheeses so I could share them with you! I take the names of each cheese seriously, so I was at a loss for words when I received the names of the cheeses. (Picture Below). My favorite cheese? Probably the goat, the blue, or the Emmental. Wait, did you just read that? Emmental is Swiss! What is a Swiss cheese doing at a French restaurant?!

Food Diary: March (Thus far)

Posted by Maddie on March 4, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (4)

Five cheeses: Top: Brie de Nangis, Raw milk Manchego

Bottom: Vigneron, 24month Parmigiano-Reggiano, French Raclette

I find a dish with cheese in every cuisine... Mexican! Queso Fundido (3 cheese fondue served with mexican chorizo) that chihuahua cheese

Food Diary: February 2012

Posted by Maddie on February 16, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (4)

The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

Posted by Maddie on February 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (12)

In my English elective, The Ache of Modernism, we read a poem by T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland." A link to the poem is below. Personally, this is probably one of the most difficult poems I've ever had to analyze. "The Wasteland" is separated into five parts, but each part of the poem struggles to find a balance between excess and scarcity. My favorite part of the poem is called II. The Game of Chess. Not only is this the portion of the poem that contains all of Eliot's Shakespearian references, it is about a women's relationship to man in comparision to a woman's relationship to man in Shakespeare. For example, Ophelia goes mad and commits suicide out of her rejection from Hamlet and Polonious by drowning herself. The women sitting on Cleopatra's throne is going mad being alone. She is paranoid. Eliot's references to Shakespeare reveals the relationship he has with modernity. In the time period "The Wasteland" was written, there was war between countries, and a lack of guidance and organization. He alludes to Shakespeare to reveal that good things are coming to an end, and that high brow literature is replaced with cheaper alternatives. Take a look at the poem for yourself, and let me know what you think!