My American Cheese Project

Hello old friend, happy New Year to you! I hope you’re staying warm– maybe listening to some records and pondering a cozy fondue party with friends this weekend? It’s a great way to gather up everyone’s leftover cheese nubs from holiday boards and create some cheesy breezy entertaining.

Let me tell you about my New Year’s resolution. My goal is to eat a different American cheese each week. I’ve already started posting about it on Instagram (find me: @mmefromage), and I’m using the hashtag: #AmericanCheeseProject. I’ll share project updates and highlights here, too, but I’m finding that so many of you are on Instagram…why not? Also, you’ve probably noticed my posts here are less frequent — monthly now, instead of weekly. I’ve been working on another book, which will drop from the sky on April 17, 2018, so life around here feels pretty full. If you want to check out my next book, pop over to www.boozeandvinyl.com.

Yup. I have been listening to a LOT of records and ruining my liver.

Luckily, co-authoring a third cocktail book has driven me to crave more cheese (I like a cheese board when I imbibe). And I’m choosing to focus on American cheeses because, over the last few years, I’ve seen so many awesome looking newbies flash by in my periphery. For 2018, I promised myself a year-long gobble.

Here we are.

I want to tell  you this, too. As an American, I find cheese to be one of the most hopeful things happening in this country! Particularly the upswing in small-batch cheesemaking. Hallelujah!

Since I wrote my first food-related book, House of Cheese, back in 2013, there’s been such an uptick in high quality hunks and new makers in the United States. Most people — even my neighbors! — still don’t realize this. Let’s change the perception of American cheese! Let’s broaden some horizons, lovers!

  • Here’s a fromage fact to suck on: there are 900 artisan and specialty cheesemakers now operating in the U.S. — double the number in the year 2000.
  • Here’s a cracker for your thoughts: Cheese is now one of the top three specialty food products in the United States. Americans consume more than 34 pounds per capita.
  • Now, a drop of honey: Last year, the American Restaurant Association flagged artisan cheese as a top trend.

How to Join the American Cheese Project

Want to explore more American cheese together in 2018?

To join the movement, pop over to Instagram (@mmefromage) and whenever you eat a fabulous American-made cheese, snap a picture, post it to Instagram, and tag it #AmericanCheeseProject. I’ll check the tag every day so I can see your posts, and so will everyone who is noshing along! In fact, I’ll probably follow you. I’d love to know what you’re eating!

To be clear: I am not doing this project to gain followers on social media. My goal is to to learn more about American cheese and to share info. Instagram isn’t flawless, but it’s a good way to connect through tagging and commenting. It feels less clunky than doing those things here.

Finally, this idea stems from my own freaky zeal and isn’t sponsored by anyone. I plan to purchase the cheeses I eat for this project because I want to support American makers (another goal). While I welcome samples from time to time, I am really looking to discover new favorites.

 

This Week’s American Cheese

Rocket’s Robiola, from Boxcarr Handmade Cheese

Isn’t she a beauty? You can learn more about this North Carolina robiola rubbed in ash over at Box Carr Handmade Cheese. They’re also on Instagram (@BoxCarrHandmadeCheese).

~

Pictured up top: a selection from Valley Milkhouse, made here in my home state of Pennsylvania. Go red, white, and blue!

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2 Responses to “My American Cheese Project”
  1. Way to go. Nice project. And your first cheese looks magnificent!

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