Monthly Archives: June 2013

Banon Cheese

Banon Cheese

It is rumored that Emperor Antoninus Pius who died in 161BC, died from eating too much Banon Cheese.

banon cheeseWhat makes this unpasteurized  goat cheese so special you ask?  It is the way they make it and it has been made this way for a very long time.   The cheese was first made by a couple in the village of Puimichel near the town of Banon in the region of Alpes-de-Haute Provence.

The unpressed curd is placed in an earthenware jar and seasoned with salt and pepper and doused with vinegar and eau de vie, a clear fruit brandy then left to ferment. The cheese will last for years becoming stronger with time. The cheese when young taste sour and chalky, but let it age and you have a little piece of heaven. After a few weeks the young cheese is wrapped in chestnut leaves to continue the ageing process.

How can you tell a good Banon Cheese? By the color of the leaves. Dark green or brown are the best.  It is very soft and creamy with a fruity and slightly nutty taste and a pungent aroma. The taste and texture change with age.  The rumor says that if you taste this cheese during the month of May while in France at the Banon Cheese festival you will forever yearn to return to Banon.

You can be certain when purchasing Banon cheese from France that you will always get a similar product. The French, who awarded Banon the AOC, or term of controlled origin in the 2000s, regulates the production of the cheese. This means that only certain cheese meeting the French standards for the production of Banon cheese, may be called so. The French regulate all aspects of how, where and when Banon can be produced and labeled within their country.

The word Banon is pronounced ban-awh. The final n as in many French words is not pronounced. You may also find Banon cheese called Banon à la feuille, translated as cheese of the leaf or cheese with a sheet. It is sold in small rounds that are traditionally wrapped with chestnut or grape leaves to enhance the flavor of the cheese and keep it moist, which hastens the production of molds adding even more flavor as the cheese ages. As it ages, the cheese becomes more creamy in texture and richer in flavor, providing a somewhat fruity tasting cheese. Banon cheese is usually served as an hors d’oeuvre or with fruit and wine.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Banon Cheese, Chef Lippe, French food, Uncategorized

Sweet Dreams are made of….

sweet dreams of cheese

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June 10, 2013 · 8:29 am

Raw Milk Amish Cheeses

Raw Milk Amish Cheeses

 By Chef Lippr

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Raw-milk cheese is made with milk that is unpasteurized. Since 1949, the US government has forbidden the sale of cheeses made from unpasteurized milk unless the cheese is aged at least 60 days. The 60-day ban is meant to protect consumers from potentially harmful pathogens. After 60 days, the acids and salts in raw-milk cheese naturally prevent listeria, salmonella, and E. coli from growing.

Some cheesemakers believe that using raw milk creates more flavorful and more healthful cheeses. Many cheesemakers believe there is no reason to be fearful of raw-milk and no reason to wait 60 days to eat cheese made from it.  Our raw cheeses have been aged to comply with the 60 day waiting period or longer.

In terms of nutrition, the difference between organic cheese from grass-fed and the cheese from grain-fed animals you find in most stores and restaurants is as opposite as two different forms of the same food gets.

Though cows, sheep and goats are naturally grass-feeding animals, 85-95% of all dairy animals are raised in confinement on a diet of grain, particularly corn, because it is far more cost-efficient. Because this grain-based diet is highly abnormal and disruptive, it changes the pH in the animals. This then sets up an environment and terrain in the animal for many abnormal physiological conditions in the animal which can increase the need for the use of antibiotics. Further, to promote faster growth and more excessive milk production, many of these dairy animals are fed a variety of growth hormones. All of this makes for the severely unhealthy dairy products that you’ll find on virtually all grocery store shelves.

Cheese from grain-fed animals is very high in the omega-6 fats that most people get far too much of and can lead to a variety of diseases. Meanwhile, it is quite low in the omega-3 that most people are dangerously deficient in. It is also very low in “conjugated linoleic acid,” or CLA, that people need.

This cheese from grass-fed animals, on the other hand, is:

  • One of the few foods that contains a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, a ratio ideal for your health
  • Very high in “conjugated linoleic acid;” in fact, it contains five times more CLA than dairy from grain-fed animals!
  • Considerably higher in beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E than cheese and other dairy from grain-fed sources.
  • High in the healthy calcium and protein your body needs

The reason this cheese is higher in all the vitamins (it’s four times higher in vitamin E, for instance) is in part because fresh pasture provides more of these nutrients than grains. Another reason, is because animals on a grass diet naturally produce considerably less milk than those fed grain.

These modest yields of milk from grass-fed animals are part of the reason almost all agribusiness has shifted to grain-feeding (greater yield = more money for them), but the dairy from grass-fed animals is a great blessing for you.

Dairy producing animals only have a limited amount of vitamins to transfer to their milk, so what people get with grain-fed dairy is a drastically watered-down product in terms of vitamins. With cheese from grass-fed animals, you are getting a considerably higher concentration of vitamins — and the omega-3, and the CLA — in every bite.

Raw cheese has 500% more CLA than cheese and other dairy products from grain-fed cows is alone an incredibly compelling reason to make it your dairy of choice!

Happy, Healthy Grass-Fed Animals Also Means Exceptional Taste

The cows that are grass-fed and graze on 100% organic grasses — meaning grasses that are not treated with pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals — in un-crowded pastures are happy cows. There are no tight quarters and food competition as with grain-fed cows, meaning the cows are unstressed, which also translates to their milk’s health value is higher.

Furthermore, their pastures include various “weeds” that are actually like medicinal herbs to the grazing cows. They can, in effect, pick and choose the grasses they naturally need for their optimal health, and therefore their milk’s optimal health. In addition to the dramatically high level of nutrition the resulting cheese provides, being raised in this entirely natural state also results in a much better tasting cheese. You will immediately notice that the flavors are more pronounced than any cheese you’ve tried before, and the texture is also far smoother and more pleasing to your palate.  The Amish Cheeses we carry have been made the same way for generations.  The Amish community does not believe in feeding grain, or giving growth hormones to its animals. The cows are let out to graze in large pastures in the mornings and can munch on grasses and “weeds” to their hearts content.

We currently offer a line of Raw Amish cheese that includes cheeses from cow, goat and sheep in many degrees of hardness.  From soft and creamy brie type of cheeses to aged cheddars that are full of flavor and creamy on the tongue.

Stop by and get a taste of cheese made the way cheese should taste and compare it to your favorite store bought cheese and see if you can tell the difference.

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Filed under Amish Cheese, Artisan Cheese, Cheese, Chef Lippe, goat cheese, Raw Cheese