Photo: Courtney Michalik
SEASONS OF CHEESE
It’s All in the Grass
BY KIRSTEN JONES NEFF
One light and airy barn, several artisanal cheese-makers with their wares, tin buckets of carefully paired regional wines, tables of locally sourced honeys, chutneys and jams, and dozens of swooning tasters … all on a bursting-with-green April day in the hills outside of Sebastopol. Oh, and did I mention Gwen, the sweet-eyed baby water buffalo waiting in the paddock beside the barn?
All of the above make for a very happy cheese lover’s love-fest. This is the “It’s All in the Grass” cheese education and tasting event organized by the Russian River chapter of Slow Food.
The theme of the day? Seasons.
It’s early spring and there seems to be a buzz of excitement in the air. The animals have been let out to pasture and their bountiful milk is infused with layers of botanical flavor provided, gratis, by the hills of western Sonoma County. Over the past decade, the sea-misted hills here, so radiantly verdant in the spring, have cultured the growth of an artisan cheesemaking mecca.
Thanks to natural abundance in the form of long growing seasons and diverse pastureland, and … Read More