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Nerds for cheese

(article, Liz Crain)

Curdnerds is the second cheese blog in my ongoing tour of online cheesedom.

p(blue). Blog: Curdnerds
Average posts per month: 5
Blogger: Jamie Forrest
Age: 30
Blog place of origin: Brooklyn, New York

[%image JamieForrest float=left caption="Jamie Forrest is a curd nerd." credit="Photo courtesy Jamie Forrest"]

Curdnerds nibbles on all things cheese with a tilt toward DIY cheesemaking, cheese pairings, and innovative cheese products. Although the chief Curdnerd, Jamie Forrest, has been known to delve into dairy-industry politics, his focus is usually straight-to-the-gut gustatory pleasure. Anonymous comments are welcome and make for lively banter. 

Recently Curdnerds launched a “forums” section as a place for professionals and enthusiasts to communicate about the sad state of cardboard-container Parmesan, paint pretty pictures of mold spores, share recipes, and chat it up over all kinds of curd-centric information.

You’ve been blogging for a while now — how have you seen cheese awareness and appreciation evolve?
With every passing year, there seems to be more and more interest. The American Cheese Society saw record attendance at their conference in Portland (Oregon) this year, and it's probably only going to grow from there.  


h1. Liz's faves


1. Making Syrian Cheese
2. Mice don't like cheese
3. American Cheese


Cheese finally seems to be receiving the recognition it deserves, following in the footsteps of other American gastronomic revivals: wine in the seventies, beer and coffee in the nineties. Also, back in the nineties people were so obsessed with low-fat diets that cheese became a six-letter word. 

Now that people are realizing how nutritious cheese really is (loaded with protein), and also how convenient it is (one of the world's oldest convenience foods), awareness and appreciation are on the rise.

How often do you eat cheese?
If I said, "with every meal," would you promise not to tell my doctor? Seriously though, while I do eat cheese at almost every meal, most weekends I go a little further, offering a more elaborate selection as part of a bigger meal. Making a cheese plate for your guests has a really high impact-to-difficulty ratio.

[%image cheese float=right caption="American singles, just not Kraft's version." credit="Photo courtesy Jamie Forrest"]

What cheeses did you grow up eating?
Kraft American Singles! Every once in a while we'd pick up some Jarlsberg from a local specialty-foods store run by the company my dad worked for. That was always a treat. It wasn't until college that I tasted "real" cheese.

Cheesy question for all: If you were stranded on a dessert island (yup, an island made of desserts), with only sweets and a perpetual after-dinner hunger, which cheese would you take with you?
First of all, I am so_ glad this is a dessert island and not a desert one. By dessert island you mean a Viennese table, right? I'm so there. 

As for the cheese I'd bring with me, it would be a Comté, preferably over a year old. First of all, it's such an outstanding cheese, I would never tire of it. And unlike a softer, more perishable cheese, it should last a good long while wrapped in banana leaves and buried in the ground. 

Comté has the added benefit of good meltability, which on a desert (or even a dessert) island will definitely come in handy. Finally, Comté pairs really nicely with sweet things, so it should go well with all that good stuff on the Viennese table.

p(bio). Liz Crain* is a writer based in Portland, Oregon.

JamieForrest, l

cheese, l

reference-image, l