Monday, September 29, 2008

Sweet Cheese

You may not know it, but some really good cheese is made right here in the South. Like everything in the food industry cheese has gone green, if you will. It’s an evolution that makes plenty of sense to me. Sweet Grass Dairy makes sense to me.

As farmers markets started to appear all over the place, we all started to learn more about the way our food is produced and we learned that we don’t have to eat food that is not produced in a sustainable, organic “like” way. If we choose not to, that is. And the more we learn, the more we choose not to eat the garbage that is the food offered in traditional grocery stores.

Ten or so years ago, when small “Green Markets” started popping up around Atlanta, those who shopped there were learning about vegetables. We learned how farms at these Green Markets practiced sustainability. We learned that no pesticides were being used on the produce from these farms. We started to see the chef from our favorite restaurant shopping at theses markets. It all started making sense and soon we wanted to get all our food from like minded producers. Not just our vegetables, but our meat, bread and dairy products etc.

And so it is. Now days you can be a locavore. You can get a large percentage of you food from a local producer. You can know just how the vegetables were grown, how the pig was raised, or the cow or the chicken or even the goat who’s milk went into to the cheese you bought this Saturday at the local Green Market. Because these producers are at the market each weekend not only selling, but educating and answering any and all questions. You can visit most of their farms if you like and see for yourself.

I started with cheese , didn’t I? That’s because Friday night Stacey and I participated in a cheese dinner at The Feed Store. We ate food is what we did, that’s how we participated, we ate. And we did it well. We ate the menu below and never complained. Not once.

Amuse Bouche
“Mediterranean Feta” – Cerignola Olive Petal Confit
“Heat” Green Tomato Pico de Gallo – Tortilla Chip

Pan Seared Foie Gras – “Lumiere” Stuffed French Toast – Ellijay Apple Sauce

Georgia Shrimp and “Thomasville Tomme” Bisque – Berkshire Pork Lardon Toast

Baby Arugula – Sous Vide Candied Beet – Fried “Green Hill” – Black Pepper Vinaigrette

Churrasco Beef Tenderloin – Grilled Sweet Onions – Black Eyed Pea, Collard Green, and “Sevenwood” Casserole

“Fresh Chevre” Ice Cream – Scuppernong Syrup - Mint

Sweet Grass Dairy is located in Thomasville, Georgia, not far from Tallahassee Fla. The young man who reps Sweet Grass (Gabe) lives in Tallahassee. He was at the dinner and I think he was pleased with what Peter and Cooper, the chefs at The Feed Store did with the six different cheeses they worked with.

I guess this was my point when I started this, you can get a lot of different food stuff from nearby. It takes a little effort and I have never fully embrace the idea. Just lately I am finding I want to embrace the idea a little more. I wanna eat the freshest food as often as possible.

This was a really good start.

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