madison happenings

Recent adventures:

Nat comes to visit

For her last Spring Break (graduating in less than a month! Wha??), Nat flew up here to spend the week with me. First thing’s first: beer and cheese curds.

Fortunately, unlike every other year in Wisconsin’s history, early March was not a frozen tundra. We got to walk all around town without freezing our faces off. Or rather, we would mosey around until we found a bakery, stop for a pastry, keep walking, stop for another, keep walking, convince ourselves we deserved a third since we were walking so much… Probably didn’t cancel out.

As you can see, almost painfully good.

World Cheese Championship

This year, the world competition for best cheeses was held right here in Madison. And, I work in a cheese shop, so…had to go. An entire meal of cheese. (Paid for that later.) Fantastic selection, mostly from North America, Europe, and Oceania. My only complaint is not having the time to slow down and think about each cheese, instead being herded like cattle sheep goats (take your pick at a milk type — cheesemonger pun, couldn’t resist) through the lines while shoving world-class cheese down the hatch.

In the end, European cheeses won out (sorry WI) — second and third places were given to Swiss-style cheeses from Switzerland and the blue ribbon winner was a Gouda from the Netherlands. The winners were decided by esteemed judges hand-picked from all over the globe. Some of them came into the shop to chat with us a few days leading up to the competition. It was fascinating to pick their brains about cheese. (Can you imagine devoting your life to a bacteria process? Even working in a cheese shop, I can’t wrap my brain around it.) The judges were very serious, eating/smelling/observing/feeling the cheeses, some taking up to five minutes to eat one bite of a cheese (unlike the rest of us cattle). Here’s a shot of the action:

I like the guy in the red tie.

So, lots of food happenings. Just the way I like it. Next weekend starts the Madison farmers market, only the largest in the country. *ahem* I’m sure plenty of recipes will soon follow.

Next up, cardamom buns. Stay tuned.