Monday, March 8, 2010

What I Learned About Cheese at the Flower Show

There was a surprising amount of cheese at last week's Flower Show here in Philadelphia. I mean, there were wheels of cheese by the escalators, there were Di Bruno Bros. cheesemongers everywhere you looked, and even some Vermonters set up shop outside the culinary demonstrations room, offering pamphlets about Cabot Cheddar.

Was I happy about this? Bien sur. In fact, I learned something very interesting from Beth Kennett, one of the dairy farmers on hand at the Cabot Cheese table. Not only is Cabot a farmer-owned cooperative -- pretty cool -- but their aged cheddar is lactose free, which means all the people I know who are lactose intolerant can actually eat this cheese. Hallelujah!

"Natural aging breaks down the lactose," Kennett explained, so the the simple sugars are easy to digest. Kennett says this does not apply to all aged cheddars, only those that are "naturally aged." (Some aged cheeses are injected with chemicals, or so I've read, to speed up the aging process.) If you want to learn more, check out this link at the Cabot Cheese web site.

I was also excited to learn about some cheese-related hospitality up in Vermont. Beth Kennett actually runs a Bed & Breakfast at her dairy, Liberty Hill Farm Inn, so you can meet the cows that produce Cabot cheese. Rates are reasonable, and Beth cooks meals for the guests herself. Sounds to me like a perfect cheeselover's getaway. I may just have to take Monsieur Fromage. Puh puh puh.

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