27 Oct Say Cheese

There are many things in my life for which I am grateful, not being lactose intolerant chief among them. You may wonder why that would be so high on my list and the answer is, simply, cheese. Cheese is a glorious use of dairy that comes in so many varieties you continuously discover new favorites. With so many cheeses left to try, here are 5 unique cheeses to put on your bucket list. 5) Tomme Au Marc De Raisin Traditionally a Christmas cheese, the process begins in autumn when cow’s milk is salted and curdled. Wrapped and doused in brandy, it is then completely covered in the same raisins that were used to make the alcohol. Decadent, right? Better make sure to have some crackers on hand to balance out the richness. 4) Stilton Au Porto If there were a hierarchy within cheese society, Stilton Au Porto would be king. A historic blue cheese, its production dates back to the 18th century, with only 6 modern dairies licensed to produce it. Turned daily to ensure it is aging evenly, the cheese is soaked in port to achieve the signature creaminess and blue veins. 3) Tchnerni Vit This cheese is region-specific to a town of the same name located in a small Bulgarian province. Made from the milk of local sheep, the curds are salted, and put into a lime wood box, which is then taken out into the mountains and left there until the end of October....

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15 Sep New France excursion: cave spelunking and a pound of fire-heated cheese

[caption id="attachment_2259" align="alignnone" width="660"] Vercors, France.[/caption] The ice age is back. No, not the movie. The actual time when temperatures dropped and the northern continental ice sheets enveloped most of the earth. You don’t need to bundle up to experience it, however. Vercors, France and its caverns and intricate cave system have preserved some interesting fossils from the period. A quick two-hour drive from Grenoble, France and you’re weaving through the Rhone-Alps region and its mountains, dodging tall, thin fir trees stretching outwardly from hillsides. The view soon turns flat like the cornfields of Iowa, and you think for a second you’ve been driving in the wrong direction. You weave around a slight bend and suddenly there it is: a gargantuan mountain range and below it the Vercors cave system, the largest cave entrance in all of Europe. 400 miles of stalagmites and 4100 feet at its deepest point, Vercors caves are an intricately connected system of crevasses, hidden entrances and wide, open rooms of limestone rock. And fossils. Many fossils from the ice age are perfectly preserved on the cave walls as you trek deeper into the system. The Vercors caves are not for the faint at heart. Rope, clips, carabineers, flashlights and a local guide are a must. The depth you can tumble to and the immediate darkness once turning the first corner make this excursion an explorer’s delight (Though to show the caves have a cute side, it does maintain a Facebook...

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