A Literary Feast

Posts by Marie-Laure Couet

How You Taste Success: Mató

Posted on May 25th, 2011

Mató is a fresh cheese made in Catalunya. According to Toni Chueca of Formatge Bauma, Mató it is the most typical cheese of Catalunya because it is simple and fresh. Back when most families had milking animals and land, some of the day’s milk would be transformed into this cheese, right in the kitchen. Nicanor Coscollola of Formatgeria de Tòrrec says there are no secrets to Mató because of this history. Care to give it a try? Here’s what you’ll need:

On The Subject of Cookies

Posted on March 30th, 2011

These are my dad’s favorite. I know just how my mom uses her finger as a spatula so she can lick it clean. Unless it’s got fruit, sweets were never my sister’s thing, but my best friend and I make a mean batch every time we’re together. I even found a man who, on our first date, whipped out a recipe.

Fear No Terroir: Making the Case for Geo-specific Cheese

Posted on March 16th, 2011

I once asked a sales clerk what song was playing on the store’s sound system. She replied that she didn’t know, because Mega Fashion Headquarters sent each of its stores identical music playlists. Disheartened that there was no mysterious meeting of the sales clerks to vote on the music of the day, I also realized that every store sells the same items in more or less the same layout so a consumer will get the same experience shopping in Boston as in Los Angeles.

What does this tell us, other than that we still don’t know what sales clerks are whispering to one another on their headsets? It tells us that location doesn’t matter and that standardization is good… for sales.

Behold the Power of Cheese Affinage

Posted on February 28th, 2011

If you were to look up cheese affinage in a dictionary or even in Google, you wouldn’t find much. Perhaps it’s because the word is French. Or perhaps it’s because we, in the States, don’t have a very long history of cheesemaking. Either way, affinage – or cheese refining – is not on the tip of most people’s tongues. And yet, if you’ve ever tasted a European cheese or any aged American artisan cheese, you’re hopefully eating the result of some damn good affinage. So here it goes: