Monthly Archives: June 2012

Introducing “Curds and Eh” A new Cheese and Toast Blog series by Kelsie Parsons

This is Kelsie Parsons.  Well, it’s Kelsie if he were to be made of cheese (St. Albert Mild Cheddar in fact). Kelsie is the cheese manager at Sobeys Ira Needles in Kitchener.

As you can see from his cheese doppelgänger, Kelsie is not only compact and shelf-stable but he’s amazingly passionate about cheese and knows a lot about it.

Kelsie speaks to his cheese peeps at Sobeys.

I bumped into him at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival at the beginning of June and told me he’s taking the summer off  to  write a book about Canadian cheese.   He’ll be touring Canada over three months and researching his book along the way.

If any of you cheese lovers own a copy of the great cheese reference book by Steve Jenkins “Cheese Primer” this is Kelsie’s blueprint for his own writing.

I was instantly smitten with his cause and also dying to hear about his adventures.  I figured the people reading Cheese and Toast would probably love reading about this too.

So Kelsie has agreed to write a series over the summer for my blog that we’re calling, “Curds and Eh”.  It will be published every two weeks on Wednesdays–starting tomorrow.

I’m proud to be a part of chronicling this massive effort,  and impressed with the personal time Kelsie is putting into this book. I hope all the cheese makers, cheese mongers and us cheese eaters across the country can support him along the way.

Supportive cheese mongers.

If you have some insider “cheese info” Kelsie should know about in your province leave a comment on this–or his future other posts–he in currently in Quebec and then heading to Newfoundland and the Maritimes.

Enjoy this series, I know I will.

Sue

Kelsie Parsons Bio (not messed up by Sue’s opinions as above)

Kelsie Parsons worked as a cheesemonger for Cheese of Canada and Provincial Fine Foods in Toronto and his photos of Canadian Cheese are featured in Juliet Harbutt’sWorld Cheese Book (2009). He earned his Cheesemaking Certificate from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese and has since apprenticed at Monforte Dairy. In 2010,Kelsie was selected as a delegate to represent the Toronto Slow Food convivium at Terra Madere in Turin, Italy. Kelsie is the Cheese Manager at Sobeys Ira Needles in Kitchener and is currently writing a book about Canadian cheese. He blogs at Sobeys.com/foodiefeature

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It’s my Birthday and I can post what I want to so…Ginger Gummies 24/7.

Connecting through Frankfurt airport I did not discover a store filled with caviar (like in Zurich airport) but I did discover something much handier for airplane travel and bad-movie watching for 8 hours–ginger-lemon gummies!  The man at the sales counter who spoke only German pointed to the pack and said “spicy” just to warn me of what I was getting into, but I smiled and hugged the pack to my chest to show my delight. Only then could he smile back and wish me a “happy trip”.

Now, first off, you should know I love gummi candy.  And I think this Haribo brand rocks.  Especially their mango gummies which I discovered only a month ago in Toronto.  Their simulated mango flavour is divine.

So I could only be more pleased to have these ginger ones be also labelled “wellness gums” as you see on the package.   Who needs Buckley’s for a cough and cold?  Or even Cold FX?

I also love that they have real ginger root on the pack.  Makes it seem kind of local and artisanal, no?  Farmer’s market-ish almost.

Dappled in sunlight it’s almost like I picked them fresh from a tree.

I hope one day you all get out to Frankfurt airport and get yourselves some of these.  For now, since it is my birthday I have been eating them since 7am.

Birthday cake in Prague made by my cousin Jana. My nephew loved it and he has named the cake, “The Chocolate”.

Now excuse me while I spend the rest n my day on-line at the Haribo Fun-Planet.  First stop: Sour S’ghetti Station.

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Filed under Restaurants and Products, Strange but Tasty, Travel and Food, Uncategorized

Toast Post: Olomoucké tvarůžky (damn stinky Czech cheese)

I saw this cheese in the corner store and immediately recognized the pale gold colour– like honey comb– with its waxy looking exterior .  The cheese has a small, squat shape.  Somehow it just looks like it will be stinky.  I only remember it from my childhood–maybe my parent’s bought it at the Prague Deli?

Does this scare you?

My dad, Dave (brother) and I scooped up a few rounds of this traditional Czech staple from the “Jabka” (corner store), bought some fresh buns (rohliky) and headed back to the apartment.  Then we sliced open the olomoucké tvarůžky  and slapped slices onto the bread.

Oh so so smelly. I could also describe the smell as “barnyard meets band-aid”.  And the taste as “salty, porky bacon”.  So if you’re into that, this cheese rocks.  Saying that you should never have the O.T. without this:

This one’s for Ania.

Savoury, dense and a little chewy,  the olomoucké tvarůžky are a washed-rind cheese made with skim milk–so very little fat, lots of pungent, and very tasty.

They also can be bought in large Walmart size containers (for mass consumption I guess) and flavoured with spices like caraway.  You can also  have it for lunch on bread with  butter and onions.  I’d plan that for the day you decide to “work from home”.

Here is some history about the traditional cheese from a Radio Prague piece (2004):

…the curd cheese with no preservatives and little fat, has been produced in the town of Loštice in the Olomouc region since 1876. Their first mention in historic documents goes back even further: in the 17th century, even Emperor Rudolf II himself is said to have been a fan.

And here is some more interesting info:

Loštice also boasts the Museum of Olomoucké tvarůžky (open July – August, Monday – Saturday mornings, or as per agreement); the sale of products can be found in the company store and there is also most probably the world’s only tvarůžky-selling vending machine. (vending machine cheese! )

And if you want to avoid this indelicate delicacy, it is also offered under the code name, sýrecky.

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In Prague I drink much more beer

I arrived in Prague yesterday about 2pm with my dad, brother and my nephew.  Both my parents are from the Czech Republic but my mom is more of a country girl (from Ústí nad Labem) and my dad is from the city.

It was a gorgeous day and we went for a short stroll after being dropped at our flat in the heart of the city.  We are staying on the Mala Strana, and any street you turn is quite breathtaking.  Especially if you come from Toronto where everything old is actually new.  At least compared to here.  I feel like a giant hand stacked row upon row of beautiful historical buildings together as densely as humanly possible.

My nephew Luke wandering in the rain.

Here is some info straight from Wikipedia:

The name translated into English literally means “Little Side”, though it is frequently referred to as “Lesser Town”, “Lesser Quarter”, or “Lesser Side”. This name derives from its position on the left (west) bank of the river Vltava, on the slopes just below the Prague Castle, in opposition to the larger towns of Prague on the right bank, to which it is conjoined by the Charles Bridge.

We flew from Toronto to Zürich and then to Prague.  I can highly recommend connecting through this airport, no Tim Horton’s but….

In Zurich airport.

We arrived and immediately settled in, enjoying an afternoon snack at my cousin’s apartment.

Obložené Chlebíčky and pate.  The Chlebíčky are a typical few bite snack.  Or lunch or dinner. Perfect for entertaining  You can top them with anything but usually you might have butter or mayo and ham, a pickle, hard-boiled egg, or my favourite-my mom’s potato salad and a slice of salami.

Pivo.  My husband once suggested we name our first child Branik.  I am glad he forgot about that.

Na shledanou!

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