Tag Archives: Reypenaer Cheese

Grown Up Christmas List

I love giving gifts which is one of the many reasons I enjoy the holiday season. I know there are some of you who haven’t purchased gifts yet – Dad, it is time to start. If you still need some ideas, here are a few inspired by the incredible places I was able to experience in 2012 – some for the first time.

For the Home

While I crave NOLA for the food, this year I discovered a fantastic local artisan that creates beautiful pottery. Pots-a-lot Pottery is located on a quintessential New Orleans street – Magazine, but you can also order online. It should be just fine as long as you don’t bake it above 4,000 degrees.

It is almost too pretty to use

It is almost too pretty to use

For the Taste Buds

Gourmet tasting baskets make great personal gifts. This year in particular we were able to experience so many good eats, I almost have a hard time knowing where to start.

Cheese, Glorious Cheese

It probably won’t make it in time for Christmas, but you can always start the trend of New Year’s gifts. The cheese from Reypenaer’s, in every variety, was some of the most flavorful I have ever had.

CHEESE!

CHEESE!

Some Drink

We visited De Halve Maan Brewery in Belgium and you can find some of their tasty brews in the states – in particular, Straffe Hendrick. (If you live in Atlanta, you can get this at Green’s.)

Where the magic happens

Where the magic happens

For the Experience Lovers

Vino

Few things relax me like good wine. Head up to the North Georgia mountains, for a tasting at Blackstone.

Good view + good wine

Good view + good wine

Shoot the Hooch

I grew up floating the Guadalupe River in Texas, but in Georgia they call it shootin’ the hooch. Head up to Helen for a relaxing ride.

Tube Time

Tube Time

For the Person Who Has Everything

American Red Cross

Y’all know how badly I want to live in New York.  The City and Jersey Shore are American treasures and landmarks that still need our help after Hurricane Sandy hit this October. Make a donation to aid the relief efforts in these states so they can come back better than ever.

bryant park

I Heart New York

Wounded Warrior

On a recent trip to Alabama, I got to see firsthand the meticulous detail that goes into the combat vehicles that protect our troops. However, many who return home have made incredible sacrifices and their lives have been forever altered due to injuries (seen and unseen) on the front lines. Support our troops this holiday season with a gift to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Heroes!

Heroes!

Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!

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Cheese, Glorious Cheese

Cheese. I mean, what isn’t better with cheese (especially goat cheese)? I know I swore I was done with tests and school once I passed my LARE exam a couple of weeks back, but hopefully we can all agree that Cheese School deserves an exception. On our final morning in Amsterdam, Danimal and I went to Reypenaer Cheese to eat cheese learn.

CHEESE!

Reypenaer Cheese has been in business for three generations- over 100 years. Basically, they know cheese. Our instructor was the fabulous Chrissie. Some of the more interesting factoids from Chrissie:

  • In the older cheese warehouse is 100 years old which is important for the flavoring. The cheese wheels within the warehouse must be turned twice a week and weigh 15 kilos. (I potentially have a new plan for getting better triceps cheese wheel flipping.)
  • The new warehouse holds over 120,000 cheese wheels. My only thought there is that is a lot of cheese.
  • There is a micro-climate in the cheese warehouse that includes opening and closing of shutters to ensure the appropriate taste for the cheese.
  • Reypenaer invented their own cheese guillotine.

Professor Chrissie from the House of Cheese

I’m not doing Chrissie’s explanation justice, but she gave me a whole new appreciation for cheese.

Now time for the hard part- cheese tasting. This was feaux-hard because let’s be honest… eating cheese is great – grading cheese is difficult. We tasted six different cheeses and they were paired with white, red and port wines. Another important cheese fact… cut that stuff thin, then it can better melt in your mouth. (It melts even faster with wine added…) My favorite cheese of the day was the Wyngaard Chevre. No surprise there since goat is my number one cheese, but I also loved the Reypenaer XO Reserve. It was smooth, but had remarkable sharpness to the flavor. Good news for everyone… you can order online.

Homework at cheese school is short answer and thankfully subjective.

At one point in time I may have gotten a bit overwhelmed about how awesome cheese school was.

Me (possibly too excited, spoken very quickly and hopefully quietly): All this cheese and wine might be making me drunk. I love this cheese… what do you think it smells* like?!?!

Danimal (calmly): cheese

* Part of our assignment was to say what the cheese smelled like other than cheese.

We graduated!

Now here is why you should never mess with the cheese or travel gods and instead blindly follow them. The girl sitting behind us in cheese school looked very familiar. At the end of class she mentioned the same. After exchanging where we were from, we realized that we met last summer when Colin and I were on our amazing speaking expedition that took us through Dubai. The world is flat, y’all. I encourage you to get and out go places so you can reunite with amazing people over things as fabulous as cheese.

Laura, my Dubai friend and fellow cheese graduate

Brace yourselves, we are now in Brugge which is a thousand kinds of amazing. Details to follow…

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