July 05, 2005

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American Cheese Pagent "The new American cheese signifies a shift in how we produce food and how we eat it." Laura Werlin, author and cheese expert As a child of the 70s and an offspring of a very activist-oriented mother I'm not one for beauty pageants. But here's one I know you'll want to participate in. The good folks over at IGourmet.com have generously gathered cheese and dairy showings from every state in the Grand Ole US of A. Pulling together cheeses and butters from our fifty great states for us to learn and of course, purchase. And what a selection! The personality of the cheesemakers' personalities shine in many of them: Hawaii's Surfing Goat and their "Diabolic" (8 oz, $24.99) a disk of "aged chevre marinated in olive oil flavored with exotic ingredients like jalapeños, Thai dragon chilies, Bhudda Hand citron, Malabar peppercorns, and garlic." Or, Florida's Queso d'Hoja by Sanchelima Dairy a farmer's cheese very similar to one found in Puerto Rico or Cuba, (10 oz; $5.99). My home state of Massachusetts shows us a Berkshire Blue from (1 lb., $17.99) made by one person who does it all "hand-stirred, hand-ladled and manually turned, resulting in an exceptionally creamy, smooth blue" much like blue made by the Willet Farm Dairy in Somerset, England where they borrowed the recipe. From Alaska, is Windsong Farm producers of Great Bear Cheddar (8oz, $13.99) where they cure them in vats of beer crafted by another Alaskan producer, the Great Bear Brewing Company of Wasilla (the...
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Stage Five-Chambord Every year the TDF course changes. Again, if you consider this fact you will become more impressed with these cycle jockeys. Every year is different. The various villages along the route bid, cajole and bargain to be included as a stage start or finish. I imagine that negotiations involve a lot of wine and cheese exchanging hands. Today the TDF begins in Chambord and rolls on for 183km to Montargis. Chambord is a tiny village in the Loir-et-Cher region. There's only 204 people and might magnificent castle--in fact the largest one in the Loire. In the reign of Louis XIV, nobility would travel to their chateaux and relax with a snifter of Chambord which has been made by the same family for over 300 years. The sweet liqueur is made from the finest framboises noire (black raspberries) and infused into a four year cognac. The distinct bottle is a glass sphere with a cap shaped like a metallic crown. Chambord includes blackberries, plums,currants, raspberries, honey and spices. It will come as no surprise that it is quite intense. As their website states, this is not another creme de cassis, "the cheaper, bitter and worse tasting" liquid that it is. I was gifted with a bottle and have concocted a vodka-based martini of my own making. It's also great in desserts such as this Flourless Chocolate Chambord cake. Riders will finish in Montargis, a place renowned for its honey and its notable confectionery contribution those famous sugared almonds or pralines. According...

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what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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