ring in spring with local cheese!

We know you’re probably busy with work, family, and spring-cleaning…but pause for a moment on this sunny Sunday. Let us plant a seed of inspiration in your mind with two tales of cheese – local cheese.

The first act takes place at Dave’s Fresh Pasta and the second act…well, you’ll just have to read on to find out!

Last week, Local Pickins embarked on a new gastronomic adventure at Dave’s Fresh Pasta…the art of cheese making! The class was taught by Lourdes of Fiore Di Nonno, along with two of her talented cheese makers. Right from the start, Lourdes set a jovial,  welcoming, and funny tone. Lourdes explained her background and how she came to own and operate Fiore Di Nonno. We won’t spill her full story (you’ll have to take her class to get it!), but we will say her love of mozzarella is steeped in family history and involves Frank Sinatra… and she’s worked in nearly every imaginable kind of kitchen, including tutelage with famed chocolatier Jacques Torres.

To kick of the class, head cheesemaker, Lauren, demonstrated each artful step of cheese making and Lourdes explained the meticulous nature of tempering, paddling, and forming the cheese into the characteristic balls and knots of mozzarella. We had our first taste of freshly made, still warm mozzarella that literally melted in our mouths!

Before the attendees embarked on cheese making, we snacked on platters of antipasto provided by Dave’s.  It’s clear that pasta is not the only delicious thing to come out of their kitchen!

Then it was time to get our hands dirty. We passed the curds through a chitarra, let the professionals manage temperature control, and paddled until our cheese was an even, glossy finish.

We tried to create evenly sized balls and “cut” them with our hands. Much harder than it looks!

Two and a half hours later, we each took home a pound of homemade cheese. But before leaving, it was time for one more snack…platters of panini made with Dave’s fresh pesto and, of course, Fiore mozzarella. These artichoke lemon were our favorite! What a fun and educational night! Great teachers, a fun group, delicious food and a pound of cheese we made ourselves.

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