Wedge provided adventure in world of cheese
Did that trigger a cheesy grin to spread across your face, or a picture-perfect pose? Either would be appropriate. And for those of you who attended The Wedge Cheese Festival earlier this month the word cheese probably triggered great memories of the cheeses and related products you discovered. The Oregon Cheese Guild should be patting themselves on the back this years festival was the best yet. It involved more vendors with unique offerings, both of cheese and other products.
Cheesemakers represented included some of my favorites, including Pat Morfords Three Rivers Chevre served by New Seasons Markets; Mariano Battros La Mariposa Argentinian cheeses; cheeses by Face Rock Creamery, Cypress Grove, Ferndale Farmstead, Rogue Creamery and Willamette Valley Cheese Co. Some cheesemakers that were new-and-notable-to me included By George Farm, beautiful goat cheeses by Laura Chenel and cows milk cheeses by Marin French, Orland Farmstead Creamerys cow cheeses and Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Co.s cheeses.
Some of my favorite artisan vendors representing their products at The Wedge included Lake Oswegos Kelly Calabria, who was pairing her spicy hot Kellys Jelly with West Linns Daniell Blisss Bliss Nut Butters. Together those products create a PB&J like no other try it. Other favorites were sauces by Bunches & Bunches, Marshalls Haute Sauce, Secret Aardvark Trading Co., and Olympia Provisions.
My friends at Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms were there, offering tastes of their fresh Oregon olive oil. Be sure to out the eighth-annual Olio Nuovo Festival on your calendar, to mark the completion of the 2016 olive milling. This is your first chance to taste and purchase this seasons fresh, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. The olio nuovo is paired with seasonal appetizers and Durant Vineyards estate wines. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Nov. 18, 19 and 20 at Red Ridge Farm, 5510 NE Breyman Orchards Road in Dayton. Its free have a culinary adventure.
New vendors of special note include:
Kerfluffle, peanut butter fluffed up with marshmallow, created by Katie Hayman of Portland. Katie grew up in the Midwest where peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches, called fluffer nutters, were a popular lunch, after school snack and late night treat. Upon moving to Portland she couldnt find spreadable marshmallow on the store shelf, and what she did find contained a long list of unwholesome ingredients. She created Kerfluffle, made of GMO-free, no-stir peanut butter with a ribbon of natural, artisan spreadable marshmallow, made from meringue powder (dried egg whites + natural stabilizers), so it is a 100 percent vegetarian product.
Kerfluffle comes in original and smore flavors. You can learn more online at kerflufflenutbutter.com.I find drinking vinegars to be refreshing, so I was delighted to discover The Original Shrub at The Wedge. According to theoriginalshrub.com, in Colonial times vinegar was used to preserve fruits during peak ripeness to sustain into the off-season. After the fruit was consumed, the remaining vinegar was subtly sweetened with sugar or honey to create a unique elixir for sparkling water or cocktails. The folks at The Original Shrub honor shrubs origin while bringing new twists to shrub. They select sustainable and locally sourced produce during its peak season to make handcrafted small batches of their shrubs. Flavors include pineapple, basil, rosemary, thyme, cranberry clove, peach and peach cinnamon. Learn more online at theoriginalshrub.com.
Shrubs are not just for drinking. Use them to create salad dressings and marinades, and in any dish you would like a little zip or sparkle.
Another new product of note are the chutneys made by Sophie Rahmans Cardamom Hills Trading Co. Sophie shared that Southern Indias Cardamom Hills are the inspiration for her line of chutneys. Her ancestors established their coffee plantation near the hills.
She explained that chutney is an integral part of any meal in India hot and spicy chutneys that add fire, sour chutneys that perk up the taste buds or chutneys made using fresh ingredients such as coconut, cilantro, mint and tamarind. The British adaptation of Indian chutney marries fruits like apples, plums, apricots and peaches with vinegar and spices to recreate flavors reminiscent of India. My handcrafted chutneys, based on the popular British tradition, are made using the fruits and vegetables of my Pacific Northwest home; spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, allspice and ginger; and heirloom family recipes.
Cardamom Hills Trading Co. currently offers apple, apricot and cardamom, quince and cranberry and spicy tomato chutney. Learn more online at cardamomhillstc.com.
The Wedge was a great showcase of cheese and products that pair well with it, including ciders, mead, wine and beer. Nearly 60 companies participated all of which had something great to share with attendees.
You can hold your own Wedge experience. Visit thewedgeportland.com/producers to view the entire list of vendors. Gather a selection of cheeses, condiments and meats to pair with ciders, wine or beer and invite friends to sample.
You can do this again and again and elevate your appreciation for the cheeses created in our area.
The recipes included today feature products found at The Wedge. All the vendor websites offer recipes for using their products. Do some experimenting this fall.
Bon Appetit! Make eating an adventure!
Roasted Rosemary Shrub Grapes
1 cup seedless red grapes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon The Original Shrub Rosemary Shrub (or more as desired)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash and remove red grapes from stems. Drain off excess water.
Place in a small bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and fresh rosemary. Toss to coat. Spread out onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes; stir with a spatula or spoon to move grapes around about halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and place in small serving bowl. Sprinkle on Rosemary Shrub and gently toss. May be served warm or cool. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Serving suggestions: Serve on a cheese platter or over crostini spread with goat cheese. Serve on a green salad with almonds and vinaigrette. Serve as a side to roast pork tenderloin or turkey. Tastes amazing on a grilled cheese sandwich.
The Original Shrub, theoriginalshrub.com.
Marshalls Haute Sauce Habanero Mushroom Soup
1 onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, assorted
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
2 teaspoon Habanero Carrot Curry Sauce
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons Marshalls Haute Spices Potato Rub
2 sprigs fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
Chop mushrooms and onion to desired size. Add olive oil to a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté an additional 5 minutes to intensify flavor and remove some extra moisture. Add Habanero Carrot Curry sauce, paprika, Potato Rub and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in creme fraiche, cream and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately with bread and/or a salad.
Recipe courtesy of marshallhautesauce.com.