California cows are happy, sure, but so are California goats, sheep, and water buffalo. And their cheeses makes Quirkutopians very, very happy.
We celebrate annually with the quirky folks who carefully hand-make cheese in small batches all over our corner of country. We invite a couple of artisan cheesemakers from Other Places and throw a big California’s Artisan Cheese Festival every year, this year in Petaluma, CA on March 23-34th at the Sheraton there on the Petaluma River.
There you can meet the dedicated early risers; milkers, stirrers and cheese-wheel-turners who labor literally 365 days a year to make the delectables. For one, try a little “Fat Bottom Girl” cheese, a buttery and nutty sheep’s milk creation of Bleating Heart creamery, Ramini Mozzarella’s real water buffalo mozzarella, or one of the famous Laura Chenel’s specialties , like the “Me’lodie”, gently enclosed in ash.
Joining the locally-known and world-famous both in the cheesiest display in Quirkutopia are equally hand-crafty makers of beer and wine – of course! – and honey, cured meats, olive oil, chocolate, jam, crepes, cookies, pizzas and more. Many of our favorites like Rocker Oysterfellers, Nick’s Cove (did someone say oysters??) and Corks will be doling their wares at the festival. Workshops and farm tours galore fill two of the days and a big brunch and tasting festival the other. Revealing the true DIY nature of the locals, the how-to-make-cheese workshops are already sold out.
There is still room in the Grilled Cheese seminar, however. Grilled…cheese…I will wade through the winter rain to try that one.