Monday, April 30, 2012

Pastoral Artisan Cheese – Producer Festival.

This weekend I went to the 2nd Annual Artisan Producer Festival at the French Market. The event was free, open to the public, and hosted 70 wine/cheese and beer vendors, all offering their free samples.

It was super crowded, which for me is a turn-off. But I did get to sample a lot of delicious things. Like coffee with blueberry mousse (to bring out the coffee flavor), plenty of cheese, some excellent penne marinara, and delicious Illinois-grown strawberries (I took some of these home too).

My favorite cheese though, was the Challerhocker, an Appenseller-style cheese from Zurich, Switzerland. I even went back and waited in line again with Ruth, behind the second most cheese-inquisitive person on the planet, for a second little square. Then I waited in line AGAIN, at the Artisan counter, to pay $33/lb. for just a wedge to take home for myself... behind the MOST inquisitive (and sampling everything in the case) cheese lover. I held all of my impatience together to get this cheese. It was that good.

This event is worth keeping on your radar. It's indoors, so the weather isn't a factor, and you really do get to try a lot of interesting things if you can stand standing in the lines.