Monday 4 April 2011

California's Artisan Cheese Festival

California's Artisan Cheese Festival wine glass

After a rather lively and exceedingly enjoyable week in beautiful Mexico (and after a night of 3 hours sleep!), I went to my second event with Culture Magazine - California's Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, North California.

As we were setting up our stand, we spoke with the girls next to us from Clover Stornetta Farms, Petaluma. They had a collection of different butters with them. We were given a personal demonstration of hand-butter churning before our eyes. Within a few minutes of shaking this pot of cream, it had transformed into beautiful crystals of butter and buttermilk.

The girls from Clover Stornetta Farms churning their butter

The girls with their butter

Butter crystals and buttermilk

Cinnamon sugar butter and thyme butter from Clover Stornetta Farms

Not only was the event filled with countless samples of cheese including towering cliffs of delicious blue from Point Reyes and lavender and espresso dusted Beehive Cheese... I discovered many new and exciting products of the food world.

Espresso and lavender dusted Beehive Cheese

Towering cliffs of delicious blue from Point Reyes

Goat milk fudge

Goat milk fudge stand

Some of these splendiferous discoveries included goat milk fudge, wine infused cookies, olive oil chocolate, peanut butter sandwich cookies, mini lemon meringue pies, exclusive olive oils, bacon bread, a rather interesting new product named “glop” (made from a selection of oils and cheeses), and I was thrilled about bumping into a familiar item that I fell in love with at Cochon 555 – my beloved toffee bacon lollipop! What a delight! I bagged myself three of these beauties.

Toffee bacon lollipop!

Samples of "glop" on crackers

Mini lemon meringue pies from Viola

Peanut butter sandwich cookies from Viola

Croque monsieur from Viola

Wine-infused cookies

Wine-infused cookie samples

Olive oil samples

And, of course, you can see that there was so much more to offer. How fabulous!

Piccante samples

Grape sodas

Le Merle from North Coast Brewing Company

Cheese samples to go with beer from North Coast Brewing Company

Endive dipped into blue with toasted pecans

Cheese and bacon corn bread

Needless to say, my eyes and palate were completely overwhelmed by the sheer variety and quality of the samples on offer. The numerous glasses of delectable wines and intriguing beers certainly helped all this food go down!

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of this post, this past week I've barely found time to sleep!


  1. If I didn't enjoy your posts so much I would stop coming by. I am jealous but happy for you and wish my wife and I were at the festival. The Bay festivals are one of the things we miss the most since we moved. If you have any heads up on up-coming festivals please post or e-mail. We are hoping to make a trip or two this Spring/Summer and enjoy the food and events.

  2. They seem fairly generous with samples. Such events are great. On Masterchef UK one of the chefs made dessert with feta cheese and now there is feta fudge. Salty, sweet and delicous.

  3. This must have been other-worldly. The food sounds wonderful and I envy you every moment spent there :-). Your photos are really great and you'd make a good tour guide. Your words and pictures are almost - almost - as good as being there. Have a terrific day. Blessings...Mary

  4. What a fabulous event! I'd love to taste American artisan cheese. I bet it is wonderful...



  5. I've never heard of this event - but it sounds wonderful. Next year, I'm definitely going to try to make it :)

  6. I love it that the cheese festival has its own glass! What yummy looking produce

  7. Wish we would have been there!

  8. I don't say this very often but, I'm truly jealous =)) What an incredible and tasty time this must have been!

  9. Hey Hazel, I really love your blog and I posted something about it on mine. Hope you can find your way to it!

  10. Can I put glop on my Christmas list ;)please.... and Endive, blue cheese and toasted pecans sound pretty good too.

  11. OMG yum! Everything looks so delicious!


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