Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our first VBCC Family Picture

“Bienvenue” little Fresh Crottin!

The story: For over a year we have been crafting a new line of artisanal aged goat cheeses including a little French style crottin called Bijou. In a short amount of time the acclaimed Bijou received prestigious awards. The Fresh Crottin is a younger, lighter version of the Bijou. We still use the secret cultures, yeast and mold that are added to the milk in the early stage of the maturation. We wrap the cheese just after being shaped by hand and skip the aging in our cave to deliver a fresh, slightly floral and lemony, creamy cheese with a nutty finish.

News Awards:
1st Place at the American Cheese Society Competition in the Fresh Goats’ Milk Cheese Category 1st Place at the US Championship Cheese Award – fresh goats’ milk cheese category

Fresh Crottin Campaign:
Check out our postcard send to all VBCC friends – with Le Pain Quotidien Fresh Crottin Salad Recipe

The word from the President!

So I just finished a year of planning a conference and now I have to learn how to “blog”. I am sorry but I spend most of my time chasing teenagers and my eyesight is failing so fast I can barely see my computer screen. So here it goes. This is your chance to really let me have it for all the things that I have done wrong for the past 23 years. Go easy. I am a slow learner.

Adeline could not have said it better. So many of you who came to visit finally got a chance to see what we really do. We had been nose to the grindstone for many years. To step back and celebrate for just a minute makes it all worth it. Bob and I are understated to a fault but I have to say that my pride was palpable. Big thanks to all our staff who made us look so good. I can brag about them because the only job that I was given to prepare for the pig roast was to dig up the septic tank and have it pumped. I did my part! My only regret was that we were so busy giving tours at the creamery, I could only look longingly at brioche, fromage blanc and blueberry peach compote. My favorites.

Overall it was a great summer of intensity and high drama of planning. The ACS conference goers went away so happy and intoxicated on Vermont. Sometime we worry that we are too provincial for our burgeoning trade. It all clicked. Here we are happy and enjoying our busiest Fall production season ever. A heart felt thanks to all of you.

American Cheese Society at Home

What a conference! after a year of planning it finally happened. Close to 900 peoples and over 1,200 cheeses. That’s was enough to fill out the coolers of the Sheraton and hotels room across Burlington.
Having the conference in our own state made us on the run to bring our friends and customers to the creamery and have a tour of who we are and what we do.
People had a chance to realize that we are not that big factory cheese plant but only 15 employees working in packaging and cheesemaking with still a lot of steps done by hand. The new aged cheese plant was the center of attention as it is like nowhere else (maybe except in France where a lot of the ideas came from) and of course the second point of interest was our antique barrel churn – people couldn’t believe that we are wrapping every single log of butter by hand: Thank you Brenda our VBCC butter queen.
At the creamery the program was intense we were all running around like a fourmiliere:

Wednesday pre-conference bus tour with creamery visit; cheese and wine tasting and lunch box to go:

Thursday was big conference day! I was presenting on a session call “Good milk makes Good cheese” with Jim Natzke from Roth Kase. Then in the afternoon it was Sensory Profile with a room packed of people and awesome cheese on the table: 3 french and 3 american cheeses including a 24 months old comte from my Region – Thank you to Herve Mons and Shelly from Crystals.

Friday morning: Vermont Butter & Cheese company story with a little surprise for Bob and Allison: a video presentation of them making cheese in the old days at the farm and the Beach boy’s music as back ground – enough to crack them up and set the tone.
In the afternoon back to presentation with HACCP plan with May leach from Cabot, again a great presentation with May that has over 20 years of experience in that field.

In the evening: Award ceremony: we took 7 medals back home – we were so excited – including our new little guy call fresh crottin who won in the Fresh Goat Cheese category.

Saturday: getting ready for Sunday parties!

Sunday morning: breakfast at the creamery – we invited all ACS attendees to have breakfast at our creamery. Over 150 peoples came – we had brioche and croissant made with our butter by the local pastry shop downtown (delicate decadence). Granola made by the New England Culinary Institute serves with our Fromage and Karen’s peach & blueberry compote. Coffee, goat’s milk and smiles – we were all their.

Sunday lunch: Hoof on down to Brookfield – c’est l’heure de l’apero!
Karen, Maureen, Ed 1 (the Sommelier) and Ed 2 (the popcorn star) had planned this unforgettable party, on the menu: pig roast, chickens, corns with our sea salt butter, cheese and more cheese, Vermont Mystic Pie and ice cream: Fromage Blanc blueberries sorbet and goats milk nougat glacé made by Emmanuelle.
Music, sun, fun everyone had a blast – the perfect way to end up 1 year of planning and 1 week of intense work.