Tag Archive | Cheese

Jarlsberg Cheese Celebrates 60th Anniversary With Fabulous Party at Aquavit, NYC!

Cheese Wheel
Jarlsberg 20 Pound Cheese Wheel! (All Photos By Gail)

One of my favorite perks of writing this rad blog is being invited to a really nice press party; one where quality food, drink, atmosphere and fun people all come together to create a memorable experience that I just can’t wait to share with readers. A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate (and thrilled) to attend the 60th Anniversary Celebration for Norway’s most famous cheese, Jarlsberg – and what a fabulous bash it was!  Jarlsberg is popular here in the states, but you might not know much about the rich history of its Norwegian heritage.


Created in 1956, using an original Norwegian recipe, the Jarlsberg brand of cheese has been exported to the United States for over 50 years and is one of America’s most loved and best-selling brands of specialty cheese. It is named after Count Vadel Jarlsberg, whose estate was on the Oslo Fjord near where it was first manufactured. Known for its mild, mellow and nutty taste — unlike any other specialty cheese  — Jarlsberg is classified in the U.S.  as a Swiss/Emmenthaler type cheese. Jarlsberg (pronounced: Yarls Berg) cheese is one of America’s favorite specialty cheeses, and it’s a crowd-pleaser when served on a cheese board, for snacking, delicious in a sandwich, in an omelet, baked, or melted on top of a burger — and its exquisite melt-ability makes Jarlsberg an ideal choice for fondues. Most surprisingly, because of the process through which it is made, Jarlsberg is naturally lactose-free!

Buffet Spread

The party was held at Aquavit, a Michelin-starred, Scandinavian restaurant in midtown, which provided an elegant backdrop, complete with gracious, first class service for this special occasion. Jarlsberg CEO and President, John Sullivan was present, along with other Jarlsberg executives, who addressed each the gathering, and later were happy to mingle and chat with guests. We were also introduced to Aquavit‘s Executive chef Emma Bengtsson, who created a special menu for the evening that included Jarlsberg Cheese and other Norwegian Specialty Cheeses.

Here are some photos of what we ate!

The Brown Cheese
What Everyone Was Talking About: Gjetost (AKA The Brown Cheese)

Shortly after I arrived, I was asked repeatedly if I had yet tried “The Brown Cheese” — which was the buzz of the buffet.  You can see what they were talking about on the right side of the platter in the above photo. Made under the Ski Queen brand (a subsidiary of Jarlesberg’s parent company, Tine) this Norwegian cheese is called Gjetost, and it includes a mixture of cow and goat’s milk. Gjetost has a unique, sweet flavor due to the way in which it is processed. The milk is cooked until the sugars in it have caramelized, giving the cheese its distinctive brown color and sweet flavor. The milk is then curded and pressed. This distinctive “brown cheese” (brunost) became popular as a skiers’ snack and thus was given the label Ski Queen. It is widely popular among Scandinavian-Americans, and children especially are drawn to its sweet flavor. I must agree, it was uniquely delicious! Brown Cheese!

Snofrisk Soft Cheese Spreads

Another Tine brand is Snøfrisk cream cheese spreads, which  are made from 80% goat’s milk and 20% cow’s cream. A touch of salt is added and that’s it: there are no artificial additives, preservatives or colorants. The creamy consistency of the cheese makes it perfect for use on a cracker, bread or as a snack together with fresh cut vegetables, nuts or honey.  Snøfrisk is the creamiest, lightest cream cheese I’ve ever tasted! At the party, we got to try  the original flavor as well as two of  four flavored varieties, Red Onion & Thyme and Wild Ramson Garlic, which will soon be available to buy here in the States along with Dill and Horseradish flavors.

Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps

Also present on the buffet were Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps, which are a new product for the brand. These incredible savory, crunchy baked crackers are handcrafted in small batches, and made with freshly shredded Jarlsberg Cheese that is immediately sprinkled on top of the crunchy crackers just prior to being baked. Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps take the mild, mellow and nutty flavor of Jarlsberg Cheese and bake it into a delicious crunchy snack. The Cheese Crisps in come in four flavors including Rosemary & Olive Oil and Mediterranean Sea Salt (pictured above), as well as Chipotle and Garlic & Herb. They are sturdy enough to hold a variety of toppings, and taste especially fantastic with a glass of red wine!

Cheese Snack Sticks

Also new to the brand are Jarlsberg Cheese Snacks, packaged cheese sticks which were cleverly hiding among the twigs of this centerpiece. At just 70 calories per snack, I threw a couple in my bag to take home!

Crowd Shot

The party got pretty crowded, but if you had trouble getting close to the buffet, there were no worries, as passed hors d’oeuvres  from Chef Bengtsson were also offered.


Cheese and Snack Plate

Everything was so yummy!

The Bar

There was also a full bar with top shelf alcohol, and they would make any kind of drink you wanted. It was amazing


Look, a tray of Negronis!

Cosmo and wine

Cosmos and Wine made us feel fine!

Scotch and Aquavit

They were also serving authentic, chilled Aquavit (above, right). Aquavit (“Water of Life”) is an important part of Scandinavian drinking culture, where it is often drunk during festive gatherings, such as Christmas dinners and weddings, and as an aperitif. Although the recipes can vary, this Aquavit was vodka infused with cardamom and figs. It tasted like sweet fire. Skol!

Party Crowd

Thanks to both Jarlsberg and Aquavit for a truly wonderful evening!

Cheese That Looks Like a Cake

Cheese Cake
Not a Cheesecake (All Photos By Gail)

The French Cheese Board opened its first US concept store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood in Mid-May, and we attended the opening party; because, free cheese! At this boutique storefront, which is located at 41 Spring Street, Certified Cheese Masters will showcase their knowledge of flavor chemistry and cheese and beverage pairings. The flagship location will also serve as a customizable venue for cuisine, art, lifestyle, education, and more. The FCB plans to leverage its partnerships with industry and pop culture influencers to create private events in year-long programming.

Sweet Cheeses

They also try to make the cheese displays look like art, or sweets, which is fun. However, you can tell by the way it smells in there, that they are selling cheese. Just giving you a head’s up on that.

Cheese Art
Cheese Art

The mission of the FCB, the umbrella organization for French dairy products, is to create awareness about the variety of cheeses from France available on the U.S. market. The organization also provides a platform for information, communication and exchange of ideas between French cheesemakers, researchers of the French dairy sector, artists, designers and chefs.

Roth Introduces New Flavored Raclette Cheeses!

Roth Mediterranean and 5 Peppercorn Raclettte
All Photos By Gail

Do you like melty cheese? I sure do. You might recall that back in February I attended the Winter Food Fete, where I was introduced to Roth Raclette cheese, and thus began a new love affair with most delicious melty cheese I have ever tasted.

In addition to their original, Montanella Raclette, Roth has introduced three new flavors this Spring, including Mediterranean – with garlic, black olives & sundried tomatoes – Five Peppercorn, and Roasted Garlic. Holy Cows Milk!

Here’s a bit of insight as to why Raclette is such exceptionally delicious cheese: by combining Swiss traditions and the finest Wisconsin milk, Roth creates each flavor variety of Raclette cheese – which is characterized by a firm texture, pale-yellow color and scattered small openings.

Roth Raclette Melting

Roth Raclette has a mildly nutty and distinctive, aromatic flavor that intensifies when heated – which makes Raclette ideal for melting. At Food Fete, Roth Cheese Representatives served samples of the Raclette is its meltiest state, on small rounds of bread after heating it briefly in tiny iron skillets. Seriously, it was cheese heaven.

Roth Mediterranean Raclettte

Obviously, I asked to receive samples to review for the blog, and they were happy to oblige. Over the past weeks I have been especially enjoying the Mediterranean variety, as I find that the addition of Olives and Sundried Tomatoes enhances some of my favorite foods on which I enjoy eating melted l cheese.

Raclette Cheese on English Muffin with Sausage

On a chilly Saturday afternoon I made this lunch of melted Raclette on a toasted English muffin, served alongside a grilled chicken apple sausage. It was the most delicious lunch. You almost cannot do better than this. It follows that Raclette makes insane grilled cheese sandwiches.

Roth Raclette on Pasta

I enjoy eating pasta and it is easy to make at home. Raclette is an ideal substitute for the standard go-to pasta toppers such as mozzarella or parmesan cheese.

Raclette Cheese on Meatballs

Raclette crumbles very well; good to know if you do not feel like washing your cheese grater! Here are some meatballs I made with sauce and Raclette cheese crumbled on top. Delish!

The bottom line is that Raclette is simply delicious cheese and you surely will be thrilled with its taste and texture should you choose, like me, to just be a cheese purist. If you care to be a bit more adventurous, however, Roth’s website has lots of delicious recipes for cooking with Raclette cheese that you can explore at This Link! Buy Roth Raclette Cheeses online or find a retailer in your are Right Here.

Fall Editor Showcase Highlights Cooking and Entertaining for the Holidays!

Full Room View
All Photos By Gail

In anticipation of an extra festive holiday season — which always seems to arrive sooner than you expect — The fall Editor Showcase food and networking event took place on October 15th at the New York Marriott Marquis. This fun and well-attended event was packed with tastings and cooking demonstrations for over two dozen brands of food and kitchen equipment to make sure everyone is fully prepared for all of the parties and food-centric events that will kick off with Thanksgiving in just two short weeks!

Here are some of our favorite exhibitors from the show!

Farm Rich Snacks

Farm Rich makes a line of frozen snacks that you just pop in your oven to create amazing hot hors d’oeuvres that will win you fans every time. We fell in love especially with their Chili Cheese Bites (filed with real chili, not just chili peppers), which are just insane. Their Toasted Raviolis were also a huge hit with the crowd.

Athens Mini Fillo Shells Box

Athens Mini Fillo Shells are a product that every party hostess will want to have on hand for easy preparation of both sweet and savory snacks! The shells come fully pre-baked and all you need to do is add your favorite filling and heat. So convenient!

Athens Mini Fillo Shells

Of course, Athens had an assortment of prepared mini quiches and tiny cheese cakes, as well as other taste tantalizing surprises, to give use more clever ideas of how to serve these shells at your next party! So yummy!

Legends from Europe SignageLegends from Europe Display

Legends from Europe is a campaign uniting five authentic PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products from Europe, including Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigianio Reggiano — two of our favorite things to eat! Legends from Europe offered show attendees the chance to sample a full spread of snacks featuring its products and also had recipes on hand so you can make these delicacies at home.

Bertolli Olive Oil Display

Bertoli Olive Oil has grown to become the world’s Number 1 Olive Oil brand. Bertoli offers a variety of oils which we were able to sample brushed on delicious Italian bread. Bertoli had something else going for them at their booth which we found hard to resists: Chef Fabio Viviani!

Gail and Fabio

What a charmer he is! Bertoli were very smart to align with Fabio because I’d buy whatever he is selling.

Success Rice Display

Success brand boil-in-bag rice has been a best selling brand for years and it tastes great in a variety of recipes, samples of which they had on hand at Editor Showcase.

Success Rice Pudding

Bourbon Raisin Rice Pudding made with Success Basmati Rice is super easy to prepare and tastes rich, sweet and exotic.

Success Jasmine Rice Balls

Success Jasmine Rice is used in this exceptional recipe for Laotian Nam Khao (Crispy Rice Balls), which were devoured by attendees very quickly!

Alouette Cheese Spreads

Alouette Cheese Spreads had a couple of exciting new “Bold” flavors to preview including Wasabi Cheddar, which is just mind blowing, and Buffalo Cheddar — which is sure to become a favorite as well! While these new flavors will not be available until February, 2014, there are tons of other flavors for you to try in time for the holidays. Alouette Cheese Spreads are convenient for entertaining on the fly, and come in resealable tubs which keep them fresh.

Alouette Cheese Spreads Display

If you want to get super fancy you can even hollow out a pineapple and impress your guests by serving your favorite dip made from Alouette Cheese Spreads right from the pineapple! Crazy!

Pasta Month Display

Just look at this lovely display courtesy of the National Pasta Association. Nobody loves pasta more than I do, so I was way into all of the tasty and healthy recipes they had to give out as part of their Pasta Fits promotion, such as this yummy past salad picture below.

Pasta Month Salad

Ninja BlenderNinja Blender in Action

If you enjoy making your own healthy juices, smoothies and sauces — or just like to cook a lot of recipes that require a first rate food processor — then you will not be able to live much longer without a Ninja Ultima Blender. The Ninja distinguishes itself by the multi-blade core that does a superior job of chopping and pureeing foods. Check out the side by side comparison above: Some Other Brand on the left, Ninja on the right. Behold the clear winner in blended results.  Ninja!

Cooking Plan It Cookie

Cooking Planit was giving out these cookies as well as bad ass magnetic photo recipe cards to promote this super cool website and mobile app that provides home cooks with step-by-step instructions to create full meals. They call it a “GPS for the Kitchen” – what an exciting and fun idea! Visit Cooking Planit at This Link!

Mann's Veggie Mac N Cheese

Okay, here is product that I would literally eat all the time: Mann’s Sunny Shores Veggie Mac-N-Cheese, which contains everything you need to make a fine dinner of Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli in one bag! Also, please note above they it comes in a bacon variety, ‘Nuff said.

Sartori Cheese Gift Bag

Last, but not least, I would like to give an extra special shout out to Sartori Cheese, producers of artisan and premium cheese for seven decades! Sartori makes the most delicious cheese you have ever tasted — and I have tasted a lot of cheese. They also gifted me with this coveted swag of a reusable insulted canvas tote filled with five different varieties of their awesome cheese plus a set of wine glass charms! Sartori Cheese!

As always, Thanks to Formulatin PR for the Hook Up!

Cheese Dog Street Art

Cheese Dog Street Art
Photo By Gail

I spotted this “Cheese Dog” painting on Bowery near Spring Street. I put the “#Cheese NYC” Tag into Google but all I got were pictures of cheese or tasty cheese food products found in NYC – which makes sense, but still.

Cooking With Gail Presents: Single Lady’s Pasta Night

Del Grosso Garlic Pasta Sauce

Hello and welcome to the second installment of Cooking with Gail: the series that is all about me making a meal from whatever I can find in my house. This week, I was very busy making the scene and had no time to grocery shop. So, Friday evening found me at home, famished and looking through my pantry for foods I could combine into some kind of tasty meal without having run out to the store or resort to ordering in.

Fortunately, I had a new jar of La Famiglia DelGrosso pasta sauce, specifically Aunt Cindy’s Roasted Garlic Gala (check out their awesome website and you can see that each sauce variety is named for a family member, cute)! When you open the jar of this sauce and have a little taste, it tastes like a fresh tomato sauce with a bunch of good stuff in it, which is what I like. I really do not care for those brands of jarred sauces that have so much corn syrup in them that they taste like candy (makes a face). No, thank you. Here are the ingredients in this fine sauce: Imported Whole Italian Plum Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes, Imported Olive Oil, Fresh Onions, Roasted Garlic, Sea Salt, Basil, Natural Garlic Flavoring, Black Pepper and Parsley. No sugar added! And you can even see the little chunks of garlic right through the jar! It is like sauce you would make in your home if you were not lazy, like me.

Of course I had some spaghetti pasta at the ready, but needed cheese to top the dish, and I was out of the cheese I normally would add to pasta. What to do? Well, as luck would have it, I also had in the fridge a newly acquired package of Emmi Gruyere Cheese.

Emmi Guyere Cheese

You might recall that I wrote about Emmi Cheese Fondue a while back, which is when I became a fan. Gruyere cheese is really a kind of Swiss cheese, which one does not normally associate with red sauce pasta dishes. But since Gruyere is also hard cheese with properties similar to Parmesan, I figured it would grate up well, and I was right. The slightly salty, nutty flavor also went really well with garlic in the sauce, and it melted nicely on top of the hot pasta. Very delicious! Here is a photo of the finished dish.

Pasta with Sauce and Cheese

I’m not suggesting that everybody is going to get behind putting Gruyere cheese on their pasta, but I would encourage you to step outside the box and get a little bit creative when you are trying to make dinner with what you have on hand. Emmi Cheese is a great product which paired harmoniously with the DelGrosso sauce in this case. I recommended both products be kept on hand in your pantry or fridge for all culinary emergencies, or just for everyday use!

Hamburger Coasters Set

Hamurger Coasters Set

Mmm…burgers. How super cute is this coaster set, which will protect the surface of your table from wet drinks during a BBQ or party? Answer: So Cute!

Burger Coaster Set Includes:

  • Set of 6 Coasters that when stacked together look just like a delicious hamburger!
  • Set includes 2 buns, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and a hamburger patty.
  • Size: 4.5″ dia. each

Priced ridiculously low at just $4.95 per set, order them now for yourself, and maybe one to give as a gift, by clicking This Link!