Okay, It’s Official, We’re Cheesemakers Too


This gallery contains 9 photos.

by Alifair Skebe Well…not exactly. Chez Voyageur du Fromage – at the home of The Cheese Traveler – some local Berne Dairy Meadowbrook Jersey cow’s milk va aigre. Young Master Traveler pulled the glass bottle out of the fridge, unhinged the … Continue reading

Music, in a Cheese Shop?

by Alifair Skebe

Why, yes!

An intimate concert this Monday, June 24, 7-9 pm featuring singer-songwriter Johann Wagner. 

Johann Wagner

When I asked the award-winning, Austin-based artist Johann Wagner to perform in concert at The Cheese Traveler on his national tour, he replied, “That would be cheesy.” We’re cheesy people, right?

We learned first-hand of the shop’s remarkable acoustics during our grand opening last November, featuring local singer-songwriters Mike Grosshandler and Tor Loney. Their folk-rock style music filled up the space and resonated powerfully with only a small amplifier. Local writer Phil Goode, who attended the grand opening, wrote a poem about listening to poetry here too, and he noted that the experience was surreal and unique. While we focus on the food side of things, we also seek to cultivate a sound environment and art space to highlight contemporary culture (no pun intended!) through music, poetry, and art. Kinda like Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY, which has opened its lawn to contemporary musicians, we feature some fermentation as well as contemporary artists in a place that’s off-the-beaten path.

Come check out Austin-based musician Johann Wagner this Monday, June 24, 2013 from 7-9 pm. Tickets are $5-10. Call 518.443.0440 for more information. Seating is limited, so arrive early. If you like, you can bring your own chair. We will have light refreshments for sale during the show.

Johann Wagner

Austin-based musician Johann Wagner is “The number one best bet” by Austin American Statesman and a “Texas Folk Music Staple” by the Dallas Morning News. A child of Albuquerque, New Mexico and one-time park ranger of Joshua Tree National Park, Wagner weaves the landscape of the American Southwest into tangible and intimate progressive folk rhythms, and deeply emotive and lustrous lyrics. His performances are witty and upbeat as well as melancholic, balancing Wagner’s comical, lighthearted nature with his poetic side. His songs have been covered by musicians Gregory Alan Isakov, Victoria Williams, Bart Crow, Shannon Wurst, 3 Penny Acre, and countless others. A finalist in the Kerrville Songwriting Competition, his co-written “If I Go, I’m Goin” appeared in season four of Showtime’s television series “Californication.” He performs throughout the Southwest and is currently on national tour for his newest album “Disappear.”

“When I Find All of You”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8taOhCzUT8g



Dairying and Cheese Erotica

by Alifair Skebe

In celebration of National Dairy Month, cheese will “bare it all.” Warning: explicit cheese photos in this post.

To begin, the ancients knew about large-scale dairying. Look at the cows “leaving” their “huts,” as described in the caption (zoom in for readability):

Image from Antiquity of Dairying

Image from “Antiquity of Dairying”

The circular-shaped shafts look like they could be attached to an udder or two, no? And curiously, the cows are lined up in rows, very similar to the way they are in dairy factories today. That’s also a longhouse “hut” of the Northern European variety. Today’s small milking factories are built with a similar longhouse shape.

American Dairy Month was established to bring attention to the needs of the dairy industry, namely to deal with a surplus of milk supply (read about it in our post here). Long ago, cheese makers found a use for excess milk: to turn it into a delicious, nutritious, shelf-stable product that could last through the seasons.

As they turned their milk into “curds and whey” by adding culture and rennet, the curds were made into cheese and the whey was fed to the kids, the pigs, and the dogs. In the 18th Century, whey was a favored morning drink much like coffee or tea. Nutritionally, whey provides a heap of protein, minerals, and vitamins potassium and B-2. Some of our local cheese makers feed whey to their pigs as a superior nutritional supplement to avoid fattening them on grain.

Medieval Cheese Making 1

Medieval Cheese Making 2Medieval Cheese Making 3

Those are some happy medieval dogs! As the cheese sits in the mold as pictured above, more whey will drain out over several days before the wheels will be moved to long-term aging. See how the dogs featured in the pictures lap up the various streams of whey draining on either sides of the cheese? There’s so much there, they don’t even have to fight over it!

Cream can also be siphoned off the whey and get churned into a delicious butter, such as the Italian “Burro” that The Cheese Traveler carries in the shop. Made from the cream of named-controlled Parmigiano Reggiano milk/whey, Burro is a distinctive sweet cream butter that hints at the dense flavor of the aged cheese.

Medieval Maven Making Butter

Medieval Maven Making Butter

At The Cheese Traveler, we cheesemongers spend much of our time undressing, unwrapping, tasting, and rewrapping wheels of cheese to make certain that the cheese is as delicious when it gets to the customer as when it leaves the cave and the farm. Thus as we celebrate dairy, we also celebrate the erotic nature of cheese, the dressing and tasting and redressing. Our beloved milk has given to us the ability to make and enjoy cheese, the foundation of our passion. Thus, we offer you a little Swiss aged mountain cheese erotica with Eric, the Cheese Traveler, and Nicolette, cheesemonger and collage artist:

Planing a morsel of cheese. Perfect for tasting.

Planing a morsel of cheese. Perfect for tasting.

Loving the Unterwasser

Loving the Unterwasser

Undressing Hebleumann


Planing Hebleumann




Behind closed doors, we jokingly refer to these photos as “cheese porn.” Come in to get yours. The cheesemongers will be delighted to taste along with you.