CHEESE FANS LEARN BY DOING—AND TASTING were throwing around such terms as “chalky” and “barnyard” and dissecting their favorites. Although homemade bread, pasta and even beer are relatively commonplace, cheese tends to intimidate many home chefs. Various classes here aim to take the mystery out of basics and teach an appreciation for the milk-to-cheese process. One Saturday afternoon, 20 students broke into small groups and tried their hands at making paneer, ricotta, mascarpone and chevre. The class was a mix of both men and women, some on early-in-the-relationship dates, others clearly related, and even tourists from across the country. The Cheese School of San Francisco is trying to change ignorance into bliss, one bite at a time. At its charming Parisian-style courtyard “classroom” and kitchen, the Cheese School offers hands-on and tasting classes for novices and professionals alike. Fun, informative sessions—typically with a healthy bit of wine thrown in—advance the school’s philosophy of “eating is learning.” Each month offers up numerous tasting and pairing classes. At one recent class, participants sampled seven Marin and Sonoma County cheeses accompanied by local wine and hard cider. By the end of the cheery twohour session, they unabashedly A number had been given the class as a gift. One South Bay mom explains why she had returned for a second class. “It’s relaxing,” she says. “I’m a foodie, but cheese is becoming so expensive, I wanted to see if I can do it myself.” By the end of the four-hour session, her efforts were rewarded with four containers of freshly crafted cheese to take home and impress friends and family. The Cheese School also has a number of holiday-themed classes. On Dec. 17, it gives a special nod to the spicy ales that pepper this season with “Dessert Beer and Cheese” and on Dec. 22 it offers “Bounty and Beauty: How to Build a Dazzling Cheese Platter.” EACH MONTH OFFERS UP NUMEROUS TASTING AND PAIRING CLASSES. Popular fromage blanc from Cowgirl Creamery uses whole milk instead of cream, reducing both guilt and fat.
South Bay Accent - Dec 2014/Jan 2015
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