Queso Diego April 2016 newsletter with April meeting RSVP link inside
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Message from the President

Happy National Grilled Cheese Month!

April is an exciting month because we have our annual Grilled Cheese Meeting! Details below - You won't want to miss it!

Just a friendly reminder that guests and non-members are allowed to come to our meetings. However, as you've noticed, our paid members are very generous with sharing tasty treats. Guests and non-members are welcome to meetings for free, however, I highly encourage everyone bring something tasty to share and join as a member for only $20/year.

If you have any ideas for our meetings, social events, or concerns, I'm here to listen!

Alyssa Humbert
(pron: uh-LEE-shah)
2016 Queso Diego President
Queso Diego Newsletter Editor-In-Chief

Next meeting: April 19

April is Grilled Cheese Month and we'll be celebrating with our annual Grilled Cheese Meeting on April 19! You won't want to miss this delicious event!

Queso Diego Grilled Cheese Meeting
Tuesday, April 19 @ 6:30PM
AleSmith Brewery
9990 AleSmith Court
San Diego, CA 92126

We're having a grilled cheese party! Please plan to create 2-3 sandwiches, which you'll slice into 6+ bites to share. Bring all the ingredients for your creation, or bring a single ingredient then mix-and-match once you get to the meeting! 

If you don't plan to cook, please still bring something delicious to share with the chefs.

We will be in a room off to the side of the Tasting Room - you can enter through an exterior door on the left of the main entrance. Meetings are free, but we highly recommend bringing something tasty to share and joining as a member for $20/year. Please bring a chair to sit on. Outside alcohol is not permitted.

Please view the complete Grilled Cheese instructions and RSVP here:

2016 Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown

If you have an amazing grilled cheese recipe that uses Wisconsin cheese, be sure to enter it into the 2016 Grilled Cheese Recipe Showndown! Grand prize is $15,000!!!

Also, check out their Grilled Cheese Tips

Thanks, Jeffree, for the tip!

March meeting recap: Bloomy Rind Cheese

Thanks to Don Axe for presenting about bloomy rind cheeses! He had a lot of great information to share with us about what bloomy rind cheeses are and how to make them. We're so excited for his dairy farm to open to we can tour it!

San Diego County Fair Homemade Cheese Competition

Friday, June 24, by 12:45PM
Deliver entries between opening time of the Fair and 12:45pm Friday, June 24th to the Home & Hobby area located on the 2nd floor, west end of the Grandstand. Judging starts at 1:00pm and once the judging process starts, no late entries will be accepted.

No pre-registration required, no fees, just bring your homemade cheese and filled out recipe form (found here: to the fair. Your entry gains you free admission into the fair!

Since the competition falls on a Friday this year, Queso Diego VP Earl Itrich has generously offered to take your cheese with recipe form to the competition for anyone who can't go. Just bring your cheese and recipe form to the Queso Diego meeting on Tuesday, June 21 prepped and ready for Earl to submit to the competition. Thanks, Earl!

Further details here:

That's Amore - Part 2

By Jeffree Wyn Itrich, Queso Diego Member since 2012

Part 2 of Jeffree's series on Italian Cheeses

Monte Veronese: This semi-hard, cow’s milk cheese hails from the mountains north of Verona. Hmmmm, do you think Romeo and Juliet dined on this cheese? It’s white to pale yellow in color with tiny holes dispersed throughout. 

Mozzarella di Bufala: A fresh drawn-curd cheese made from water buffalo milk, this legendary cheese exhibits a rich, slightly sour flavor with a somewhat grassy aroma. 

Parmigiano Reggiano: A hard, crumbly cheese made from raw cow's milk it’s usually aged 18 - 24 months. Sweet and fruity with a hard, dark yellow rind, this famous cheese is named for the areas of its production in the Italian provinces of Parma, and Reggio Emilia. Many cheeses that try to imitate Parmigiano Reggiano are typically called "Parmesan", or may also be called "hard Italian cheese type". 

Pecorino Toscano: This hard sheep's milk cheese calls Tuscany home. Mild with hints of lemon when fresh, it develops more bravado and a honey aftertaste when aged. Pecorino Toscano's name is derived from the word pecora, meaning "sheep" in Italian and Toscana, meaning "of Tuscany". Fresh Pecorino Toscano matures for only 30 days and up to a year when sold as an aged cheese. 

Pecorino Romano: Pecorino Romano is a hard cheese made from 100% sheep's milk. Originating in ancient Roman times, this crumbly cheese is saltier than other hard grating cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. Pecorino Romano's sharpness depends on its maturity, getting bolder with age. Pecorino Romano Genuino is the name used when this cheese is made in Lazio, its original zone of production. However, most Pecorino Romano today is produced on the island of Sardinia. 

Piave: A newcomer to the Italian cheese scene is a straw-yellow cheese made from cow's milk in the Piave River Valley of Veneto in northern Italy. Its milk comes from two daily milkings, one of which is partially skimmed for cream. Medium-aged Piave, called Piave Mezzano, ages for six months and has a buttery-sweet flavor with notes of hazelnut. Piave Vecchio, ages for one year and is still sweet, but has an added sharpness and exaggerated flavor. 

Provolone: Originally produced in southern Italy, Provolone is considered Italy's national cheese. Now made in the northern Piedmont and Lombardy regions of Italy, Provolone is a member of the same family of cheeses as mozzarella, called stretched curd cheeses. In its manufacture, the curd is stretched, and then molded into the shape of a pear, ball or cylinder. Producers hang and cave-age the cheese for 3-12 months to allow it to develop its rind and zesty character. 

Ricotta: Ricotta, meaning "recooked" in Italian, is a fresh, soft, spreadable cheese made from the second pressing of the whey. Creamy, mild and sweet, Ricotta is similar to cottage cheese, but lighter with more flavor. Ricotta Salata is the result of pressing and aging fresh Ricotta. It’s pure white in color, rindless, and exhibits a chalky, milky flavor. 

Taleggio: A member of the Stracchino family of cheeses, Taleggio is a soft, pungent cow's milk cheese produced in the Bergamo province of Italy. Buttery in texture with a fruity, slightly salty flavor, it is notable for its wrinkled, inedible rind. 

Interview with a Cheesemonger - Tony Edwards

Can you guess the cheesy tool that Tony is holding? It's over a century old and part of his family history. [Answer at the end of this article]

For me Cheese Making is an extension of my childhood. Being brought up in a dairy community of less than 100 people in the Southwest of England, in the heart of Camelot country and at the epicenter of Cheddar cheese making. Being a country boy at heart taught me values and  made me appreciate the fact that the land gives us so much.
Being recently retired from 30 years in corporate business in the USA, and now enjoying an endless vacation I became a curious novice in the practice of making hand crafted cheeses  two years ago.
My first introduction to this craft was attending a local class to learn the basic steps in the practical science of cheese making, but also collaborate and network with others who share a similar desire to eat well, respect the land ,our animals and above all our future. At this point in time I was introduced to, and became a member of Queso Diego.
The class I attended created a passion in wanting to learn and create Artisan Cheese. The first educational  book I purchased was  ‘ ARTISAN CHEESE MAKING AT HOME’ by Mary Karlin, she demystifies essential processes for a new generation of artisans and it is considered the most comprehensive book ever written for home cheese makers.
Like wine, each cheese has its own personality, so on my journey of discovery I entered the San Diego Fair Cheese Making Competition, to get some open and honest feedback from the judges who have the wisdom and experience with this art, and much to my surprise was awarded 8 ribbons in two years.   
This year due to family commitment in Europe I have only just  started making cheese for the fair, however I should have a few entries.
A part from making cheese my other hobbies are being a member of the Mercedes Benz Club of San Diego, Cooking, Gardening ( I have just transitioned my garden to drought tolerant),the tranquility of walking the beach, and last but not least attending live music concerts.
My lessons learned over the last two years with cheese making is Trial and Error is part of the process due to its many variables; so document the process well so you can repeat your wins!!! And spread the joy you have created by sharing it with others.

(The tool is called a Trier, used to test the interior of the cheese for flavor profile development, and grading. My Grandfather worked in a cheese store in his later years, and as a child I would visit him, he would insert the trier into the cheese wheels remove the plug, break off the inner portion, which I would eat and then re plug the cheese with the outside portion.  Fond childhood memories!!!!!)

Cheese Recipe of the Month

Bonus points if you make your own chevre for these: Roasted Red Pepper + Bacon Goat Cheese Truffles

Writers needed

A special thank you to Jeffree Itrich for contributing to this month's newsletter!

We're looking for writers to contribute a one-time or monthly article to the new Queso Diego newsletter. If you would like to submit an article or idea for future articles, please send your suggestion to:

Thanks to our amazing Board of Officers:

Alyssa Humbert

Vice President
Earl Itrich - 

Chuck West

Don Rutherford

Membership Chair
Sandy McCampbell

IT Chair
Chris Banker

Curt Wittenberg

To contact all of us with questions, concerns, suggestions, email us at:
Upcoming Events

April 9, 9:00AM
Learn to Make Soft Cheeses - $20
City Farmers Nursery
4832 Home Ave.
San Diego, CA 92105
RSVP: 619-284-6358

April 9, 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Cheesemaking Fundamentals Class - $65
Curds and Wine
7194 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
RSVP here:

April 9, 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Italian Wine and Cheese Pairing Event - $35
The Flight Path
1202 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
RSVP here:

April 10, 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Mozzarella and Ricotta class by Larry Stein - $25
Ascension Lutheran Church
5106 Zion Avenue
San Diego, CA 92120
RSVP by paying via PayPal to:

April 13, 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Opposite Attract: A Scientific Look at Wine and Cheese Pairings - $55
Vinavanti Urban Winery
1477 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Buy tickets here:

April 16, 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Cheesemaking Fundamentals Class - $65
Curds and Wine
7194 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
RSVP here:

April 19, 6:30PM
Queso Diego Grilled Cheese Meeting
AleSmith Brewery
9990 AleSmith Court
San Diego, CA 92126
RSVP here:

April 21, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Cheese Lovers Tasting - $50
Vin de Syrah
901 5th Ave.
San Diego, CA 

April 23 & 24, 9:00AM - 10:30AM
Raising Chickens, Ducks, and Turkeys - Free
City Farmers Nursery
4832 Home Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105
No need to RSVP - taught by Farmer Bill

April 27, 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Classic Wines & Cheese Pairing - $60
Venissimo @ The Headquarters
789 West Harbor
San Diego, CA 92101
Tickets here:

June 24, 12:45PM
San Diego County Fair Homemade Cheese Competition
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014
Home & Hobby area, 2nd Floor, West end of Grandstand
Details here:
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership

Brothers Provisions
16451 Bernardo Center Road. 
San Diego, CA 92127
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership
Custom orders available!

Bottles & Wood
5039 Shawline Street
San Diego, CA 92117
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership

Curds and Wine
7194 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. 
San Diego, CA 92111
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership

Locations throughout San Diego County
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership

The Cheese Store
1980 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership

Smallgoods Cheese & Provisions
La Jolla Open Aire Market
7335 Girard Ave.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership

The Ugly Dog
6344 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92115
Get 10% off your purchase with your Queso Diego membership (15% off food during happy hour)

Bice Ristorante
425 Island Ave. 
San Diego, CA 92101
Thank you to Peter Zien, the owner of AleSmith, and his amazing employees for generously letting us use their space for our meetings!
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