The Atlanta Cheese (and Food) Scene – Marcella The Cheesemonger International Guilde des Fromagers
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The Atlanta Cheese (and Food) Scene

As many of you know, I have spent more time in Northeast Georgia since last September than time spent at home in the Pacific Northwest… every time it appears my parents’ health and life needs are on the right track, something derails them…they are two tough older birds and I’m sure they have many more years ahead of them together (sixty-five years together so far…).

I found an opportunity to sneak away for a couple of days and headed to Atlanta to check out the food scene with my good friend and fellow ACS CCP™, Allin Tallmadge, serving as a knowledgeable and affable tour guide.

The day began early for me, leaving Lavonia before the sun rose… not sure what kind of traffic I would encounter… not too bad… turned out it is spring break and traffic was light. I had time to catch a cup of coffee with my dear friend… almost my sister-in-law, Carol before Allin squired me away to check out cheese and food destinations around the city.

Star Provisions

Star Provisions

Our first stop was Star Provisions, which The Man and I visited last year when Tim Gaddis, another friend and fellow ACS CCP™, was still running the cheese counter. Carolyn, the current monger, was off but we were charmed by a woman who was helpful and knowledgeable. I snagged two American Originals I’ve been wanting to taste, Appalachian from Virginia’s Meadow Creek and Calvander made in North Carolina at Chapel Hill Creamery (reviews of all the cheeses I purchased will be reviewed in days to come…stay tuned…).

Staar provisions' Penises

Staar provisions’ Penises

We stopped in the charcuterie area and much to my delight I discovered you can buy respectable animal (including bull) penises that resemble jerky (some are even braided…) for reasonable prices… the most expensive was the 12-inch variety for $10… a bargain as far as I’m concerned…

Caly Road Creamery

Caly Road Creamery

After Star we headed over to urban creamery, Caly Road Creamery and chatted with Powell, Cheesemaker, and Chelsea, Manager. Robin, the owner, was not on site but Powell and Chelsea made us feel at home, giving us the tour and treating us to a tasting of five of their “babies”… again… reviews will follow… my thanks to Powell and Chelsea for taking the time to entertain and educate Allin and me.

PhotoGrid_1428633309171Next stop was the Buford Highway Farmers’ Market… holy smokes… I’ve never been in a market like this… almost enough to get me to talk The Man into returning to Atlanta to live… and then I remember the oppressive humidity of the summers and simply wish this market were in Portland or Vancouver…

Fresh produce as far as the eye can see: a half-dozen types of eggplants; mounds of peppers on both ends of the Scoville Scale and every “heat” in between; wild-caught fish from every corner of the world and a lovely Cheesemonger, Moira, who proudly displays her cheeses. I picked up two more local beauties: Cumberland Tomme from Sequatchie Cove Creamery in Tennessee and Sweet Grass Dairy’s Georgia Gouda.

We also made a stop at the Dekalb Farmers’ Market, similar but not equal, to the Buford Highway Market. Sadly, DFM prohibits the taking of photos. Their cheese counters are respectable, not exceptional, although I did pick up a wedge of Swedish Vasterbottensost, a semi-hard cheese with parm and cheddar cultures… I also snagged two bags of local stone-ground grits (2 pounds for $3.99 – a real bargain and impossible to find in the PNW).

We went in search of Scott Stroud, another ACS CCP™ residing in Atlanta at the Spotted Trotter Charcuterie... but alas… he had a day off…

We lunched at the new Krog Street Market, still being converted from a multi-use facility previously owned by Tyler Perry. We chose the Chinese Dumpling stand, Gu’s and it was terrific. Jeni’s Ice Cream and The Spotted Trotter are two of the food establishments populating this new “place to be”.

After lunch we stopped in at Alon’s Bakery and Market and chatted with their monger, Mary.

PhotoGrid_1428632475104Weighted down with plenty of cheese and all “cheesed-up”, I headed to dinner at Aspens Steakhouse with my friend, Carol and then drove to Peachtree City to spend the night before heading to Many Fold Farm and a visit with Tim Gaddis. Monday I’ll feature my visit to MFF and Tuesday a Q&A with Tim.

Whole Foods, Julia Cummings, ACS CCP and their Avalon Store

Whole Foods, Julia Cummings, ACS CCP and their Avalon Store

No trip to Altanta would be complete without stopping in at a Whole Foods Market. I chose the Avalon WFM in Alpharetta where I saw my friend, Cheese Buyer and ACS CCP™, Julia Cummings. In addition to a fabulous cheese case (and cheese buyer, of course), the store boasts a separate charcuterie and a fresh pasta bar… you can never go wrong stopping into a Whole Foods Market…

Tonight, I’m dining with three other ACS CCPs™, Jill Davis, Stephen Garcia and Brandon Schilling… I wonder what we’ll discuss…

 

 

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