specialty food

Ina Garten By Taylor Swift

America’s Host

It was five years ago that I first heard of Ina Garten from my friend Lily Aldridge, a jet-setting model and new wife, who told me she’d found the perfect fish recipe that she could make in only 15 minutes in a Barefoot Contessa cookbook. The next day, I went out and bought one. I learned Ina had been a young wife who taught herself to cook after her new husband Jeffrey returned from fighting in the Vietnam War. She later studied business at George Washington University and worked in the White House on nuclear-energy policy. In 1978 she opened a specialty food store in the Hamptons, which she ran for nearly two decades before making the jump to television and cookbooks. As soon as I started watching Ina’s show, I realized why so many people adore her. Her goal is to make things easier for us. Fans love her warmth and generosity. She shows us how to create memories that we’ll treasure for years to come. For that, we will always cherish the merry and magnificent Ina Garten.

Swift is an acclaimed singer-songwriter.


Over at Cheese Underground, Jeanne Carpenter reports on the rise of small cheesemakers. Her focus is on Wisconsin, but the trend is evident from coast to coast in the US:

Small Cheesemaking Operations Lead Growth in U.S. Cheese Industry

Specialty Food News today reports that while the overall U.S. cheesemaking industry is on the rise, interestingly enough, the number of small cheesemaking establishments is far outpacing the growth of larger operations in America. 

According to the Census Bureau’s 2012 Economic Census, between 2007 and 2012, the total number of cheesemaking establishments in the U.S. rose by 13 percent to 542, while growth in small establishments, (defined as employing up to 19 people), rose more than double that rate, by 28 percent, to 250.

The report reveals that in 2012, small cheesemaking facilities accounted for 46 percent of all cheesemaking establishments, compared with 41 percent in 2007. As for employment statistics, 44,432 people in the U.S. were employed in cheesemaking in 2012, 7 percent more than five years earlier.

Just as with dairy farming, there is room - especially in Wisconsin - for cheese plants of all sizes - big, small and in-between. While the mammoth plants churn out the state’s cash crop of pizza mozzarella, smaller plants help put Wisconsin on the map for high quality artisan cheese. The past two U.S. Champion cheesemakers are both from Wisconsin, and are both small operations: Katie Hedrich Fuhrmann of LaClare Farms and Marieke Penterman of Holland’s Family Cheese.

The pair are part of a growing trend. The USDA reported in May that of Wisconsin’s 126 cheese plants, last year, 93 manufactured at least one type of specialty cheese, up from 80 plants in 2007. 

Read the full story.

(Photo ©2014 Cheese Underground)

Here’s a ‘tasty’ opportunity for New York City immigrant entrepreneur food manufacturers: a chance to showcase at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show!

NYCEDC has partnered with the Specialty Food Association (SFA) to provide the Fancy Food Fellowship to 4 NYC immigrant food & beverage manufacturing entrepreneurs. This is a unique opportunity to showcase at the largest foodie tradeshow in the nation, and receive a one-year membership to the SFA.

Learn more here and apply today. Application deadline is Friday, February 27, 2015.

You’ll be able to snatch up Ramona bars at The Cheese Shop in Healdsburg, California VERY SOON. 

Perhaps even later this week. 

A little bit about this lovely store: Located in Sonoma County (where it is going to be 87 degree tomorrow - in October), The Cheese Shop carries - in addition to artisan cheeses - Fiorello’s gelato, dry cured meats, a stellar wine collection, and a wide collection of chocolates made both locally and internationally. 


Cheeseburger Cupcakes! It took forever to make these…and I dropped one on the floor but it was worth it! Inspired by the ones made on Nerdy Nummies but with a few twists! I used chocolate cupcakes for the patty (instead of brownies) and green melting candies to make the lettuce (instead of coconut flakes)!

Next I need to try making those Ghostbusters Cupcakes!
I love watching Nerdy Nummies every week!