Tag Archives: cheese

Celebrate Oktoberfest With These German-Inspired Cheese and Beer Pairings

Market District German cheese beer pairing

Last week, I was the lucky invited guest of Market District at a cheese and beer paring event in its Robinson Township store.* Because of the time of year (Oktoberfest, anyone?), the evening’s activities centered around those two hallmarks of Bavarian cuisine. Yes, they’re not exactly hallmarks of an anti-inflammatory diet, but I am a firm follower of the rule of moderation, so a night of cheating with cheese and beer still works with that philosophy.

Giant Eagle’s cheese category manager, Gianfranco DiCarlo, Jr., led the group through a tasting of five beer and cheese combinations, most of them German inspired, which really opened my eyes to how beer can influence the taste of food. I’ve done the same thing with wine many times, but never beer, but as DiCarlo pointed out, beer is actually much easier than wine to pair with foods, especially cheese. I’m totally editorializing here—DiCarlo did not use this particular analogy, merely the essence—but wine is like a cat, a little finicky and difficult to get along with unless you find the right combination. Beer is more like a dog, friendlier with a variety of foods and generally easygoing with everyone. Continue reading

Easy Homemade Ricotta


Today’s post is brought to you by the Italian pronunciation of “ricotta.” I don’t go around hyperpronouncing most Italian words like I’m Giada De Laurentiis or something, but the American pronunciation of ricotta is one that I just cringe at every time. “Ri-caught-a.” It’s like fingernails on a blackboard for me.

Say it with me now. “Ri-coat-a.” Roll your “r” slightly. Hold your “coat” for a fraction longer than you think you should. Can’t quite hear it in your mind? Here’s a good audio example.

Okay. I apologize for that brief interlude. So, what I really want to share is how I only recently learned that you can make ricotta at home. And it’s one of the simplest things you could imagine. Continue reading