Hi, Reddit! Katie Quinn here. I spent the last 3.5 years working as a cheesemonger in London and making goat cheese in Somerset, England. I also traveled up and down the length of Italy working wine harvests and finding the latest and greatest in small-scale natural winemakers. Oh, and I also apprenticed at some of the best bakeries/boulangeries across Paris, Brittany and Marseille. I documented it all for my latest book, an ode to the "holy trinity of fermentation" across Europe.

I'm here to answer any questions about these amazing foods, share some of the recipes from the book (Cheddar Brownies, anyone? Red Wine Spaghetti? YEP.) Also in the spirit of "anything" we could talk about moving to Italy in the pandemic to get my dual citizenship (and having two cars stolen in a month), the life of a YouTuber or how I manage to do live TV cooking segments in the USA from our bare-bones Italian rental apartment. Could also talk about what life was like as an NBC page 10 years ago in a past life... It's gonna be fun!

PROOF 1: https://twitter.com/qkatie/status/1404822928458461186 PROOF 2: https://www.amazon.com/Katie-Quinn/e/B07MQG8SDR?ref_=dbs_p_pbk_r00_abau_000000 PROOF 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC3rWTZ2hFk

UPDATE: OK, y'all. I'm in Italy so I need to go to bed. This has been such an awesome experience. I've definitely been bit by the reddit bug. I'll check back in the a.m. and we can keep going. In the meantime, here's some links: Support my crazy food/fermentation/media endeavors on Patreon: https://patreon.com/katiequinn Buy the book, so I can keep writing! Sounds like maybe we need to do beer and maybe chocolate in the next one...? https://www.katie-quinn.com/cheese-wine-and-bread-cookbook Check out the amazing photographers and food stylists who brought the book to life: https://www.charlottehu.co/ https://topwithcinnamon.com/ https://www.sliceofpai.com/ https://www.pastrovicchio.com/

Comments: 434 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

guitarhero666179 karma

Why does cheesemonger sound like a British insult?

"Sir, you're an absolute cheesemonger!"

TheQKatie146 karma

u/guitarhero666 hahahaha When I was working on a goat cheese farm in Somerset, I got called a "ninny" when I dumped a bucket of dirty water into the fresh drinking water for the new baby goats. Farming looked easy, but I showed my city slicker card PRETTY fast.

Jimoiseau70 karma

Pretty ninny move ngl

TheQKatie31 karma

u/Jimoiseau I won't deny it!

MachZero2Sixty143 karma

Hi, I'm a resident physician in the US who loves all things fermented :) My question: over the past decade we've seen the proliferation of craft brewing across the US, do you have hope that we'll see a similar proliferation of local bakeries and cheesemongers? I feel like in most American cities 99% of bread and cheese is industrially produced!

TheQKatie111 karma

Hi! u/MachZero2Sixty I sure hope so! Sounds like you and I would be first in line at these places ;)

But, there's proof behind our hope. In promoting my book, I discovered and partnered with an amazing cheese shop in Detroit (https://mongersprovisions.com/) and have heard lots of chatter about a boom in natural wine bars ( not just LA and NYC, but Houston, Minneapolis, Boston, Miami!)

And anecdotally, both my partner and I are from small, rural cities in Ohio and Michigan that have both seen heavy investment in creating market-type commerce that has launched new cheese, and bread operations and communities of excited customers around it.

There's an appetite for this stuff, for sure. Part of my reason to write about it is to help stoke that hunger!

Thanks for asking!

InfiniteBlink31 karma

Im in Boston, i havent heard of any natural wine bars. Got any recommendations

TheQKatie29 karma

HI u/InfiniteBlink! My brother went to music school at Berklee. Haven't been in over a decade (when I used to visit him). When I visit again, I'll definitely be checking out Nathálie https://www.nathaliebar.com/

from_cork14 karma

Small world, I went to Berklee in 2005 for Jazz piano, what does your brother play? We may have crossed over. I've been to Nathálie and a few other wine bars in Boston. Not sure how many of them have fared over the course of the pandemic, but I can at least confirm that Nathálie is fantastic.

TheQKatie21 karma

u/from_cork No way! Brian Quinn's the name. He does all the theme music for my podcasts... and also is the funkiest dude out of Ohio since the Ohio Players! check him out here: https://www.bqfunk.com/band

MachZero2Sixty9 karma

Thank you Katie! Follow-up: would love to see you and Michael Pollan collaborate on a podcast, book, or recipes, I think you have similar interests!

TheQKatie8 karma

u/MachZero2Sixty ummm yes please, that would be a dream to work with him!

lavender_gooms99 karma

What places / products did you come across in your journey that were really pushing the boundaries of convention and tradition?

TheQKatie213 karma

hi u/lavender_gooms! Love this question. These were my favorite kind of people and places to seek out during research. Here's a couple examples:

  1. In Paris, a place where bread has such a strong tradition there was this baker named Xavier combining all kinds of "atypical" (I use quotes, because everything is relative!) ingredients in his sourdough breads like caramelised hazelnuts and lemon. Or buckwheat, soy sauce and lard baguettes. One of my favorites was inspired by his mom's Guadeloupe roots, which mixed cumin, ginger and curry, and peppers into the dough. Check him out here: https://www.instagram.com/xvbaker/
  2. In Brittany, I lived with Nicolas Supiot. He comes to mind because he's breaking the mold in bread by actually reconnecting with the way bread was made pre-industrial revolution. He calls himself a "peasant baker" (paysan boulanger). He grows his own grains (from ancient heritage stock), mills it and then bakes sourdough bread with that flour. (In the wood-fired oven that he built himself) (just google him -- or check out the bread section of the book)
  3. In Suffolk, England. Jonny Crickmore is making a bloomy-rind, soft-ripened cheese (Think French Brie). It's called Baron Bigod. In doing this, he's completely redefining what British cheese can be. He's one of the first to even attempt making this type of cheese in the British Isles. Check out here: https://fenfarmdairy.co.uk/cheese/
  4. Lastly, in Sicily I met Arianna Occhipinti, who is making world-renowned natural wines from a part of Sicily historically known for supplying the grapes for cheap, bulk wine. She's amazing, and a part of small, but mighty cohort of women shaking up the world of wine. http://www.agricolaocchipinti.it/en/

As you can see, I could go on for days! Hope this is useful!

Anacoenosis39 karma

I'd like to chime in and say that when I was in Sicily the year before the pandemic, the movement towards preserving and refining Sicilian wines that aren't known outside of the island introduced me to some of the best wines I've ever enjoyed.

TheQKatie33 karma

Sicily is a dream for adventurous wine drinkers. There's a line in my book where Carla Capalbo tells me "The real story about Italy is the South." (in reference to wine), so that's where I went!

Kittenfacedbobcat19 karma

We got some Baron Bigod from our cheesemonger last Christmas and it was so good

TheQKatie29 karma

u/Kittenfacedbobcat It really is a special cheese. He gave me an entire wheel when i visited because it was "too soft" for stores. Husband and I ate like royals for a month.

mwardle8 karma

Occhipinti SP68 rosso is 👌

TheQKatie8 karma


Calembreloque3 karma

Then I have a follow-up question: is Nicolas Supiot as chill and soft-mannered as he seems in his interviews? He's a bit too "You must seek the ancient wisdom of the Elders" to my taste but I love his work.

TheQKatie15 karma

u/Calembreloque Yes, he was such a pleasure to apprentice with. Definitely chill, but there's a fiery passion behind every. single. thing. that he does. I'm still in an active whatsapp group with the members of the workshop I attended. Four years later, we're still chatting bread. He made a mark on us, for sure!

wray_nerely68 karma

Chemically speaking, what's the difference between a result of yummy noms versus a trip to the hospital? Is it entirely a function of the flora/fauna involved, or is it more of a matter of process?

TheQKatie62 karma

Ok so, I didn't expect this AMA to be so popular! Massive props to u/Tunasub and u/Im_cool_really for stepping in. Yes, a big part of it is outside contamination. If handled and treated properly, the process helps the good stuff grow and keeps the bad stuff at bay. When I worked as a cheesemonger, I was constantly washing my hands. If cheese hit the floor, it went in the trash. One time I watched a colleague drop an entire wheel of Stilton on the ground. Easily over a £100 of cheese straight to the trash. Had to happen. When I made cheese, it was like were in a surgical OR, constantly scrubbing and out. Changing out shoes at the door. Hairnets, all that jazz. It's a spooky reality, but humans have been making this stuff for centuries, so if you follow the best practices you're usually OK.

BitPoet63 karma

I've seen tiny cheesemakers, wineries, bakers, etc. What I haven't seen is someone doing artesianal soy sauces. Any idea if there are any? I somehow expect some guy on the side of a mountain in Oregon with tiny casks of the stuff, trying to find the perfect balance of yeast, soy, etc.

TheQKatie59 karma

From what I've gathered, it's still happening in Japan. Gonna pull in my husband (founding employee of Great Big Story) to talk about this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT6MDZQUGt4

Also I cannot vouch for this as I have never tried it, but check THIS out: https://bourbonbarrelfoods.com/product/bluegrass-soy-sauce/

KeGeGa63 karma

How did you get your job as a cheesemonger? Did you already have experience, or was it more a "luck of the draw" type of thing? Also, in regard to fermentation, do you also do foods like kimchi and sourkraut?

TheQKatie73 karma

Hi u/KeGeGa! Like everything in my life, it was a winding journey of following my curiosity. When I first moved to London, I got an *awesome* video gig with the Comte Cheese Association in France (https://youtu.be/sMnTyUlUDpM). Basically, my new friends there were like, if you love cheese so much, you gotta check out Neal's Yard Dairy back in London and they made an introduction (the cheese world is small and friendly like that) and it turned out they needed temp staff to work the INSANE Christmas cheese rush (Neal's Yard Dairy does 20% of their business in December alone) so I took the plunge and ended up working behind the slate there for three seasons as a monger. Never got sick of cheese for a second!

As for Kimchi and Kraut -- ABSOLUTELY. I love making both. (https://youtu.be/pfBt4G3_C7g) & (https://youtu.be/F2o4k12NSxA)

They're actually the reason I started on this book journey because I was obsessed with that kind of fermented product and making it, but for some reason hadn't connected the dots that the same process was happening in these three basic staples of cheese, wine and bread that I love eating. I've got a million next book ideas, but I'm trying to find one that combines Kimchi, Sauerkraut... and I need a third, you know?

Thanks for asking!

Smilinkite27 karma

How about pickles? Vinegar?

Honestly, I love my own fermented vegetables way more than anything I can buy in a store :)

TheQKatie39 karma

How about PICKLE SOURDOUGH BREAD ... https://youtu.be/6qqx1uDVD10

We've not been pickling much since we moved to Italy on a whim 6 months ago, but in London during lockdown we did everything. Pickles, peppers, garlic, scandi red onions, oooh that reminds there's this amazing sicilian pickled eggplant recipe I learned that your just reminded me I gotta do again!

reclusifexclusive14 karma

Seconding home pickles. We make our own pickled onions with bay and coriander and a fennel variation. So many great possibilities!

Alternately, tsukemono/Japanese pickled vegetables.

TheQKatie11 karma


PinwheelsAndUnicorns14 karma

Kombucha and Tepache come to mind, the resurgence of "small" beer and other fermented beverages. I made a delightful orange flower honey mead this year.

TheQKatie11 karma

Kombucha is the best! I loved my SCOBY like my own child when I lived in London. Sadly, it didn't move to Italy with me. I need a new one! My husband tried some tepache in between homebrews but dropped way too many peppers in. He loved it, but it felt like drinking fire to me!

flyingmops30 karma

OMG you're the perfect person to ask this question, I've been pondering for weeks:

How do I get that ammoniac-ish taste out of the baked camembert?

I live in France, having baked camembert is almost compulsory at EVERY bbq meet up. But I always find them having that ammoniac taste, especially in the crust. Is there a way to avoid it? Is there camemberts I can buy with less of that taste and smell? Because the insides are heavenly amazing when baked.

How funny, when I think about asking reddit this question, I see your post. It's just perfect! And also thank you for doing this.

TheQKatie48 karma

u/flyingmops Ok so I can't fix this completely, because that ammoniac-ish taste... is actually ammonia. It happens as some of the proteins that have nitrogen in them are broken down. Here's some tips I picked up to help manage it:

1) Eat the cheese promptly. If its stored a long time, more of the taste will build up

2) Before it's time to eat/prepare it, leave it out in a room with some ventilation, maybe crack a window and let the cheese come up to room temperature. This will blow off a lot of the ammoniac-ish funk. Also, this the way cheese is meant to be eaten!

3) Lastly, don't wrap it in plastic when you store it. Only use cheese paper (the best option) or wax paper (the option we all have, in reality) to let it breathe in the fridge.

Hope this helps. Your question has me seriously craving!

stoptakinmanames29 karma

I don't know cheese well but I'd like to start learning! What do you think are some good gateway cheeses to start cheese exploration?

TheQKatie28 karma

u/stoptakinmanames I love this question, and I love all the helpful tips people have been giving you! I think u/TheDoob has great advice -- first try to think about the kind of cheeses you've had that you really like, and explore that category (cheesemongers at any local cheese shop will be able to suggest other, similar cheeses). This will give you a sense of the nuances to taste in flavor and in terms of how aged the cheese is, its moisture content, which animal the milk came from, etc.

Then, I think you should go wild and try cheeses you've never heard of or that you're not sure if you'll like -- you might find your new favorite that way!

But I get it, there are SO many cheeses out there that it can be overwhelming (there are over 1,400 named cheese varieties that exist today!) It can be helpful to have a grasp on the five families of cheeses:

  1. Fresh (soft) - think about your typical goat's milk cheese
  2. Bloomy-Rind (soft-ripened) - think Brie
  3. Washed-Rind (smear-ripened) - think Taleggio
  4. Blue - think Stilton
  5. Semi-hard and Hard - think Cheddar or Manchego

Hope that helps! Enjoy your cheese exploration!

bkconn23 karma

What is the best way to purchase your book to ensure you get the largest % possible?

TheQKatie38 karma

What is the best way to purchase your book to ensure you get the largest % possible?

u/bkconn awww you da best. Fun fact about the publishing industry: I actually got paid an advance and I don't see a single cent until book sales surpass a certain number to "earn back the advance." Apparently, that rarely happens unless Oprah picks your books or something. So unless, you know Oprah, just buy wherever is easiest for you. If you still want a suggestion:

I'm a particular fan of the gals at Source Booksellers in Detroit: https://www.sourcebooksellersonline.com/cheese-wine-and-bread-discovering-the-magic-of-fer.html

Also, bookshop.org is another great option IMO: https://bookshop.org/books/cheese-wine-and-bread-discovering-the-magic-of-fermentation-in-england-italy-and-france/9780062984531

RemyCrow316 karma

Great question, fantastic answer!

TheQKatie7 karma


dangil20 karma

don't you think we are all being mentally controlled by yeast to keep making all those fermented goods for them ?

TheQKatie14 karma

u/dangil shhh, they might hear you!

Fun fact: In London, I got to visit cheese from armpit and belly-button yeast.... https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/cheese-made-celebrity-belly-buttons-and-armpit-bacteria-goes-display-180972189/

fillet0fish18 karma

Have you tried Casu martzu in Sardinia? Do you think it should still be legal to sell? My friend who's from there swears it's the best although I'm skeptical.

TheQKatie19 karma

Hi u/fillet0fish!

I have not. As soon as we get a new car, we wanna make a trip to Sardinia and *I think* I'm brave enough to try it. (You gotta try everything at least once, right?)
I'll refrain from my legal opinion, because I haven't actually tried it myself. I have, however, had a similar version here in Puglia (where I live now). There's this amazing cheese called caciocavallo here. It can be eaten "fresh" here or aged up to two years. In Orsara di Puglia, the super old versions are known to have "worms" (maggots) and the old folks swear by it and love to eat the worms. I much prefer the fresh version, myself ;)

Fancy-Economist472310 karma

Why does the cheese taste much better at the cheese shop but when brought home it's never as tasty? I suspect it has something to do with temperature? Is it true as I was told that if there is spots of mold on a cheese, you can safely cut it off and eat the rest? Does it depend on the type of cheese (or mold)?

TheQKatie15 karma

According to one of my "dairy godmothers" yes, you can absolutely do some surgery and eat the rest. She answers a bunch of cheese FAQs with me here: https://youtu.be/hncwnQ--kho

As for the home vs shop: It definitely has to do with temp. Try and think ahead and take your cheese out of the fridge so it has time to warm to room temp before eaten. It's a game-changer! It allows the flavors to come out.

cboals10 karma

Why do you think everyone got so into sourdough?

TheQKatie19 karma

Because sourdough takes time, and suddenly lots of us found ourselves with a whole bunch of time! I know I baked hundreds of loaves in the past year. It's such a rewarding process.

InfiniteBlink4 karma

Um, cuz it tastes awesome. :P

TheQKatie3 karma

u/InfiniteBlink amen to that!

Photonmoose9 karma

Hi Katie!

Milk allergy here. I won't stop consuming cheese because cheese is just too good. Enter meme here. Heh.

My allergy is quite mild and sour/unprocessed products tend to suit me more.

Question: Have you noticed any products that could suit us... More fartsypants (I know I'm funny) more?

TheQKatie6 karma

Ok, again, not a doctor. Talk to one first before gobbling any cheese I recommend...

But, paneer and ricotta are basically zero fermentation. Also, I'm obsessed with Halloumi. Could eat it for every meal.

rillaingleside9 karma

Any hopes for a TV series? This would be an amazing series!

TheQKatie14 karma

u/rillaingleside I've worked in media long enough to know how crazy it is to get these things to work out. So all I'll say is ... Stay tuned. ;)

WhyBeSubtle9 karma

Hi Katie! So im planning to start homebrewing once i leave my parents basement soon 😂, what are some common beginner mistakes i should avoid?

TheQKatie28 karma

Honestly, I'm a color-outside-the-lines kinda gal, so I was pretty intimidated when I started making my own beer. My husband and I got a great kit from Brooklyn Brewshop and just went for it. All the science and perfection around it is SUPER intimidating. But, when we were halfway into our first batch and realized we'd forgot to turn the heat on under our wort and it had cooled to room temperature and just went for it anyway. The batch that came out was far-from-perfect, but it was drinkable, and it was beer that I had brewed myself. HOW COOL IS THAT!? Next time around, I got a little better and by batch 4 or 5, I was happy enough to share with friends. Fermentation is about time and the funky stuff that happens and comes out at the end. Just be prepared for a funky journey. You can always try again... Hope that helps.

Actually a more practical thought: if you're susceptible to gadget addictions, try and set limits, because homebrewing is a never ending pit of gadgets people say you need. All you really need is a fermenting vessel, a big enough pot and a siphon tube. Make sure you love it before you buy ALL the gear. You might end up with a bunch of expensive lab equipment collecting dust otherwise ;)

davefish779 karma

And do you find Monty Python's "Cheese Shop" sketch funny? Cheese Shop

TheQKatie7 karma

I DO! Haha, I'm chuckling now just thinking about it. And I get a big kick out of the fact that it was filmed in the very same cheese shop in London (Neal's Yard Dairy) where I worked as a cheesemonger!

teh_m9 karma

Hi Katie. Short question from Slavic country: Do you like Kvass?

TheQKatie7 karma

Hi! Had it once on a trip to Palanga, Lithuania. It was fun! Would definitely drink again...

icraig919 karma

How can I really tell when my bleu cheese is actually beyond edible?

TheQKatie12 karma

u/icraig91 Nature has a way of letting you know. If it smells objectively bad to you (not funky. Just bad), Listen to your nose. If you ignore that and it tastes bad, spit it out. That's my method ;)

drummendejef9 karma

What country makes the best cheese?

TheQKatie27 karma

Impossible question, but in the research for my book, England stole my heart. Every country has such a rich, textured and long history of cheese. It's utterly fascinating. For example, in England the cheese culture favors more lactic, crumbly cheeses (think Stilton) that are a result of the fact that English farmers historically didn't pool their milk with other farmers, so they would add more of their small farm's cows' milk in day by day. Therefore, the lactic-acid bacteria would proliferate and one of the results of that is a crumblier cheese. Now, in continental Europe, farmers often worked in a co-op model and pooled all their cows' milk together, allowing for production of alpine-style cheese (think: emmentaler (swiss), comte, or gruyere). Kinda cool, huh?

Himlir8 karma

How can we do what you do?! Sounds like the dream job.

TheQKatie9 karma

u/Himlir just follow your curiosity (and your appetite)!

Also, thanks for saying that. I need to be reminded sometimes ;)

chiefredwood8 karma

I recently had a breakfast sandwich with a fermented hot sauce in it. I haven’t found to much information on it but it was really damn good actually. Have you at all tried this yourself?

TheQKatie16 karma

u/chiefredwood Absolutely! My husband makes a killer fermented hot sauce. Chuck some scotch bonnets (depending on your tolerance), some serrano or cayenne chilies, half a white onion, three cloves of garlic in a mason jar with a spoonful of sugar, a couple spoons of salt, fill 1/4 of the way with white vinegar and the rest with water. Make sure everything is under the surface. Keep in a cool, dark place and burp once a day. (this was all dictated to me by my husband, so good luck!!!) also r/hotsaucerecipes is a great subreddit.

dvboy8 karma

Did anyone else find it funny that she had to provide "proof" for her AMA?

TheQKatie12 karma

Ugh. I'm not the best at Reddit. I found the whole process fairly confusing. I'm so glad it seems to be working out. This is really fun!

cisco548 karma

How important is the water in wine making? I have a very remote summer place and would like to use either fresh fallen snow or lake water. I could filter the lake water so it is safe to drink, but would it be safe to use without filtering?

TheQKatie14 karma

u/cisco54 my answer would be the same as it is with bread: You're working with very few ingredients, so you want all of them to be the best. I would take ZERO chances with possibly contaminated water when making wine.

Swampert02607 karma

I've heard somewhere that selling unpasteurized cheese in the US is illegal. Is that true? If so, why?

Also are their cheeses we are missing out on because of this?

TheQKatie18 karma

u/Swampert0260 Hi! I write about this in the book. It depends on the state (different cheese and milk laws). An unpasteurized cheese can be sold in USA if it's been aged a certain amount of time. For example, a very aged Parmigiano-reggiano can be sold. (parmigiano-reggiano has to be unpasteurized in order to be classified as actually parmigiano-reggiano)

Americans are absolutely missing out on some incredible cheese because of this: French camembert, British Baron Bigod, certain Italian taleggios, to name a few. These are all unpasteurized cheeses that are not aged and therefore illegal.

As for why, it has to do with, food safety standards. Raw milk (unpasteurized), if handled un-hygienically, can potentially harbor unsafe micro-organisms, so they just cut the risk out by requiring pasteurization in the US. I understand both sides, but I definitely think there's a way to safely produce and consume unpasteurized milk products (I did it myself working on a cheese operation in Somerset, England) and would like to see the US re-evaluate its reasons for this. Until then, visit Europe!

Emeryb9996 karma

I notice you looked at the trinity instead of the "quad." You could go on forever finding more things to include, but any particular reason you didn't include beer in your search?

TheQKatie8 karma

u/Emeryb999 Totally considered it. Honestly, that's where the writer in me took over. I found this great quote from Tamar Adler about "The Holy Trinity" (of cheese wine and bread) and just ran with it. Beer definitely will be in the next book!

axeofaxe6 karma

Pardon my stupidity. What’s the difference in fermenting curd, yogurt, cheese and ghee ?

TheQKatie13 karma

u/axeofaxe it's a stumper. give yourself some credit. I'm not sure I fully know the answer:

The magic ingredient for all of these things is that a starter/culture of bacteria has been added that jumpstarts fermentation.

Curd: curd is the result of a fermentation that takes place when milk separates into curds and whey (flocculation). It can then undergo further fermentation to become whatever cheese it is destined to become.

Yogurt: A bit of culture is added to heated milk and left in a warm area to do its thing for a few hours and then you've got yogurt! (there's a recipe for DIY yogurt in the book)

Cheese: Like I said in Curd, cheese undergoes several rounds of fermentation. Think about a bleu cheese, it starts from curd that is then shaped and poked with holes to let the microbes in the air in to have their go at it. It's a funky, delicious world.

Ghee: This starts from butter that has bacterial cultures. Honestly, I wanna learn more about this stuff... maybe the next book?

Hope this helps!!

cornandcandy6 karma

Hi! After a prolonged exposure to mold I developed an extreme intolerance to food in the yeast family.. mushrooms, cheese, and wine are the main ones. Can you tell me what cheeses have the least fermentation so I can slowly start introducing them back into my diet? (I’ve talked with my allergist about possibly starting this in his office but just curious as to what my first wave of foods would be!)

TheQKatie7 karma

u/cornandcandy What's the thing the wallstreetbets guys say before giving financial advice? So i'll start with this: I'm not a doctor, so consult with one first.

Things like ricotta and paneer come to mind. Halloumi might be a good next step. I'm obsessed with halloumi. Did a whole podcast episode about it: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6LH3hDi9iNjCLqLscsbk2K?si=OKwVsRn5Sd6J4BnNseSG8A&dl_branch=1

Absinthe_L6 karma

Would you ever try natto (fermented soy beans?)

TheQKatie8 karma

u/Absinthe_L Absolutely. And I have. Ate a bunch when I visited Japan in 2018.


I remember our first day in Tokyo, we stumbled into a full-blown museum exhibit about Japanese fermentation methods, in the middle of like a shopping mall. We were completely jet-lagged and it was like a perfect fermentation fever dream. Japan is my heaven.

davefish775 karma

Any thoughts on "Kernza" perennial grain? I have used some in my sour dough and it has a unique flavor and is more sustainable (big part of their story). Have not brewed beer with the grain yet -- but plan to try.

TheQKatie5 karma

u/davefish77 I've never baked with Kernza, but from my understanding it has a lot of similar properties to other heritage wheats (I'm thinking einkhorn) that I love. I have a honey and olive oil tin loaf recipe in my book that has a lovely, sweet flavor. I bet it would be fun to make with Kernza.

Save me a bottle of your brew when you make it!

UsrnamesRHard-_-5 karma

How do we feel about Babybels, though?

TheQKatie6 karma

u/UsrnamesRHard-_- Grew up on the stuff. Fun fact: my husband found a way to save the wax and roll it around a toilet paper "wick." That candle legitimately burned for an hour. He does it with all the wax from the various cheese I bring home now!

TakePlateAddCake4 karma

Have you tried making cheese with vegetarian rennet, like nettles? Or cheese out of nut milks? If so, any tips? Thanks!

TheQKatie9 karma

Yes! For one of the goat cheeses I made when I worked at a small farmhouse cheese operation in Somerset, England, we used cardoons (Cynara caradunculus) to set the curd. (The cheese was called Cardo.)

I loved doing that, because the cardoons (an edible plant, same family as the globe artichoke) have violet flowers with bright purple stamens, and THAT's what we used as our coagulant! They were dried and then we simply blitzed them up into smaller bits and wrapped them in a cloth and let that soak in the warmed milk, almost like a tea bag, before we removed it and let that vegetarian rennet work its magic!

Rhysjx4 karma

Can we create cheese from breast milk and if we can how would it taste?

TheQKatie7 karma

absolutely possible. So far, global cheese production is 82% cow, 14% buffalo, 2% goat, 1% sheep and 1% "other" who knows what possibly lies in "the other" category... ;)

In reality, it's like camels, yaks, and donkeys.

I feel like when I lived in NYC there was some place selling breast milk cheese as a stunt. Or maybe it was ice cream... who knows?

bundt_chi4 karma

Are you the same Katie Quinn that did the Serious Eats videos with Kenji ? If so how did you guys get connected and are you planning to continue collaborating post pandemic ?

TheQKatie5 karma

u/bundt_chi That's me! Kenji's the best. I think we all already knew that tho

I interned at Serious Eats when I first moved to NYC and was working as an NBC page. That's where we first met. I was so grateful to him when he blurbed my book. I'd love to do something with him again. Who knows what the future holds?

DangerDove3 karma

Is curdling fermentation?

TheQKatie4 karma

u/DangerDove Most of the time, yes.

Fun fact: The first fresh cheeses (which predate recorded history so there's a bit a guesswork needed) were likely some version of curdled milk, because:

Given time, what happens is that the natural (harmless) lactic acid bacteria in the milk proliferate -- especially if in a warm environment -- and if there's enough of it, it will curdle the milk.

The domino affect here is: proliferation of lactic acid bacteria --> pH drops --> the protein molecules attract --> they clump together, i.e. curdled as a result of fermentation.

beyonddisbelief3 karma

Can cheese ever go bad or over-fermented?

TheQKatie5 karma

One of the things I've learned is that every cheesemaker is faced with innumerable decisions, which will all affect the result. It's like herding sheep...but in fermentation you're herding microbes.

Just some of the most basic decisions include: Which animal? Raw milk or pasteurized? What temperature should the milk be when coagulation occurs? Set the curd with rennet, or rely on lactic acid bacteria, or both? Use starter cultures? How big to cut the curds? How much whey to drain? If, when, and how is salt added?

I list those examples because each of these single factors will adjust HOW the cheese ferments, and if it is fermented for longer than it ought to or with the specific balance of things out of whack for the intended resulting cheese, then yes, I think we could say its gone bad (or at least awry, even if it's still edible).

nuadusp2 karma

have you ever tried norwegian brown cheese? i went once to norway and had it at a buffet and the french tourists who were also there were stockpiling the individual packets they had at the buffet they seemed to like it so much

TheQKatie3 karma

u/nuadusp I LOVE THE STUFF. All the cheese I write about in the book is primarily British, but I give a special shoutout to the Brunost we picked up during a Christmas getaway to the Lofoten Islands in Norway. We fell in love and its become a Christmas tradition. We spent like €60 to ship a brick of it to use here in Italy for Christmas.

j3cubed2 karma

If you had to pair together a cheese/wine/bread combo for a casual hangout with friends, what would you recommend?

TheQKatie4 karma

u/j3cubed a thick-crusted sourdough, a mature comte (ex: 24-months), and then white wine from the Jura region to match, like Vin jaune.

Mmm yep that sounds like heaven.

Super-Time99262 karma

I have some fancy looking fontina cheese, what should I eat it with? What kind of wine?

TheQKatie4 karma

u/Super-Time9926 My theory with pairings: always prioritize you personal preference over what you "should" be pairing together. But, I'll play along: BAROLO. Plain and simple. Both of them have bold, rich flavors, so one won't drown the other out. Have fun!

Queasy-Awareness56472 karma

So what do you think of chocolate? It’s fermented AND roasted.

TheQKatie3 karma

u/Queasy-Awareness5647 I'm wondering if the next book should be "Chocolate, X and Y." Maybe "Chocolate, Coffee, and ..." I need a third fermented goodie. Whaddya think?

neuromorph2 karma

I love all types of cheese except pure goat. Is there anyway to make it less strong?

I've been fortunate to have a world class cheese shop near me, but I just cannot land on a goat cheese that agreed with me.

TheQKatie2 karma

hmmm... the taste gets stronger as it ages, so if that's the issue, search for something fresh. Or maybe a cow/goat milk blend?

purrfectblinky2 karma

Where did the baby goats go when they no longer had access to their mothers milk? Was that also magic?

TheQKatie2 karma

u/purrfectblinky They went to pasture with the rest of the herd to eat delicious grass that you could taste in the terroir of the cheese!

calvin_sykes1 karma

What's your favourite Scottish cheese?

TheQKatie2 karma

u/calvin_sykes we sold tons of Isle of Mull Cheddar at Neal's Yard Dairy. Loved bringing it home after a long day behind the slate and digging into it with some fresh bread!

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TheQKatie3 karma

Thanks! I updated the post with some proof. Hope it's sufficient!