On television with Brent the cheesemaker
Brent is part of a group called Strada Dei Sapori. They are 88 traditional producers from this valley working together to promote their products and this valley. Last month they were on a tv show and I (Sophie) got to be on it with Brent. The members include bakers, cheesemakers, butchers and gardeners, olive oil makers, etc.. There was a man making pottery, a carpenter making a bench, a basket maker and a lace maker. We were all set up in a beautiful alley in Anghiari.
Since we are in Italy, of course the camera men were late and so we had several hours to wait! During this time Brent and I had treats at a coffee shop, cookies at the bakery and talked to the other people there although I had no idea what they were saying. Later Brent told me that lots of people thought that I was his daughter! Some tourists came up and asked me “Can….we…. take…. your….picture?” thinking that I was a little Italian cheese maker and I didn’t understand English!
The tv people filmed at each table for a couple of minutes and then a group of singers/entertainers sang a jolly song. It made me never want to leave this area! I didn’t bring a camera and I wish I had but here are the photos Brent took.
Aren’t Brent’s cheeses beautiful? He makes 14 different kinds: brie, blue and chevre called caprino fresco since we aren’t in France and what he calls Lazy Mans Feta. His main kind of cheese he calls cachotto and he makes it many different ways: cachotto wrapped in chestnut leaves; wrapped in tobacco leaves since this area is known for it’s tobacco; wrapped in chestnut leaves soaked in grappa. I got the fun job of wrapping the chestnut-grappa cheeses, after Papa gathered the leaves. Brent also covers some in lavender, nettles and thyme; or rubs the ashes of these herbs on the cheeses.
The leaf wrapped cheeses form a good mold on the outside and the inside turns gooey and delicious. Is your mouth watering yet?