Artisan Cheeses, Please

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MADE WITH LOVE: When you see a slightly lumpy wheel of cheese, heavily veined and highly aromatic, you automatically think to yourself "someone loved that cheese." A lot. Someone hand-raised it and handcrafted it and added starter cultures to it and wrapped it in warm towels at just the right moment. The cheesemaker probably talked to it, too, and maybe, maaaybe, if the cheese was especially fortunate, it got sang to. Cheesy songs, of course, those tunes we humans put down but cheeses adore. Which makes any multi-day bash devoted strictly to the art of locally made cheeses kind of instantly awesome. And you can find that instantly awesome party, and the dairy-delicious products it is touting, in Petaluma from Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25.

ARTISAN TIME: California's Artisan Cheese Festival invites maestros of mold and scholars of Stilton to gather, to educate, and to display their creamy wares (not only display, of course, but offer for eating). It really is a mega cheese-a-rama, with the likes of Valley Ford Cheese and Cowgirl Creamery and Cypress Grove Chevre in the house. Oh, and Laura Chenel's Chevre, of course! We speak that name in hushed, reverent tones. The schedule was recently published, so you might want to take a look-see if you want to dream a little (or if you just opened the fridge to find a dry hunk of cheddar from ten months back). Seminars, tours, and events like "Bacon, Bubbles, and Brunch" are on the docket. We want to individually hug each word in that last title. Excuse us for a moment while we try.

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