FARMcurious Review: Learning How to Make Chèvre, Mozzarella and Burrata

At one point in my life when I was exploring career options, I considered cheesemaking. I did some research and quickly realized that it wasn't the path for me, but that doesn't mean I couldn't learn how to make cheese at home to simply enjoy. Cheesemaking has been on my list to learn for a few years and finally two weeks ago I took my first cheesemaking class at FARMcurious in Emeryville, along with Patrick and our friends Laquel (Kid Free Travel), Sandy (Foodhoe) and her husband Mr. K.  

In this class, founder Nicole Easterday teaches us how to make three types of cheeses (chèvre, mozzarella and burrata) in three hours, while we indulged in fresh cheese and wine pairings. The class is taught in a beautiful studio space that's set up with table stations already prepared with everything we needed to get started. 

Photo by Sandy of Foodhoe

Cheesemaking is very intimidating and requires a lot of technique. Nicole did a great job teaching the class and demystifying all three cheeses, breaking down the steps in a quick and easy way to understand, explaining what's going on with the milk and what each ingredient or technique does. I loved her teaching style, super approachable and warm with a great sense of humor. 

In a class of about 22 people who have never made cheese before, everyone's outcome varied slightly but all of the cheeses turned out beautiful and delicious.

My favorite was learning how to make the burrata, one of my favorite cheeses! Burrata looks like mozzarella and is made from mozzarella, but it isn't mozzarella. It has a solid skin of fresh mozzarella that's stretched to make a hollow pouch, then filled with heavy cream and mozzarella curds. It is so rich, buttery and milky. 

We all had such a blast that we're thinking about taking Nicole's brie and camembert cheesemaking class next. We really look forward to applying the skills we learned in class at home!

If you ever had a desire to learn how to make cheese, I would highly recommend her class. Check out her upcoming classes:

Thank you for a great experience, Nicole and FARMcurious! 

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Fresh Catch (CSF) is a Seafood Lover's Dream Come True + Cracking My First Live Sea Urchin

A few weeks ago, I cracked open my first live sea urchin and ate the beautiful, bright orange roe straight out of the shell while the spines of the urchin continued to move. I love sea urchin, but I've never had one this alive and fresh. The roe was simply divine out of the shell. It was delicately sweet, slightly salty and briny, very creamy.

The two huge sea urchins that I had the pleasure of eating were hand harvested in the morning by a diver in Half Moon Bay and then delivered to our home a few hours later. It was an incredible experience that I have Fresh Catch to thank for. I was a bit intimidated by it, mostly out of fear from the possibility of getting stabbed, but I followed along the instructions they sent over and unleashed the hungry savage beast inside of me. 

Fresh Catch is a Bay Area-based CSF (Community Supported Fishery) who partners with a collective of sustainable fishing vessels to source high quality seafood every week and delivers to your home or a pickup location. 

We've been using Fresh Catch for the past three weeks and we freakin' love them! It is so awesome that they deliver all the way over to San Pablo. Sometimes we're not home during the delivery time frame, so we'll leave out a cooler filled with ice packs. 

It's been fun to see what they can get a hold of each week. I get excited just knowing that the fish we get is caught by hook and line, or that the sea urchins we get are dived for one by one. Since the sea urchin delivery, we've received little neck clams, PEI mussels, and beautiful fillets of McFarland Springs rainbow trout. Seafood does not get any fresher than this unless you're catching it yourself - or making a trip over to the docks, but who has time for that? 

If you love seafood and live in the 415/510/925 area, I would highly recommend checking Fresh Catch out. You can order a single delivery for the week or multiple deliveries, and opt out if you don't like what they have to offer. Basically, you only get what you want when you want it. The deliveries also come with recipes.

I really do love them and think you will, too. 

You can also find Fresh Catch at First Friday in Oakland. They'll be at 478 25th St in Oakland on Fridays from 6pm-10pm shucking oysters and serving up fresh seafood. You can follow Fresh Catch on Instagram to see what they're delivering next and for special event announcements. 

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