As we ring in the New Year we are grateful for all of our friends, colleagues, and family who have supported our journey to make fine artisan cheese. 2019 was quite year for growth and exploration at Pascal Affinage! We could not have done it without your support, encouragement, and best of all – friendship. Here are a few highlights we experienced at the affinage and with our T2SS (Titus if you speak French) alpine-style cheese.
Winter 2019 – Our cheesemaker traveled to France for the week-long Academie-Mons affinage course. He learned more geeky cheese science and interesting techniques for bringing out characteristic flavors in aged cheeses. Shortly thereafter, he ventured back to Shullsburg, Wisconsin for a second make of T2SS at Chris Roelli’s renowned creamery.
Meanwhile, the plans for our aging facility were picking up steam.
Spring 2019 – We worked with Sanitary Designs Industries (SDI) to construct an aging box for our cheese. This climate controlled box would allow us to age our cheese right here in Portland. We were excited – but there were many hoops to jump through. Being energetic and fit, we finally jumped the last hoop and in mid-May, we successfully underwent Oregon Dept. of Agriculture inspection and were able to start up the affinage! The following week we received our first shipment of T2SS (43 wheels) from Shullsburg. Our cheesemaker made cheese earlier in the month and the May wheels would age entirely at our new facility.
Summer 2019 – Lots of cheese tastings, selling cheese well at specialty markets in Portland. We began investigating making our cheese at Nestucca Bay Creamery (amazing milk) thanks to the hospitality of Amy and Serene. Of course, lots of reviewing and refining our affinage procedures back at the aging facility. Traveled to Wales and England and tasted lots of cheese including the Welsh Caerphilly and lovely English cheddar.
In August we attended our very first American Cheese Society Conference in Richmond, VA. A plethora of cheeses to tantalize the palette! Plus we networked, learned much more about cheese, and loved kicking around Richmond.
Fall 2019 – We had two new customers for our cheese! Higgins Restaurant in downtown Portland added T2SS (they call it Pascal’s cheese) to their cheese plate and to some of their recipes. And Steve Jones and Sarah at Cheese Bar added T2SS to their cheese case. Sales continued to be strong at World Foods Portland locations. We were sad to lose our first retail outlet when City Market NW closed in August. Fortunately, the Pastaworks cheese counter at Providore Fine Foods continues to carry T2SS along with its other very fine cheeses. We had many demos this fall and had the most fun pairing our cheese with our great friends at Runcible Cider in Mosier. They came to Portland to hold two tastings with us (at Cheese Bar and The Place and we had a very successful pairing at their cider stand in Mosier just before Thanksgiving.
What’s On for 2020? – We are experimenting with a new wash on a few wheels – may have a new flavor to try! We hope to have T2SS on more restaurant menus in Portland and plan to continue great relationships with our retail partners. This summer the American Cheese Society Conference comes to Portland and we are very excited to immerse ourselves in cheese nirvana for several days.
We appreciate your interest and support! Feel free to contact us with suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org