For the month of February, Carolyn Stromberg has the perfect mix of flavors to lift you out of a winter funk: chocolate, cheese and “baller bubbly.”
Righteous Cheese will host three classes featuring artisanal chocolates, chocolates and sparkling wine on Wednesday, February 13, Thursday, February 14 and Wednesday, February 20 at 7 pm.
Each class is $69 and includes tasting four cheeses, sipping four unique sparkling wines, chocolate accompaniments and the history behind each cheese showcased.
For more information on sign-up, visit the website.
No matter how hard I’ve tried, I just can’t get into American football. Okay, to be fair, I haven’t tried that hard — though I did go to a Redskins game once.
I know the Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday, and I must confess I don’t really care. I don’t even care about the halftime show or the commercials. But this year, cheesemonger Carolyn Stromberg is giving me a reason to pay attention to the big Maryland-California showdown. Or at least to a Maryland-California showdown. Being French, I will pay attention to a cheese showdown.
Competing for team Maryland is a Monocacy Ash cheese from Cherry Glen Goat Cheese Co., paired with a Belgian white style Stillwater Cellar Door beer. Team California is the surprisingly paired aged Vella Dry Jack from Vella Cheese and dark Stone Smoked Porter from Stone Brewing Co.
Neither team really has a strategy for winning; patrons decide the outcome of this 2013 cheesebowl. Whichever $7 pairing sells the most before the February 3 kickoff gets the trophy.
Now these are rules I can understand. If only football was this easy.
Union Market has a lot to celebrate this time of the year. The new building, which is packed with specialty foods and products, is expecting a full-service restaurant this spring. If you’re looking to step outside of the neighborhood for some cheer, the market is also hosting several seasonal events, including a holiday cheese class at Righteous Cheese.
Union Market’s new restaurant
Union Market is adding to its rows of pop-up stands and artisan bars. This spring, the market will welcome a full-service restaurant.
Last year’s New York Rising Star Sustainability Chef John Mooney is spearheading the new restaurant, which will have a contemporary American menu with a focus on sustainable, locally sourced foods. Most of the food items used in the menu will be sourced from Union Market vendors and a rooftop garden he plans to construct on the top of the Union Market building.
Union Market is celebrating the season this year with several events for children and adults
- Primetime Libations with the Grinch: This happy hour party will occur every Friday from December 7 through December 21, from 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm. Guests will enjoy live entertainment and holiday inspired drinks and will even be treated to an appearance by the Grinch.
- Holiday Toy Drive: On December 14, Union Market will collect toy donations for the children at My Sister’s Place.
- Gingerbread House Making: On Sunday, December 9, kids and adults are invited to attend a gingerbread making party from noon until 6 pm. The cost is $10.
- Holiday Cookie Decorating: On Sunday, December 23, Union Market will offer holiday cookie decorating and hot cocoa at noon.
Holiday cheese classes at Righteous Cheese
Whether you are hosting or just attending holiday parties this season, having a little bit of extra cheese wisdom is always a safe bet. This month, Righteous Cheese will hold two cheese classes to discover and discuss six different types of cheeses, paired with three wines. Each class is $49 and is limited to 10 participants. Tickets and more information are available online.
Union Market is located at 1309 5th Street NE.
Seasonal Pantry and Righteous Cheese are celebrating fall this month with classes in seasonal cider and cheese pairings. The intimate classes allow participants to delve right into the creamy world of cheese, homemade compotes and beverage pairings with fromager Carolyn Stromberg.
The cheese classes will take place on Monday, November 12th at 7 pm at Seasonal Pantry (1314 9th Street NW) and on Thursday, November 15 at 7 pm at Stromberg’s new shop in Union Market (1309 5th Street NW), Righteous Cheese. Each class is $49 and limited to 12 participants. Tickets are available online.
Stromberg will also host Righteous Cheese’s grand opening on Saturday, November 10th at Union Market. The fully-stocked cheese counter will include more than 70 hand-picked and unique cheeses. Righteous Cheese is open from 8 am until 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and is also open Wednesday through Friday 11 am until 8 pm.
Stromberg’s monthly cheese class will feature bites from Vermont to Wisconsin and New York, paired with three autumnal American craft beers and housemade accompaniments by Seasonal Pantry‘s Dan O’Brien.
The cost of the cheese pairing is $49, and each class is limited to 12 participants. October’s cheese classes will be held on October 15 and October 29 at 7 pm at Seasonal Pantry (1314 9th Street NW). Tickets are available online.
Carolyn Stromberg knows cheese. And unlike most artisan cheeses, Stromberg has deep District roots.
The George Washington University alum cultivated her passion for sheep, cow and goat-derived dairy through experiences in well-known restaurants and cheese shops in (and around DC), plus a trip or two through Europe.
Now, the cheese guru and owner of Righteous Cheese (which opened this September at Union Market) is offering the public an opportunity to learn about the art of cheese through her intimate (and snob-free) monthly Cheese Course Classes at Seasonal Pantry and Righteous Cheese.
Recently, I purchased a ticket and joined Stromberg at a rustic community table with 10 local residents to pick her brain and learn more about, well, cheese.
The class I attended at Seasonal Pantry (where Stromberg runs the shop’s cheese program) explored six cheeses and three wines, all from Northern Italy.
Like myself, the other participants did not have culinary degrees. They were not fromagers or sommeliers, nor did they have any intention to be. They were just regular people enjoying an evening of wine and cheese, possibly hoping to pick-up a few tips useful for hosting future dinner or cocktail parties.
Throughout the two-hour class, Stromberg went through each pairing, carefully explaining the cheese’s history, how the cheese was made, how long it aged, when it is best to eat the cheese and what you should eat with the cheese. In between bites, participants asked questions and commented on how each pairing tasted.
Stromberg did an amazing job at thoughtfully responding to each person’s question/comment, and was able to answer everything without so much as a blink.
Pointers from Class
In case you are wondering, here are a few pointers I picked-up from the class:
- Prosecco is your best wine pick for a tasting. If you are looking to serve a selection of cheeses the next time you host, a Prosecco (or sparkling wine) is the best pairing for most. This is because the bubbles in the wine act like a palate cleanser, while the subtle, sweet flavor of Prosecco contrasts nicely with the saltiness of cheese.
- Always serve from mild to strong. Start with a nice, mild cheese and work your way to the stronger picks (like a blue cheese). Those over-powering blues are hard for your palate to forget if you devour them first.
- What grows together, goes together. Just like our produce, cheeses are also seasonal, since the grass the animal grazes on differs, depending on the time of year. Because cheese often reflects seasonality, stick to pairing cheeses with flavors, meats, vegetables and/or condiments from the same season.
- Finally, a use for dessert wines. If you are like me and shudder at the thought of drinking a dessert wine, don’t be so quick to judge the sugary bottles. Dessert wines pair beautifully with salty cheeses. Like Paula Abdul said, opposites attract.
So if you are interested in learning more about cheese, in an intimate, unpretentious and completely un-judged way, look no further than Stromberg’s Cheese Course Classes.
October’s dates are not yet set, but keep checking back on the website for upcoming class dates and times.
Can’t wait until the next class? Stromberg’s new space at Union Market, Righteous Cheese, has a 10-seat bar that offers wine and cheese (and beer and cheese) flight pairings.
Union Market is currently open Friday (11 am until 8 pm) Saturday (8 am until 8 pm) and Sunday (8 am until 8 pm). In November, the Market will expand its operating hours and open six days a week.
Seasonal Pantry and Righteous Cheese are teaming up to host three cheese classes this month. The classes will focus on the food and culture of Northern Italy, especially in the regions of Veneto, Lombardy, Tuscany and Piedmont.
The small classes (limited to 12 people) are held in an intimate setting, allowing participants to fully interact and engage with course instructors and one another.
Each class will feature six cheeses and three wines, with housemade accompaniments by Seasonal Pantry’s Dan O’Brien. Fromager Carolyn Stromberg will tell the story behind each cheese, as well as give practical advice about selecting, serving, pairing and more. Each class is $49; tickets are available online.
Upcoming Dates for The Cheese Course
- Monday, September 17, 7 pm at Seasonal Pantry
- Monday, September 24, 7 pm at Seasonal Pantry
- Saturday, September 22, 3 pm at Righteous Cheese (at Union Market)