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MARCH, 2010

 Dancing House

Tančící Dům
Prague, Czech Republic

posted by KRASK  March 10, 2010 20:34  Architecture  comments (0)


 Suau de Clua

Catala CheesemongerWelcome back to the Monday Cheese series. Honestly, with my posting history it should probably be called the Monthly Cheese series.

On a trip to Barcelona I visited La Seu Formatgeria, a cheesemonger specializing in Spanish farmhouse cheese. I was hoping to find Cabrales, a blue cheese famed for its spiciness. They didn't have any, so I bought several other varieties instead.

The next day I ran across a small outdoor market where a farmer was selling a goat cheese from Formatge del Montsec called Suau de Clua. He had two types, a young and an aged. Having already bought a fair amount of cheese and limited luggage space, I opted for for just one young cheese. Usually I like to speak with the cheesemonger and learn a bit about them and their cheese. Unfortunately, my knowledge of Spanish and the Catala language is limited to just a few phrases, so the conversation was rather short.

I brought the cheese back home where it sat in the fridge for several days. I really didn't expect much. After all, I had purchased several other cheeses at La Seu Formatgeria and I really wanted to try them first.

The cheese has a fascinating history. High in the hills of the La Serra del Montsec mountain range lies the tiny village of Clua de Meià. After being abandoned for many years, it was re-inhabited by a small group of people in the 1970's. There they became self sufficient, living off the land and away from the big cities. In America they would be called hippies. Over time, buildings were renovated, a good water supply was installed, and electricity and telephone services were added.

After some trial and error with raising livestock, rabbits, chickens, and pigs, it was the goat that could survive the rugged terrain of the mountains. With the goat's milk they made cheese, and a delicious one at that. It's off white, creamy, and fairly mild. If I had realized how delicious this cheese was, I would have bought more of it as well as the aged version, leaving the other cheeses in Barcelona. Yes, it's that good.

Precious little information is available on the th
e net, and none of it in English. I found this video (http://www.tv3.cat/videos/236508607) which has an interview with the very same person selling the cheese at the market. If anyone knows Catala, please contact me. I'd love to learn what he says!

posted by KRASK  January 28, 2010 13:01  Monday Cheese  comments (2)


 The Word vs. Image

  1. An object is not so attached to its name that one cannot find for it another one which is more suitable.
  1. There are objects which can do without a name.
  1. A word sometimes serves only to designate itself.
  1. An object encounters its image, and objects encounters its name. It happens that the image and the name of this object encounter each other.
  1. Sometimes the name of an object occupies the place of an image.
  1. A word can take the place of an object in reality.
  1. An image can take the place of a word in a proposition.
  1. An object can suggest that there are other objects behind it.
  1. Everything tends to make one think that there is little relationship between an object and that which represents it.
  1. The words which serve to indicate two different objects do not show what may divide these objects from one another.
  1. In a painting the words are of the same substance as the images.
  1. One sees differently the images and the words in a painting.
  1. Any shape may replace the image of an object.
René Magritte
1-20 March, 1954

Note: The above was copied directly from a display at the Magrittte Museum in Brussels. The text was in English. I did not translate it from French as some have suggested. It's a fantastic museum and well worth the visit.

posted by KRASK  September 27, 2009 10:16  Art  comments (0)

JUNE, 2009



Stockholm, Sweden

posted by KRASK  June 29, 2009 7:37  General  comments (0)



Banon ChèvreBanon Chèvre cheese has been made for a long time. Dating back to ancient Rome, it is said that emperor Antoninus Pius died in 161BC from eating too much of it. He must have really liked the cheese.

Besides its ability to kill, what makes this cheese so special? It's basically an unpasteurized goat's milk cheese from the Provence region of France. What's distinct about it is the method by which it's matured. The soft curd is molded into a ladle, then wrapped in green chestnut leaves that have been soaked in eau de vie, a clear fruit brandy. The 100 gram cheese are then tied with raffia.

When young, the cheese is supposed to be chalky and taste sour. It's best to buy it after it has aged some, which you can tell by the color of the leaves. Dark green or brown is best. The cheese we tried was from Fromagerie de Banon and was very soft and creamy with a slight nutty taste. It was very tasty, but I doubt one could eat enough to be fatal. It would make a pretty good last meal though.

posted by KRASK  February 23, 2009 16:26  Monday Cheese  comments (1)

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