The Cutest Cheese Knife I’ve Seen (and the First Post I’ve Written) in a Long Time!

I’m not even going to look at what the date of my last blog post was – I’m embarrassed to even admit it! SO, instead I’ll just write on and hope that I can continue to do so every day!

Recently, I was brought an apartment-warming gift from my friend Eleanor that delighted my cheesy self! It was a Topo Cheese Knife by Michael Aram from the “Dream: Flights of Fancy Collection.” When I’m out shopping – which is often – I always have my eyes out for new cheese accessories, but I had never come across any of Aram’s artful pieces. I’ve only tried the mouse knife on a buttery soft cheese thus far, and for a cheese of that density it works quite well. I have yet to try and use it to slice through a firmer piece of cheese. Intrigued by the whimsical mouse-shaped knife I did some research on its creator beyond what was provided on the helpful info card that was folded into the box.

Michael Aram is a designer who has lived and worked in India since the late 80’s. He is  trained in a diverse spectrum of artistic techniques, all of which are expressed in his huge variety of different designs! I checked out his website (www.michaelaram.com) and immediately decided I want everything on it – especially his well-known skeleton chair, olive branch menorah, and his swiss cheese cutting board and knife!

I can’t wait to start decking out my pad in his designs – well… dreaming of decking out my pad.

Check out some of my favourites!

Olive Branch Menorah

Swiss Cheese Cheese Board and Knife

Skeleton Chair

ALSO: Check out the fanciful Miss Muffet Tea Strainer!  Clickety-Click Here to see it!

‘Til next time, Au Revoir!

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The Look of Love… pretty labels

August Cheese Labels

Ola! Happy August 16! (Did you know that it apparently National Rum Day?? What do we even need such a day for?? – if you happen to be celebrating it, then have a good one!)

I am home from Europe and am going to talk about some of my fun soon, but today I wanted to look at 4 out of the 5 cheese labels that can be found in the Taste of Cheese August Taster, because I feel like it! The labels in the pictures above are from Garrotxa De Cal Bardines, Allegretto, Beemster Vlaskaas, and Laguiole AOC, respectively. I thought it was so interesting to look at the way that dairies brand their cheeses, and how you can analyze whether the label in some way relates to what kind of cheese it is!

Lets take a look at these 4 labels before I give you the deeeeets on the cheese!
#1: Garrotxa de cal Bardines – This is such a beautiful design for a label! It is individual and different, even when compared to the three beside it. It is like a water colour painting with someone’s writing and doodles drawn over it. Amazing! It’s as though the designer thought, what is the most simple and natural, visual way to express this cheese? And I really think that they found it! The colour is bold and simple and the “graphic” definitely has a rustic, old-school appeal and is very individualistic and even a bit whimsical!

#2: Allegretto – This label is much more neutral but because of the cute, dopey little sheep drawing it has a whimsical sense of humour to it! The texture on the label matches that of the rind of the cheese and makes it very approachable. This label definitely belongs on a humble, down-to-earth, local type of cheese.

#3: Beemster Vlaskaas – Now this is a different story all together. The label for Vlaskaas is corporate. It’s clean, its the big cheese (but for serious.. Beemster Vlaskaas is a biggggg wheel of cheese!) But as often happens with some cheese label designs, there’s alot going on here. Maybe a bit too much. The colour is exciting and the brand name, Beemster, is big. Unfortunately, I think the rest sorta gets lost in the mix, but because I know that Beemster is a reputable brand, it certainly doesnt deter me from eating it!

#4: Laguiole AOC: This is a fantastic example of “less-is-more.” The Laguiole AOC label is simple and no BS… It’s got the name, with AOC included so you know its good stuff, a cow so you know what animal pumped out the milk for this cheese, and “Lait Cru” to tell you that the milk is unpasteurized. And that’s that. no froof, frills or fancy-pants pictures, just what you need to know in as few words as possible. It does just that while still being attractive, so I say SUCCESS!

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So, do these labels match the cheeses?? I say absolutely! The Garrotxa is a rustic, Spanish goat cheese that has big flavour and personality, just like it’s free-wheeling label. The Allegretto is a sweet, fun, easygoing cheese that matches its funny, whimsical label perfectly. Beemster Vlaskaas is a big cheese with unbelievable flavour and execution that should be expected from a brand like Beemster, and the “Corporate” style design of the label fits pretty well. Laguiole AOC’s label fits like a glove. This no-nonsense label goes perfectly with the farmhouse-style big flavoured cheese.

My personal fave is the Garrotxa label. It’s bold, unique style is different and matches to the cheese it covers perfectly!!

What do you think?

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Want to try them?? Check’em out at tasteofcheese.ca!

Till Next Time…. Adios!

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The Art of Cheese (labels)

Hello again!

You might be wondering: What has Stacey been doing if she hasn’t been writing on her cheese blog?

Well, here’s the answer to your question! I’ve been doing art projects with cheese labels! (OK, I also went to Florida, but that’s not the point)

As a cheese AND design lover, one of my favourite non-eating parts of cheese is the way it is packaged and the often quirky, unique and beautiful labels! There are few products that provide a canvas for such an amazingly broad spectrum of ephemeral design!! At Taste of Cheese, we get in so many cheeses that all come with extra labels, which usually don’t all get used up. So what does that mean? It means I get to start a collection!

When I was in 2nd year university, I had a design professor who had an endless collection of vintage ephemera (def: Things that exist or are expected to be used only for a short period of time). He would bring in his books full of vintage food labels and at the time I thought: “What a weird, generally useless thing to collect!” I will now openly acknowledge that I have become my middle-aged, white haired, bearded, professor.

My name is Stacey, and I am fascinated by cheese labels.

Anyways, with some of the labels that I really quite liked, I made some art! Now it’s on the wall in my office, and it makes me very happy to see my abstract cheese-label art up there! Take a look!

Cheese Label Art

– Stacey

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The Prettiest Crackers EVER!

Back to my adventures in NYC!

For as much as I love what the cheese (or food in general) tastes like, I also am a snobby graphic designer who judges things by their packages! I love cheese labels (I started to make art with them, I’ll show you once one of the posters is complete!) and I love well designed food packages. While I might not choose a cheese for its label, I would probably choose crackers or chocolate first by the way they catch my eye. I forgot to post about this soon after I got back from NYC but here is a little blurb about what I found in Murray’s, a GREAT NYC cheese shop:

The nicest crackers ever.. I have been staring at these crackers from The Fine Cheese Co. since I discovered their website. They are simple with a retro flair, with beautiful colours and graphics!

cracker1

The Fine Cheese Co. Crackers

cracker2

The Fine Cheese Co. Crackers

Sorry for the shoddy photography. I was a little uncomfortable setting up photoshoots of unpurchased crackers in the tiny store!

Either way.. could they be any nicer? If anyone knows of somewhere to buy these in TO let me know! They also had lots of beautiful artisan chocolate.. I only managed to snap a shot of one of them…

Chocolate at Murray's

Chocolate at Murray's

They had a whole line of these beautifully patterned Mast Brothers Chocolate Bars, and what goes better with cheese than lovely chocolate?  I could barely bring myself to leave the store!

More on Pretty Packaging to come.

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