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Cutting the Curd

Featuring interviews with notable cheesemakers, cheesemongers, and cheese-lovers, Cutting the Curd is an informative, occasionally irreverent, but always cheesy look at the curdy, the nerdy, and the downright funky world of artisan cheese.

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Episode 267: All About CheeseScience.org

Pat Polowsky is a food scientist/cheesemonger living and working in Madison, Wisconsin. He's also the creator of CheeseScience.org - an amazing resource for cheese professionals and enthusiasts. Host Diane Stemple talks to Pat all about his website and career in cheese.


13 Jun 2016

Rank #1

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Episode 222: Cheese & Wine with Kyle MacLachlan

To many, Kyle MacLachlan is best known for his roles in cult films such as Blue Velvet, or for his prominent roles in television shows like Twin Peaks, Sex in the City and Portlandia. To host Greg Blais, however, Kyle is a favorite regular customer at the cheese counter! On this special episode of Cutting the Curd, tune in to hear Kyle talk about his Washington State-based wine label – Pursued by Bear – as well as his love of cheese and passion for good food. This program was brought to you by Academie Opus Caseus.


11 May 2015

Rank #2

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Episode 165: Beer & Cheese with Jimmy Carbone & Greg Blais

What’s better than beer & cheese? This week on Cutting the Curd, Anne Saxelby invites Jimmy Carbone, host of Beer Sessions Radio and Greg Blais, cheesemonger at Eataly for an on-air beer and cheese pairing and discussion! Tune in and learn how grains play into both cheese and beer – and what pairings work best. Tune in for this virtual tasting and conversation about terroir, provence and ingredients as they relate to beer and cheese. This program was sponsored by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board “I think wine and cheese get more play – but I know that beer and cheese go together better!” 15:00 “Things that come from the same place tend to go well together.” 25:00 –Greg Blais of Eataly on Cutting the Curd


3 Mar 2014

Rank #3

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Episode 176: Old School vs. New School: Franklin Peluso & Jos Vulto

What happens when you pit old school next to new school in the cheese world? Find out this week on a brand new episode of Cutting the Curd, as Greg Blais is joined by Jos Vulto of Vulto Creamery and Franklin Peluso, a third generation cheesemaker from California. Tune in to hear their stories and learn what it’s like in the life of a cheesemaker. From raw milk production to inspections – get some real life insight into what it’s like making cheese for a living. This program was sponsored by The International Culinary Center. ![](https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/1150896_1405058413042494_1051493638_n.jpg?oh=af2373ee4bda2e6690e19c02d586dfd6&oe=53F5DE2F& gda =1407849460_ccc4a318857bbeea47c78ce8657560e5) “You’re always faced with a number of challenges – transportation, getting it out to the right people at the right time and the promotion of the cheese. As far as production goes – I don’t think i’ve had a lot of problems in the past but that doesn’t mean there won’t be problems in the future.” [13:00] –Franklin Peluso on Cutting the Curd “I find the transformation from fluid milk to hard pressed sweet nutty cheese just amazing.” [28:00] –Jos Vulto on Cutting the Curd


26 May 2014

Rank #4

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Episode 122: Max McCalman of Artisanal

Diane Stemple’s guest on today’s Cutting the Curd is Max McCalman, the Dean of Curriculum at Artisanal. Listen in to hear Max recount some of his first childhood cheese memories, and his goal to dispel nutrition misconceptions about cheese. Hear about Max’s initial cheese education at Picholine, and how it influenced the idea to begin Artisanal. Diane and Max speak to their cheese tastes, and the differences between raw milk production and pasteurization. Learn more about the American Cheese Society Certification Exam! This program has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch. “I think Picholine is partially responsible for this ‘cheese wave’ in the United States- that cheese can be a stand-alone food.” [4:20] “People used to look at cheese like it was poisonous, indulgent- and that it was fattening!” [10:00] “During my short career, I’ve seen some cheeses become extinct. They’re not ever coming back.” [18:40] — Max McCalman on Cutting the Curd


7 Jan 2013

Rank #5

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Episode 107: Daphne Zepos Tribute

On today’s episode of Cutting the Curd, Anne Saxelby and Sophie Slesinger are remembering the life and work of cheesemonger, educator, writer, and chef Daphne Zepos. Anne and Sophie speak with two call-in guests for the occasion. Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman’s recalls Daphne’s passion and eloquence when it came to cheese. Ari also talks about some trips he took with Daphne in pursuit of good cheese, and her dedication to spreading the word about cheese and food education. Katherine Alford, currently of The Food Network, was Daphne’s teacher at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School, better known as The Institute of Culinary Education. Listen in to hear Katherine reminisce about a trip to Daphne’s childhood home in Greece, where they watched shepherds milk goats and create cheese in the most traditional of ways. To contribute to Daphne’s cheese education vision, please visit Cheesefoundation.org and make a donation in Daphne Zepos’ memory. This program has been brought to you by Whole Foods. “There was this majestic, theatrical, intelligent, philosophical person who could wax eloquently about cheese, and nobody else really did it like that. She brought something special to a food world that was already changing for the better…she did a lot of work to teach about it so that it wasn’t just superficial prose.” — Ari Weinzweig on Cutting the Curd “Daphne understood place, the lives of the people that were making the cheese, and wanted to really celebrate that and share it with people in a way that was really unique.” — Katherine Alford on Cutting the Curd


9 Jul 2012

Rank #6

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Episode 141: Pizza a Casa

Pizza a Casa Pizza School officially opened its doors April 15th, 2010 at 371 Grand Street on New York City’s historic Lower East Side. Since opening, Mark and his wife, Jenny, have been teaching sold-out pizza-making classes to thousands of students from all over the world. Together with their students and the Pizza a Casa team, the home ovens in their classroom have produced more than 15,000 pizzas (as of Spring 2013). On Cutting the Curd, learn about their groundbreaking pizza app, and hear the story of how the decided to make education their outlet. This program was sponsored by Academie Opus Caseus


21 Jun 2013

Rank #7

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Episode 292: Cypress Grove

This week on Cutting the Curd, Diane is joined in studio by Mary Keehn & Pamela Dressler of Cypress Grove to talk about goat cheese. In search of healthy milk for her children, Mary noticed a neighbor who had goats for brush control. She asked her neighbor if she could buy two of her goats and the neighbor replied with a grin, “Honey, if you can catch ‘em, you can have ‘em.” So a determined Mary went out with grain each day and eventually lured her first two goats: Esmeralda & Hazel. Those two goats turned to four and pretty soon Mary had, well, more. A lot of goats means a lot of milk, and so Mary tried her hand at making cheese.


27 Feb 2017

Rank #8

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Episode 128: Olli’s Farm and Creamery

Learn all about “the art of butter” on a creamy episode of Cutting the Curd, as Anne Saxelby returns to the airwaves to chat with Susan Bruss of Olli’s Farm and Creamery in beautiful Hartwick, New York. From the 1800’s until about 30 years ago, the farm had been an outstanding dairy farm. With Susan’s wonderful cultured butters, she hopea to bring it back to its former glory. Hear how she takes fresh cream and turns it into a blissful mound of Olli’s Handcrafted Cultured Butter- an American comfort food, for sure. If you’re interested in small farming setups or butter in general – press play! This program was sponsored by our good friends at Academie Opus Caseus. “I caught on to cultured butter and never let go of it!” 03:00 “Butter is one of those foods affected by everything it surrounds. There’s nothing like fresh butter.” 05:00 “Cow comfort is extremely necessary in any milk production.” [11:00] –Susan Bruss of Olli’s Farm and Creamery on Cutting the Curd


16 Mar 2013

Rank #9

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Episode 91: Goats!

Today’s episode of Cutting the Curd is all about goats! Tune in as Anne Saxelby and Sophie Slessinger chat with Louisa Conrad of Big Picture Farm in Vermont about all things goat. Learn how she fell in love with goat cheese and what makes kidding season such a crazy time of year. Find out about how the seasons affect the milk and cheese and what makes goats such unique creatures! Later on, they catch up with Gregory Bernhardt and Hannah Sessions of Big Picture Farm who are also in full-blown goat mode. This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch. “I’ve always been totally obsessed with cheese and farming. It wasn’t until I got to Blue Ledge that I learned the mystical magical power of goats and fell head over heels.” –Louisa Conrad of Big Picture Farm on Cutting the Curd “Our goats seem to milk best with longer daylight. Once we pass the longest day of the year their milk starts to decline.” –Hannah Sessions of Blue Ledge Farm on Cutting the Curd


13 Mar 2012

Rank #10

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Episode 256: Major in Dairy Science

Ever consider studying dairy science? Kaylee Wegner – a senior at South Dakota State University – joins host Greg Blais and guest co-host/cheesemonger Matt Reilly to talk about majoring in dairy production and animal science, and about her recent experience judging at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin earlier this month. “The cheese industry has some really awesome people, and it’s a unique place to be, and I definitely enjoy being there with them.” [12:00] – Kaylee Wegner


14 Mar 2016

Rank #11

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Episode 86: Cheese Education

Ever want to learn about cheese? Here’s your chance! Tune into an educational episode of Cutting the Curd with Anne Saxelby and Sophie Slesinger as they chat with Max McCalman, Sasha Anderson & Daphne Zepos. Learn more about the various ways you can educate yourself and learn how to become a better taster such as cheese classes, seminars and plain old tastings. This program was sponsored by Whole Foods Market. “The best way to learn about cheese is to put it in your mouth!” –Max McCalman on Cutting the Curd “Most of the talented young cheesemongers I know are also in a band, or involved in the art world somehow. Then there comes a time when they are no longer a drummer in a band, and have to think of more realistic alternatives to feed themselves. The Certified Cheese Professionalâ„¢ Exam personifies that moment.” –Daphne Zepos on Cutting the Curd


16 Jan 2012

Rank #12

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Episode 181: Neal’s Yard Dairy & The 2014 Cheesemonger Invitational

Jason Hinds of Neal’s Yard Dairy has damn-near seen it all when it comes to cheese. This week he joins Greg Blais and Emily Acosta on Cutting the Curd to discuss his work at Neal’s Yard Dairy, his cheese travels and his experiences in the Jura region of France. Tune in and hear Jason recount trips to the cheese fortresses of Jura, the seasonality and terroir of the area and what makes the cheeses of the region so incredible. Neal’s Yard Dairy is a London artisanal cheese retailer and cheesemaker, described as “London’s foremost cheese store.” As the sales director for Neal’s Yard Dairy, Jason knows where to find cheese, what makes it special and how to sell it. Get some real insight from one of the biggest people in cheese on today’s Cutting the Curd! Today’s program was brought to you by Bonnie Plants. “Whenever we go interact with a cheese, we’re not just interacting with the cheese – we are physically transported.” [20:00] “We don’t celebrate just the cheese itself – we’re working in partnerships with individuals. We present them as much as we present the cheese.” [30:00] –Jason Hinds on Cutting the Curd


30 Jun 2014

Rank #13

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Episode 254: Book Review: Wine & Cheese Pairing Swatchbook

Wine and cheese pairing can be a daunting task, but not when one is armed with the proper tools.  On this episode, Max McCalman returns to Cutting the Curd to talk about his Wine and Cheese Pairing Swatchbook and app, available on iTunes. “The first indication of a successful pairing is, if you’re hungry and thirsty it’ll probably work.” [31:45] – Max McCalman


29 Feb 2016

Rank #14

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Episode 258: All in Cheese Family: Marcelli Formaggi

The Italian region of Abruzzo might bring to mind Montepulciano wine or national parks, but it's the elusive cheeses of the region that are receiving more and more attention here in the States. Tune in to learn more about the cheeses of Abruzzo from the Marcelli family - Bob, Andy and Tina - who import cheese and artisan foods from the small mountain village of Anversa degli Abruzzi.


4 Apr 2016

Rank #15

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Episode 90: Cheese History with Paul Kindstedt

Anne Saxelby and Sophie Slesinger are joined by author Paul Kindstedt, who’s latest book “Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and its place in Western Civilization”, explores the 11,000 year old history of cheese! Tune in to learn about everything from maritime trade, ancient pottery and religion as they relate to cheese on an especially historical episode of the best Cheese radio show in the world! This program was sponsored by Hearst Ranch. “If cheese can help us understand the origin of civilization, it can help us learn who we are as a species. To think that cheese can help inform that process is extraordinary.” –Author Paul Kindstedt on Cutting the Curd


13 Feb 2012

Rank #16

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Episode 294: Farmstead Cheese: Sheep

Brenda Jensen and her husband Dean never planned on being cheesemakers, but today, they produce award-winning sheep's milk cheeses out of Westby, Wisconsin. Tune in to learn more about Hidden Springs Creamery and the challenges and joys of making farmstead sheep's milk cheeses.


13 Mar 2017

Rank #17

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Episode 388: Careers in Cheese: Lilith Spencer

On today's show, Elena interviews cheesemaker/creamery worker and photographer at the Cellars at Jasper Hill, Lilith Spencer. Lilith's cheese career started in college. Lilith began mongering at some of the best retail counters in NYC, hit Instagram fame for her artistic cheese board creations, and has landed in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. Elena and Lilith chat about how to navigate opportunities and interests in the cheese world while also trying to pay the bills. It's HRN's annual summer fund drive, this is when we turn to our listeners and ask that you make a donation to help ensure a bright future for food radio. Help us keep broadcasting the most thought provoking, entertaining, and educational conversations happening in the world of food and beverage. Become a member today! To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have brand new member gifts available. So snag your favorite new pizza - themed tee shirt or enamel pin today and show the world how much you love HRN, just go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate Cutting the Curd is powered by Simplecast.


22 Jul 2019

Rank #18

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Episode 98: Cooking with Cheese

On this week’s Cutting the Curd, Anne and Sophie are talking about cooking with cheese! Joining them in the studio today is Sarah A. Maine of Saxelby Cheesemongers and the website RecipeRelay. Hear about Sarah’s unique website that encourages readers to alter recipes and spread them across the globe. Also joining Anne and Sophie is Lizz Spano, winner of Artisanal Bistro’s Grilled Cheese Competition and The Grilled Cheese Experiment. Hear about Lizz’s introduction to grilled cheese, and how it turned into a love and an expansive menu. Soups, salads, pizzas – every dish can be spruced up with a little cheese! So tune in, and learn how you can improve some of your favorite recipes with cheese. This program has been brought to you by Edwards. “I think the interesting thing about cheese is that people don’t use it as a main ingredient, but maybe more as a spice.” —Sarah A. Maine on Cutting the Curd “I always cook with the rind, as long as it’s an edible rind.” —Lizz Spano on Cutting the Curd


30 Apr 2012

Rank #19

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Episode 289: The Oxford Companion to Cheese: Part 1

This week on Cutting the Curd, host Diane Stemple is joined in the studio by cheesemonger and author Elena Santogade. Elena talks about her experience being one of the contributing authors of The Oxford Companion to Cheese, which is perhaps one of the most comprehensive books ever written about cheese. The book includes a great variety of cheese-related topics such as animal species, biographies, cheese families, process and technique, chemistry, equipment and tools, pairings and cuisines, and many more.


30 Jan 2017

Rank #20