Welcome to the blog of the Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company. Pull up a bar stool and experience our Counter Culture!

I'm Andy Meddick, Owner and President of the Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company. In 2005, I left my corporate I.T. job in Washington DC, to relocate with my spouse's business to the DE beaches. What to do now we live in a state where chicken houses can often outnumber human? Faced with a four hour round trip to the closest decent food market, I opened my first store, Good For You Market, a full service grocery store, focusing on organic, natural, and gourmet foods. In the worst economy since the 1930s, I won Best of Delaware awards three years running. After four years, I decided to simplify the business, re-aligning to focus on what we did best. The result is the Rehoboth Beach Cheese Company. We sell (retail and wholesale) artisan/farmstead cheeses, charcuterie, organic produce,and other specialty foods such as spices and seasonings. We also teach cheese classes, cater, sell online, and consult with other businesses to build their cheese programs.

I've learned much since starting out. For example, staffing was a steep learning curve, and I discovered that a savvy sales and marketing professional lay dormant in an I.T. geek! Systems analysis, business analysis, database design and development, data architecture, web design, specialty cheeses and foods, organic farming, catering, and cooking. What do all these threads have in common? Curiosity! It begets technique, which in turn begets better solutions to commond needs. Why complain about lack of choice, if you're not willing to offer an alternative? Our move, and my business development has taught me to participate in life, and to be ever curious! Enjoy!

May 9, 2009

If we could only take that trip back in time and erase the memories we don’t want to keep. I would vote to erase the bad memories of Rutabaga, or, “Swede” as we call it back in the UK.

Rutabaga is not well understood. Kind of like that weird relative at Thanksgiving dinner – the one who has that odd sense of humor and brings that Jell-O vegetable roll thing that no one eats. Who does that to vegetables anyway? That’s a lot of therapy right there!

Unlike that Jell-O vegetable roll, however, rutabagas are fabulous. They have terrific color, and a flavor that can’t quite be defined.

The rutabaga is actually a hybrid of a turnip and a cabbage. Don’t hold that against it, since it tastes like neither. The flavor combination, like any relationship, is complicated - simultaneously sweet and slightly bitter.

Rutabaga is a refreshing substitute for the humble potato. Discerning chefs often transform rutabaga into gnocchi, replacing the potato. Rutabaga’s flavor pairs well with gamy meat such as rabbit, or with shellfish – shrimp, or lobster.

My favorite prep method for rutabaga is to peel, chop into rough cubes, steam and puree. I add a touch of heavy cream and a dash of sweetness such as maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup. Mix in a pinch of spice such as cumin, cayenne pepper, or paprika and, “Bon Appetit” – a simple, nutritious soup or thrilling pasta sauce. The heavy cream can be substituted for a thick, non-dairy milk such as coconut milk for a Vegan option. In this case, the soup/sauce mix will need to be reduced somewhat to thicken.

Don’t be put off by a wax coating (or, horror, saran wrap!) on the rutabaga, when seen at market. It is the produce vendor’s attempt to prevent the vegetable from drying out in storage. Properly stored, in a cool, dry place, rutagaba will keep for months.

Rutabaga is loaded with potassium and vitamin C. Just the thing to build strong muscles and strengthen our immune systems at this time of year.

Grab rutabagas while you still can at market. They will soon disappear awaiting a return in the early fall.

Have fun with rutabaga. Experiment. Eat well. It’s Good For You!

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