Let the cheese breathe As appliances go, we've always liked refrigerators, so when Oregon cheese retailer Mark Goldman declared them "a hostile environment for cheese," we perked up. Fortunately, Goldman also offers an antidote for keeping excellent cheeses good to the last smidgen. It's called Formaticum Cheese Paper and it's produced in France specifically for cheese which, being a living thing, needs to breathe. Formaticum is a two-ply sheet composed of craft paper with a light wax coating on one side glued to an ultra-thin sheet of breathable polyethylene to keep the cheese from "suffocating" in its "plastic-wrap coffin." Hey, Goldman calls 'em as he sees 'em. Each package of 15 (11-by-14-inch) sheets comes printed with a map of his favorite U.S. cheese producers, including Big Woods Blue from Shepherd's Way in Nerstrand, Minn., and Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Dairy in Dodgeville, Wis. It's available online at www.formaticum.com, or at E's Cheese, 720 Main St., Mendota Heights, and France & 44 Wines and Spirits, 4351 France Av. S., Minneapolis.
Kasper and Swift dish The big local winner in the recent James Beard Foundation awards was "The Splendid Table" as best food radio show. On Tuesday, host Lynne Rossetto Kasper and producer Sally Swift will discuss their show and their new book, "How to Eat Supper," at the Talk of the Stacks event at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall. The free event begins at 7 p.m. in Pohlad Hall.
Eating contest alert Gut instincts will be front and center at Savage's annual Dan Patch Days today through Sunday with two eating contests in the Savage Community Park. The Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin' Challenge will take place at 6:45 p.m. Friday and will involve eating a dozen wings slathered with its Blazin' sauce in 6 minutes or less. The White Castle Burger Eating Contest will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, with each contestant given 5 minutes to eat up to 15 "Slyders." The wings challenge is limited to 30 contestants and the burger contest to 20. Entry forms are at www.danpatchdays.org, the Public Library, Marketplace Liquor, Dan Patch Liquor, Buffalo Wild Wings and White Castle, all in Savage.
Enter this right now Marx Foods, a Seattle-based distributor of foods to restaurants, is moving toward serving the home chef and will supply a summer of wild salmon to the person who submits the best salmon recipe, using the form at www.marxfoods.com. The creator of the winning recipe will get three separate 5-pound shipments of wild salmon fillets in July, August and September, on the day of their choosing. But hurry; deadline is midnight Friday.