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Episode #004 – Gettin Cheesy with the Traveling Cheeseboard Owner & Cheese Master DeAnna Kent

DeAnna Kent on the Left, Coco on the Right

In today’s episode we sit down with DeAnna Kent, owner of the Traveling Cheeseboard. We discuss the art of pairing cheese with beer, how distribution and laws effect the cheese we can buy, and more. We would like to thank Pair O’ Dice Brewing for opening their brewery for us to record this episode.

Below we have provided some show notes to follow along with if you would like. Besides hosting our podcast here on the website, we also have it streaming on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, and Tune In.

Below we have provided some show notes to follow along with if you would like. Besides hosting our podcast here on the website, we also have it streaming on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, and Tune In.

If you would like to support what we are doing please visit the store for some Florida Food and Brew Gear. Now onto the show!

Show Notes

7:10 – DeAnna let’s us know about some of the cheeses she has provided for the show.

8:55 – Her husband Tom makes a lot woodworking using reclaimed wood and how that is his relaxing hobby.

10:55 – Where did the love of cheese start? DeAnna explains how she got started in her love affair with cheese and how her career was born.

13:40 – We discuss how to pair the salty cheddar she provided. Her recommendation is pairing the hoppy style beers to cut the creaminess.

14:20 DeAnna started her career in Arizona with Trader Joe’s, then moved to Paradise Valley. Her career has taken her to Sacramento, Napa, Wisconsin, then here to Florida.

15:40 – She discovered with her move that there was not much options for cheese. It was then when she decided to start up the Traveling Cheeseboard.

16:50 – She has visited roughly a dozen breweries with her company. Yet, some have really become a regular stop like Pair O’ Dice and Cueni. She also, has just started working with Williams & Sonoma. This new location will be more about how to create a cheese plate.

Light Education begins

18:00 – What are the best practices to setting up a cheeseboard? All about the centerpiece.

19:13 – The Pool Boy loves the spicy Mango Habanero Jack. Deceptively sweet and then hits you hard.

19:58 – Was education about cheese always the goal? DeAnna has always had a love for what goes into making cheese and the people behind the scenes making it. She has always wanted to help people see how much goes into it.

21:25 – What are the differences between American farmed cheese and European cheeses that have been in production for centuries? One thing we miss out on is unpasteurized cheese. We just can’t get it here.

22:45 – DeAnna describes a cheese that she is just loving right now. A Quintuple cow milk blue, and she is in love with a farm called Jasper Hills in Vermont. She also mentioned Capriole Farm she is trying to get access to.

Florida and Cheese don’t pair well yet

23:35 – Florida is unfortunately in a food desert. She can’t get most things unless she ships direct which costs quite a bit.

24:40 – It is hard for people to experience good cheese here in Florida. Being a vacation town, the summer market goes down hill. It’s hot and not many people think about cheese. During this time DeAnna spends time visiting farms around the country to enhance the future of cheese in Florida.

27:02 – With her beer pairing classes she is able to provide some unique cheeses. This offers a wonderful opportunity to introduce real cheese to Florida locals who may not get the opportunity otherwise.

29:15 – In the 5 years DeAnna has been here, she has seen a lack of this product she loves. However, this has opened a door for her to pioneer the market. She would love to see Florida to offer these specialty items year round. We discuss for a bit about helping grow Florida’s food culture.

33:20 – DeAnna is working towards opening a shop for Traveling Cheeseboard. It is taking some work, but she is working on it. The goal would be to offer a shop with a coffee, pastry, and perhaps a beer presence along with the store.

Ins and Outs of pairing

35:30 – Where are we? Earth! But in all honesty, DeAnna talks about our recording location at Pair O’ Dice Brewing. She at times uses the large brewery for events as it can get quite busy.

37:53 – What can you expect in a typical beer and cheese pairing. Typically 4 or 5 beers each with a cheese and sometimes a charcuterie.

39:00 – Sometimes funky beer collections can create difficulty for pairing with cheese. The more you add to a beer the harder it can be to find a cheese that pairs well. Although, cheese typically pairs easier with beer than cheese.

40:43 – Beer is not necessarily better than wine when pairing. Yet, beer and cheese are very similar in production with yeast strains and steps of care. Often times, wine can drastically clash with cheese.

43:11 – While sour and wild ales are often the segway for a wine drinker to becoming a beer drinker, those style of beers can create difficulties with pairing. Traditional beer styles are much easier especially if its a dark beer.

44:50 – DeAnne is convinced there is a blue cheese for everyone.

45:55 – Make sure to check out the Traveling Cheeseboard on Facebook or on Instagram. She has many events to check out and offers cool catering as well.

51:00 – DeAnna is extremely passionate about provide customer care and serving others through the Traveling Cheeseboard. She is an awesome person and providing great experiences in cheese.

52:27 – There has been some really solid ideas starting to be executed well in Florida within the industry. Florida is behind on some of the laws but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The difficulty is many in legislation don’t quite understand what is happening.

Thanks for listening

We appreciate you stopping by and checking out the episode. We have many more coming soon and some great previous episodes like Cueni Brewing or Flying Cloud Tea. Check them out if you desire.

If you enjoy the show we would appreciate you sharing it with others by leaving us a 5 star review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Podcasts. If you have feedback to help us improve please send us an email.

To show our appreciation for your support we are offering a 15% coupon on all orders over $50. Just use the promo code: maypod in our shop.

The Pool Boy

A lover of all things food and beverage related, Ron Nattress is on the constant hunt to learn and experience all he can. A man of many hats, he takes his passion from grain to glass to readers.

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