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Mary Connolly


Learn the basics of creating a perfect cheese board in this delicious chat with Mary Connolly aka Marie Fromage, a cheese expert, food columnist for Baristanet, and  French Culinary Institute graduate. Mary shares insights into cheese-making history and offers tips for crafting the perfect cheese board to delight both the cheese aficionado (Rachel) and their less adventurous friend (Janette ) at the party.

Stay tuned to the end where tells us about a few New Jersey new food spots to check out too!

[00:01:18] Hors d’oeuvres according to Janette and Rachel
[00:09:35] The history of cheese.
[00:13:30] Eating cheese rinds.
[00:16:00] Aging cheese with mites.
[00:21:23] Stinky cheeses and their brine.
[00:27:15] Cheese storage tips.
[00:31:26]  Food gems in Montclair, NJ
[00:36:54] A cheese podcast.


The Perfect Cheese for a Cheese Board from Marie Fromage:

Here are the general categories – no hard rules, just a suggestion, and in the end, only put cheeses you like on the board. Can be all cow, all sheep, all goat, or a mix of animal milks. Mix textures for maximum tastiness!

  • Fresh: fresh mozzarella, burrata, ricotta, chevre/goat cheese log
  • Soft: fluffy white rind/brie-style cheese like brie, camembert, triple-creme (almost like butter- like St. Andre)
  • Hard/semi-firm: gruyere style/comte, fontina, cheddar, chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano, Mimolette
  • Stinky/washed rind cheeses: epoisse, langres, talegio, cowgirl creamery red hawk
  • Blue cheese: gorgonzola, Roquefort, Bayley hazen blue (Jasper Hill Farms)
  •  Also add: something sweet, like honey and fig jam; nuts (or candied nuts), dried fruit (like dried apricots), and slices of baguette or plain crackers

And enjoy!
Mary Connolly aka Marie Fromage

Connect with Marie Fromage

New Top Food Recommendation in Montclair:

Cheese Expert & Food Writer Interview Synopsis – AI-Generated:

In this episode, hosts Rachel and Jeanette interview Mary Conley, also known as Marie Fromage, a cheese expert and food columnist. They discuss the cheese history of artisanal cheeses and the rise of American artisanal cheese. Mary shares tips on hosting a cheese party, including suggestions for a cheese plate with crowd-pleasing cheeses such as goat cheese, brie, semi-firm cheeses like Fontina or Gruyere, and a stinky cheese.

She also explains the importance of allowing cheese to breathe and how to properly store it. The hosts also discuss their personal preferences for cheese and Mary recommends trying a triple crème cheese as an elevated alternative to processed cheese. The episode concludes with a discussion of local restaurants and pop-up dinners in the area.

The guest speaker in the episode initially aspired to be a working musician and singer, dreaming of forming a band and achieving fame. They relocated to the city and fully immersed themselves in the music scene. However, alongside their musical pursuits, they unexpectedly developed a passion for cheese and the food industry.

Road to Cheese Expert

The guest speaker’s interest in food began during their time as a theater major in college when they took up a job as a waitress. Eventually, they enrolled in the French Culinary Institute, gaining a comprehensive background in food and becoming a cheese expert. Working at a cheese shop, they delved into the world of different cheese varieties and the burgeoning artisanal cheese movement.

Cheese History

At the time the guest speaker began their cheese journey, the American artisanal cheese movement was not as prominent as it is today. Small-batch, non-industrial cheeses made on small farms, known as American artisanal cheese, were not widely accessible in 1988. However, the guest speaker witnessed the growth of this movement over time, observing it reach the same level of excellence as European cheeses.

Journey to Marie Formage

While pursuing their passions for music and cheese, the guest speaker also maintained a side career in public relations for ten years to support themselves in the city. They emphasized the significance of following one’s curiosity and finding joy in life, encouraging listeners to keep their dreams alive.

Overall, the guest speaker’s journey highlights their pursuit of multiple passions, including music and singing, as well as their unexpected love for cheese and the food industry.

The guest speaker in the episode had a side career in public relations for 10 years to support herself in the city. She mentioned that she had one goal in mind when she graduated high school, which was to become a famous singer and performer. However, she pursued other interests along the way and fell in love with cheese and the food industry.

To support herself financially, she learned public relations and worked in that field for a decade. This demonstrates her ability to adapt and explore different paths in life. The guest speaker emphasizes the importance of following one’s curiosity and pursuing what brings happiness in life. Despite having multiple careers, she encourages listeners to keep going and keep their dreams alive.

In the episode, the hosts discuss the importance of following one’s curiosity and finding joy in life. They mention how their guest, Marie Formage or Mary Connolly, had a goal of becoming a famous singer and performer, but her life took her in many different directions.

Marie pursued her passion for singing, but she also fell in love with cheese and the food industry, leading her to attend cooking school. Additionally, to support herself, Marie learned public relations and had a side career in that field for 10 years.

The hosts highlight Marie’s story as an example of the importance of following one’s curiosity and pursuing what brings joy in life. They emphasize the idea of not limiting oneself to just one path or goal, but instead exploring different interests and opportunities that come along the way. They encourage listeners to keep the dream alive and to continue seeking out what makes them happy.

By sharing Marie’s journey and their own experiences, the hosts aim to inspire their listeners to embrace their curiosity, explore different passions, and find joy in various aspects of life.

hey also touch on the importance of finding fulfillment in unexpected ways, as Marie’s life became full circle and fulfilled in ways she hadn’t anticipated. Overall, the hosts promote the idea that following one’s curiosity and finding joy in life can lead to a rich and fulfilling journey.

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