Fromage Fest: California's Artisan Cheese

Plates out, Petaluma, for some truly cream-tastic delectables.

A CALENDAR OF CHEESES... would show some distinctive trends, depending upon the weather and temperature and time of year. One might imagine that fondue rocks the winter months, seeing as how the cheese is melty and heated and delicious (same goes for raclette, that gooey good stuff that makes a January night at the table even toastier). Grilled cheeses could see an uptick in September, with all of the back-to-school-ing going on, and the longing for some after-class comfort food (and, naturally, the grilled cheese should arrive alongside tomato soup). And what of March and cheese? That's up for spirited debate. Irish cheese consumption seems like the ideal way to mark St. Patrick's Day, and as for what happens in Petaluma each March? Well, let's just say the emphasis is on the best-of-the-best of Golden State cheesery. It's...

CALIFORNIA'S ARTISAN CHEESE FESTIVAL, and it is back for its 11th annual three-dayer of delightful, expertly made wheels and hunks and cubes and slices. The 2017 dates are Friday, March 24 through Sunday, March 26, and fans of all manner of fromage can expect a return of the Artisan Cheese Marketplace and Tasting, the Bubbles Brunch, and various learn-a-bunch seminars. New in 2017, or, shall we say, "NEW" according to the festival web site? The Cheesemaker Dinners. Also popular? The field trips, which give fans a chance to see how curds have a whey — er, way — of becoming the magical edibles we find on our market shelves. So when's the ticket on-sale date for this creamiest of get-togethers? No need to consult your official Calendar of Cheeses: It's Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.

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