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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jasmine Smith Introduces Strong Cheese To San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

  • Jasmine Smith
A child of northern Wisconsin, Jasmine Smith grew up on a steady diet of processed cheese and Milwaukee's Best. "We used to get this cheese spread every year for Christmas that as a kid I liked but I now realize it was terrible!" Smith told us. 

 With her new venture Strong Cheese Provisions, she hopes to turn San Franciscans on to her holiday favorite by utilizing high quality cheese and local beer. Smith seems just the right person for the task. After stints at Cowgirl Creamery and Whole Foods, she is currently the cheese monger at Little Vine in North Beach and also writes the blog Beer at Joes with her husband Joe Ruvel.

Smith debuted Strong Cheese Provisions last August at the New Taste Marketplace but recently procured space in the JCC's kitchen, allowing her to ramp up production. "I've based it on fromage fort, the French cheese spread made from leftover cheese bits and wine. But since we're so into beer, why not make it beer?" she explained. Currently, Smith offers two variations, goat cheese with Telegraph Brewery's White Ale and three-year old Gouda with 21st Amendment's IPA.

Strong Cheese Provisions' spreads are now only available at Little Vine and Other Avenues in the Outer Sunset but she plans on having increased distribution soon. We sampled a jar of the Gouda that easily lasted through two baguettes worth of French bread. Smith doesn't tone down the alcohol, so our taste buds were deluged with a robust kick of the hoppy IPA, enough to make a fellow sampler joyfully yell out "whoa!" The tang is reminiscent of a top-notch fondue heavily spiked with kirsch.

As for future products, Smith is hard at work on a blend of Beecher's Cheddar and Firestone Walker's Velvet Merlin that she hopes to have ready in time for the Bluxome Street Winery Meet Market on May 26th.

Follow Alex Hochman at @urbanstomach
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