About

Yoda, one of our rescued Squirrels

Well, my name is Bob Galivan. I live in Miami, Florida, and I am a cheese fanatic. To put it mildly. I’ve always liked cheese, but in 2004, three events lit a fire that burns so very brightly today! First, my wife and I visited Napa/Sonoma. While there, we had the good fortune to have a friend familiar with the area lay out some wine-tasting activities for us, starting with a “nose” seminar at J Phelps Winery. That was a real eye-opener. During the weekend, we visited a number of wineries, and – the first seminal event – found a cheese show built inside an old wine vat, where we spent about an hour doing a cheese tasting of local cheeses.

Getting back to Miami, I looked around for a wine class to further my knowledge of wine. The tastings we went to were wonderful, and – since they were mostly Merlot – changed my opinion of that lowly wine. I found a class through Societa Dante Aligheri in Miami that I still attend. In addition to learning a lot about wines, the instructor also brought in a variety of very interesting cheeses. That was strike two. Finally, my wife and I visited Paris, and the Loire valley. That was the last straw, as the cheeses there were endlessly fascinating.

On coming back to Miami, I undertook to continue my education in wine, but more importantly, in cheese. I’ve attended the GREAT Cheese Boot Camp offered at Murray’s in New York (TWICE!), plus classes with Max McCalman, the ultimate cheese guru. Over the past few years, I have been devouring (ha ha) any and every reference on cheese that I can find, as well as tasting as many cheeses I could get my mouth on!

I find that writing about cheeses in this venue, and in my Examiner columns (Gables Wine Paring and Miami Cheese), as well as teaching cheese classes occasionally through the Dante, force me to explore this wonderful world in even more depth. I hope that you enjoy my postings about cheese and wine as much as I enjoy writing them!

And, if you’re wondering why there’s a squirrel in the photo, one of our “sidelines” in addition to my full time career as a Realtor, is rescuing squirrels! That’s a photo of Yoda, one of our most recent successes!

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4 Responses to About

  1. Ken says:

    Dear Fromage Bob,

    My name is Ken. I am a representative of Old Amsterdam Cheese and I would like to briefly discuss with you the benefits of our cheese and discuss the possible promotional opportunity between us.

    One cannot talk about Old Amsterdam without first discussing the Westland Family, the founders of the company. For years, the family sold cheese door-to-door and traded cheese in Amsterdam and the surrounding lands. Eventually, the family acquired a storehouse in Amsterdam where their dream of creating a mature cheese with the same sweet, rich, smooth, and creamy taste of the cheeses they enjoyed began.

    To this day, the production of Old Amsterdam is still overseen by master cheese makers constantly monitored for quality and taste. Over the years, it has won many awards, including:

    • World Championship Cheese Awards (Best of Class (Aged Gouda)): 2010
    • Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft (Gold): 2011, 2009, 2008, 2006…
    • Nantwich Cheese Show (Best Dutch Cheese): 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996
    • Superior Taste Award (3 Stars): 2011, 2010, 2009
    • World Cheese Awards (Gold Medal): 2000, 2001

    Old Amsterdam is a smooth, rich, robust, easily sliceable cheese that offers a beautiful depth of sweet and savory flavors. But you don’t have to just hear my words on the matter. We would gladly send a sample of our fine Gouda and let you judge for yourself.

    We look forward to hearing back from you!

    Sincerely,

    Your Friend, Old Amsterdam

  2. Hello The Power Of Cheese,

    I’m writing on behalf of Cheese lovers’ site CheeseBall.org (http://cheeseball.org).

    Many of the top Cheese blog sites have agreed to syndicate their content with us, and now I’d like to request your permission to syndicate your blog’s RSS feed on our site too. In return you’ll benefit from increased traffic, search engine optimization (SEO), and promotion to a wider audience of followers that may not already be familiar with your site.

    I have included a quick summary of what we’re requesting below. And all I would need from you is your Approval. We already have everything we need on our end.

    If you want to learn more, I’ve posted answers to the five most common questions we’ve received please on our FAQ for Cheese Blog Owners (http://cheeseball.org/faq-for-cheese-blog-owners/):

    Question #1 – Why would I want to allow my content to be published on another web site besides my own?
    Question #2 – Can you provide me with a real world example of the benefits of syndication so I can get my head around it a little better?

    Question #3 – Tell me more about the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits you provide?

    Question #4 – What about duplicate content penalties. If I syndicate my content with your site, won’t I get penalized by Google for for producing duplicate content?

    Question #5 – You have requested permission to syndicate my blog’s RSS feed, which I appreciate, but why did you put my feed up first, before asking my permission?

    Each blog post we syndicate is headlined with at least two long-term, one-way, links back to your site in the header and footer of each post, and the majority also include a (Read more…) link directly back to the original article on your site. That makes three inbound links to your site for every article you syndicate to us. These links are archived on our site providing a growing number of inbound links to your web site signaling your site’s authority and original authorship of the content to search engines. Any organic links in your posts are left intact further strengthening your SEO and traffic.

    In short – we provide increased awareness, online marketing, SEO, and promotion for your brand, blog, and/or web site to a wider audience.

    TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, who is a technology blogging tycoon that recently sold his blog to AOL for over $30 million dollars, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, strongly supports syndicating content in this way, he says, “For our part, we throw a party when someone “steals” our content and links back to us. High fives all around the office… the aggregators can figure out who broke the news…. reputation is gained.” According to Michael Arrington, inbound links from RSS news aggregators such as ourselves are a key factor to TechCrunch’s success online.

    In our FAQ for Cheese Blog Owners we provide an explanation of just how our site assists you with SEO and reduces your chances of getting hit with Duplicate Content penalties from Google. This is basically what Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is talking about in the quote above.

    All we need from you is an APPROVE or DO NOT APPROVE decision. We already have your RSS URL. And you are free to change your mind at any time in the future. There are definitely no costs involved.

    What I have done is I have already fully integrated you into our site so you can get a taste of how it will look. Featured on our home page are the most recent syndicated posts, and each blog partner has its own Category page which can be found down the right sidebar of our site (read the SEO section of our FAQ to learn how this Category page helps you in search engines). Inclusion in our site also features you on our list of the Top 60+ Cheese Blogs page (http://cheeseball.org/top-cheese-blogs/) and benefits you from ongoing promotional activities, such as our planned iPhone and Facebook apps.

    We want to make it very clear that we’ve put your feed up ahead of time for demonstration purposes only. We have no intention of including your blog on our site if you do not wish it there. During this demonstration / recruitment / request phase, we’ve put up just a 50 word excerpt followed by a (Read more…) linking back to the original article on your site. This is what Google, Bing, Yahoo, and most other major search engines do when they provide excerpts of, then links to, your site, and has been considered a “Fair Use” reference by U.S. courts and the Internet community at large.

    Those who do not wish to take part in our service will have their feeds and content removed in the entirety immediately. If you do not want to take part in our site, just send me an email and I’ll remove your feed and associated content immediately.

    If you APPROVE, everything is done already – we will keep your feed online and continue re-publishing your RSS feed to our site. We recommend Full Feed syndication, but for various reasons, some web site owners prefer only partial posts of 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, or 350 words, followed by a (Read more…) link linking to your web site. 50 words is the minimum we’ll accept for inclusion, but is not something we recommend. If you’re very protective of your content, then we recommend a 100 word syndication, which is what we regard as just enough content to capture visitors attention and get them to click through to your site.

    The default on our site is 275 words, so if you do do APPROVE, but do not specify a word limit or or that you’d like Full Feed syndication, then we’ll default the syndication of your feed to the leading 275 words, followed by a (Read more…) link back to the original article. If you have already limited your RSS feed to a certain number of words on your own, then we will default to that limit that you have already pre-established.

    We do not ‘scrape’ content from sites. We just ping publicly available RSS URLs periodically the same way that feed readers and Google blog search does.

    Additionally, if you do Approve, one more benefit we can offer is in the footer of each syndicated post, we can include brief Bio information and/or links to any of your related web properties, such as links to your Twitter or Facebook, or other Cheese related blogs or web sites you might own or wish to promote. This is one more way we can help promote your web properties and web presence(s) from our platform. Feel free to send something like this along at any point if this interests you.

    If you DO NOT approve, just reply to this email letting me know and I will delete ALL of your information from our site immediately. We have put up the 50 word excerpt followed by (Read More…) links citing the “Fair Use” legal precedent that Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other major search engines have established. However, we DO NOT wish to include your feed or content on our site if you do not want it there. We have put it up ahead of time for demonstration purposes only and to save you time and for you to make a quick and fully informed decision as quickly as possible. If you are unhappy that we put your feed up ahead of time, we have a more detailed explanation in our FAQ for Cheese Blog Owners on our web site.

    Finally, we STRONGLY REQUEST (but do not require) that those that do agree to us syndicating their content provide at least one reciprocal link back to our home page from your / their web site. This can be in the form of a simple text link from your Blogroll or ‘Friends’ link list. Engaging in a ink exchange with us in this way helps reinforce the search engine optimization in our links back to the individual articles on your web site.

    Please let me know if we can have your permission to syndicate your web site’s RSS feed?

    I do hope that we can work together with you as an RSS Content Syndication partner, so please let me know!

    And if you have any questions, or would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me!

    Kind Regards,

    Scott Williams


    CheeseBall.org

    http://cheeseball.org

    http://twitter.com/Cheese_News

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheese/166948820009946

  3. Julianna says:

    Dear Bob,
    I would like to extend our event to you and your readers. Please read below for details:

    Attention whisky enthusiasts and novices: Macallan will be hosting a free guided tasting of its whisky in Miami this week.
    The tastings, to be held on Wednesday, March 24th and Thursday, March 25th, are part of the Celebrate The Macallan series where brand ambassadors travel around the country educating people about the The Macallan Single Malt.

    The tastings will be hosted by The Macallan’s East Coast Brand Ambassador Graeme Russell, who will speak about a range of whiskies including the Macallan 12, 15, 17 and 18. He’ll also demonstrate the Macallan Ice Ball Press that forms a perfect sphere of ice on the spot. The special ice is meant to cool the dram slowly and evenly.

    As guests sip each whisky they will be encouraged to tweet what they taste by including the hashtag #Macallan in their Twitter posts. Macallan fans can follow Graeme on twitter at @livingthedram.

    The tastings will be held at 6:30pm and 8:30pm on March 24th and 25th at eVenue, located at 2585 NW 21st Terrace in Miami. RSVPs are a must.

    For more information and to secure your spot visit http://www.celebratethemacallan.com. Guests must be over 21 years of age.

    Have a great day,

    Julianna

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