Friday, July 25, 2014


Hello everyone!

I hope you all had an incredible week. I'm definitely excited for the weekend to begin. Last week when I was visiting the cheese counter at my local Whole Foods, I noticed that a cheese of which I am a HUGE fan, was on special. I really have no problem paying full price for good cheese, but it is always a nice surprise when one of your favorites is on sale. The cheese I'm referring to is the Willoughby.

Cheese: Willoughby
Producer: Originally Marisa Mauro at Ploughgate Creamery but has been adopted by the folks at Jasper Hill Creamery
Location: Greensboro, Vermont
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

It had been a while since I had tasted the Willoughby, but I remembered that I really loved this cheese and my memory served me correctly. It is a washed rind cheese that isn't super stinky and has a really great flavor. The rind is very thin, so it doesn't pass on a huge amount of flavor, but it does add to the slightly funky deliciousness.The paste has a fruity, creamy flavor which is a perfect balance to the slightly tangy rind.

I've seen the paste described as "pudding-like" and I think that describes the cheese perfectly. It is relatively firm for a small washed-rind cheese (only 8 ounces!) and maintains shape very well. As it gets closer to room temperature, it does soften up quite a bit, but you won't see it oozing all over your cheese plate.

The Willoughby pairs very well with a lighter bodied red such as Pinot Noir or Merlot. Other folks who has reviewed this cheese also recommend Saisons if you're in a beer mood.

This cheese is on sale at any of the Northern California/Reno stores now and the promotion will only last for a few more days. Don't miss out! Go to your nearest WFM cheese counter and grab a wheel today. You will not be disappointed. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!

p.s. I have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to get Shootin' the Bries, LLC up and running! If you'd like to donate, please visit

Thank you!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nobile di Capra

Good afternoon!

One of the things I miss most about being behind the cheese counter everyday is being able to try all of the new cheeses that come through. I often get to try cheeses in a small sample format, but it is never the same as when you have a whole wheel or log and you cut into it and try a nice, fresh piece. By doing that, you really get to see what the character of the cheese is like and how things like the rind and/or paste interact to create the unique flavor of the cheese.

This is one of those instances... I went into the San Jose Whole Foods location a couple of days ago and had forgotten about a few of the really neat and tasty cheeses that we had on promotion for the month of July. The Nobile di Capra was one of those cheeses.

Cheese: Nobile di Capra (also known as Nababbo)
Producer: CasArrigoni
Location: Peghera, a city in the Bergamo province of Italy
Milk: Pasteurized goat's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

The Nobile di Capra is a washed rind, goat's milk cheese very similar to Taleggio. It is even made in the same region as Taleggio! The milk is produced by a neighboring farm which CasArrigoni takes to create this wonderful cheese. The cheese is formed, washed and aged under the expert eyes of the Arrigoni family.

When brought to room temperature, this cheese is extremely soft. It doesn't ooze or spread all over the table - it instead holds its shape but once you take a bite, it virtually disintegrates on your tongue It is meaty, yeasty, salty and not very goaty or stinky at all. If you've never tried a washed rind cheese or a goat cheese before, this may be a good one to start with. The flavors are very pleasing and the texture is nice and smooth.

There are many wonderful pairings out there for this cheese. Many people recommend white wines (typically Sauvignon Blancs) with goat cheeses, but for this cheese, I went with a red. The bottle we opened was a lovely Tempranillo. It worked well with the cheese because it rounded out the slight end of the barnyard flavor from the wash. While not the best pairing I've ever had, it was pleasant.

Other wines that would work would be Zinfandel or Chenin Blanc. If you're a beer person, a Belgian style Saison or Trappist beer would also be good options.

This cheese is on promotion right now at all Northern California/Reno Whole Foods locations, so be sure to swing by your closest WFM cheese counter and have a taste.

Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cotswold - America's Favorite British Cheese!

Good evening loyal readers!

I apologize for the absence - I enjoyed a nice vacation in Cancun with my sisters. Now I'm back to real life and that means more cheese! Today I decided to write about a staple cheese that almost every single cheese counter in most grocery stores carry - Cotswold.

Cheese: Cotswold
Producer: Long Clawson
Location: Leicestershire, England
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Vegetarian

Cotswold is Double Gloucester ( made with chives and onion. It was one of the first blends made by Clawson in the 1970s and is named after the picturesque region in England of the same name where the traditional villages have not changed in over 200 years.


Cotswold is by far one of the most popular cheeses that we carry at our cheese counters. Whenever I would sample this cheese out, people would go crazy for it! It is creamy and flavorful, similar to cheddar, but with an added zing of the chives and onions. You can eat it plain, melted over potatoes, grated on top of your chili or whatever you like! Cotswold is extremely versatile and just plain tasty. As it is considered a pub cheese, I recommend enjoying this cheese with a nice mug of beer.

You can find Cotswold in almost any grocery store - I know for a fact that all Whole Foods in the Northern California/Reno region carry it. Be sure to swing on by and ask for a sample! You'll be glad you did... Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!