Thursday, December 18, 2014

Camembert aux Cepes

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week. We're getting ready to have another fun holiday week at my store and I wanted to let you know about a special cheese we had come in last week. If you remember from a while back, I blogged about the Herve Mons Camembert ( This Camembert is made exclusively for Whole Foods Market and is a pasteurized version of camembert that is made to have flavor closest to a raw milk camembert. The version we received last week is this same Camembert, but with a layer of mascarpone and porcini mushroom in the middle... Fan-freakin-tastic!

Cheese: Camembert aux Cepes
Producer: Hervé Mons
Region: Normandy, France
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

You can see the line of mascarpone and porcini mushrooms in the pictures above. I had my whole team come by and try a piece. It was definitely a decadent treat. We sell through a TON of truffle brie as well as other truffle cheeses, so it was nice to try something with a different mushroom - especially one as tasty as the porcini!

After tasting this cheese, LaVonda, my wine buyer and Certified Sommelier, immediately said that she would pair the David Noyes Pinot Noir. She says the wine has a lot of dark, dried fruit and rich earthiness with a soft velvety mouthfeel that would go perfectly with the earthy cheese and mushrooms.

Most of the Whole Foods Markets in Northern California/Reno should have this cheese, so be sure to swing by your local cheese counter soon and grab a wheel for your upcoming holiday parties before they run out. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blu 61 - Another Favorite Returns

Hello everyone!

This week I pleasantly discovered that another one of my favorite cheeses had arrived back at our cheese counter, the Blu 61.

Cheese: Blu 61
Producers: The Carpenedo Family at La Casearia
Location: The Veneto region in Italy
Milk: Pastuerized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

The Blu 61 is a very special cheese made to commemorate the 50th wedding anniversary of the founder of La Casearia and his wife - Antonio and Giuseppina - who were wed in 1961. They washed the outside of the cheese with Passito di Raboso, a local sweet wine and coated it with wine soaked cranberries. After aging for three months, the cheese is ready to go!

I tasted the Blu 61 again when it first arrived last week and I was reminded why I love this cheese. The paste is super creamy and has the bite that you would expect from a blue cheese. The rind is super thin, so the flavors of the wine and cranberries are present, but not overpowering. I personally like to eat the rind of the cheese along with the paste because it adds such a bright tanginess to the otherwise creamy middle.

You could serve this cheese with a nice barleywine or port. I would absolutely feature this cheese on my holiday cheese plates because it adds a nice pop of vibrant color. Make sure to visit your local Whole Foods Market cheese counter to see if the Blu 61 is there! If so, be sure to ask for a sample. Until next time.. eat, drink and be happy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lamb Chopper

Hello all!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. As you can imagine, the cheese counter at which I work was super busy and I barely had a second to catch my breath, let alone write a blog post, so I apologize for my brief absence.

We just kicked off our December promotions here at Whole Foods Market and I'm super excited to announce that we have an old favorite back in our case! The Lamb Chopper from Cypress Grove.

Cheese: Lamb Chopper
Cheesemaker: Mary Keehn from Cypress Grove
Location: Holland
Milk: Pasteurized sheep's milk
Rennet: Microbial (vegetarian)
If you're familiar with Cypress Grove, you may be confused that this cheese originates from Holland as Cypress Grove is located in Arcata, CA. Mary Keehn actually partners with a Dutch cheesemaker and under her direction, the cheese is produced in Holland and then imported by the folks at Cypress Grove.

We haven't had this cheese for a few months and I was very excited to get it back. I tried a piece this morning and was pleasantly reminded how much I love this cheese. It starts off very mellow and buttery and then develops into a nutty, caramel flavor. It's fantastic.

I'm already thinking about all of the different things I can do with this cheese. Later on next week I'll be hosting a cheese and port tasting and I'm 99.9% sure that I'll be featuring this cheese with one of the tawny ports. If you're more of a beer person, I would try a nice toasty porter. Yum!

If you're in the NorCal/Reno area, be sure to swing by any of your local Whole Foods Market cheese counters where the Lamb Chopper is on sale! Woohoo! We'd also love to give you a sample, so don't be afraid to ask. And as always, if you're at the Whole Foods Market in Los Altos, be sure to swing by the cheese department and ask for me. I would love to say hello and talk cheese.

Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!