Say Cheese!

“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.” ― Anthony Bourdain.

While that notion may be…well…romantic, there are many across our state and around the world who invest their time, money and passion in cheese, whether producing it or eating it. Hunger Mountain Co-op offers a number of programs and deals that both support cheese producers and encourage our customers to engage in their own cheese tasting adventures.

Every Friday, we hold educational tastings where cheeses are paired with a selection of wines, either of a certain variety or from a specific region. Recent examples included a variety of Rieslings, a selection of Chardonnays and an assortment of wines from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. Each of these wine experiences was paired with a cheese, allowing customers to experience and learn about the wine or cheese separately, or as a pair. Cheese selections in recent weeks included Feta, Butter Cheddar, Chevre and Gouda. We will be having these excellent educational tasting opportunities every Friday, keep an eye on our blog and social media for what’s coming up next. It’s a great opportunity to learn about something you already enjoy or find a new favorite.

From time to time, our Friday educational tasting will feature one of the cheeses we are focusing on through our monthly cheese deals. These great deals happen in collaboration with Provisions International, New England cheesemakers, and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, as a way to highlight two regional artisanal cheese producers each month. One of the ways this collaboration provides a great deal is through the Cave-to-Co-op program. According to the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, the goal of the program is “to contribute to a stronger regional food system by introducing local cheesemakers to consumers and encouraging them to try their products.” The other program under this collaboration is Farm Focus. Through a partnership between New England cheesemakers and Provisions International, Ltd, this program aims to really highlight a locally produced cheese.

In September, we have two great cheeses as part of these Cheese Deals programs. The Cave-to-Co-op is Goatlet, a collaboration between Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, VT and Crown Finish Caves in Brooklyn. This cheese is a combination of 20% raw goat’s milk and 80% row cow’s milk, described as having, “notes of a lemon cream pie and recently won first place in its category at the 2017 American Cheese Society Conference. And this year, Goatlet took 1st place in the American Made/International Style mixed milk category!” The Farm Focus for September is Jasper Hill farm in Greensboro, VT and their Bayley Hazen Blue, which they describe as having, “a fudge-like texture, toasted-nut sweetness, and anise spice character. The paste is dense and creamy, with well-distributed blue veins. The usual peppery character of blue cheese is subdued, giving way to the grassy, nutty flavors in the milk.”

In addition to the monthly cheese deals, we also feature Cabot Mondays. Every Monday, a select cheese from Cabot Creamery is on sale for 2 for $5, a great price available to everyone. Cheese sales are also often featured in our sales flyer, which can be found in store or on our website.

Whether you come in for an educational wine and cheese pairing or to check out a monthly cheese deal, be sure to check out our cheese case, filled with more than 120 different varieties of cheeses. There’s also our prepackaged cheeses, which offer more than 50 additional delicious options, including many non-dairy cheese alternatives. Whether you’re preparing an international cheese plate for a fancy dinner party or making grilled cheese sandwiches with the kids, we have the perfect cheese for you.

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