Happy Tuesday, Noshers! I know, Tuesday is often a much-maligned day (definitely not the weekend, not Friday, not even the accepted-with-resignation Hump Day. But there are indeed two reasons to be happy – 1. October is American Cheese Month and 2. Whole Foods Market and I are helping you celebrate with a GIVEAWAY!!
American Cheese is so much more than the orange slices of youth and yore. In celebration of this month of cheesy celebration, my friends at Whole Foods asked if I’d be open to checking out several cheeses that they carry from some American cheese makers. Um, I’m sure you can my answer to that question. Within the minute (okay, the hour), I rushed over to my closest Whole Foods to check out my American Cheese options.
If you want a quick indication of the variety and diversity of American cheeses, just stop by your local cheesemonger at Whole Foods. Texture! (soft, crumbly, hard, creamy). Milk! (cow, goat, sheep). Aroma! I could go on and on. After much discussion with the Columbus Circle location’s cheesemonger, and some generous sampling, I decided on five luscious cheeses to sample.
I began my journey around the cheese plate with an old favorite – Humboldt Fog by Cypress Grove Chevre. If you like goat’s milk cheese, you will LOVE this extravagant version. Tart, tangy, and featuring a layer of vegetable ash running through the center, Humboldt Fog pairs the more “traditional” texture you’re accustomed to in a goat cheese with a creamy outer texture near the rind.
My next cheese selection was the Merlot Bellavitano by Sartori. While I unfortunately have an alcohol allergy and must thus abstain from the good stuff, I absolutely love the flavors of wine and beer in foods. The Merlot Bellavitano, as its name implies, is a rich and creamy cheese with a sweet and fruity hint of Merlot. I especially enjoyed the texture (right in between hard and semi-soft) and slightly sweet flavor with walnuts – yum!
I then moved on to the beautiful and aromatic Finger Lakes Gold by Lively Run Goat Dairy. While the Humboldt Fog is perfect for diehard goat cheese fans, the Finger Lakes Gold is fantastic for those who want to enjoy a good goat cheese with a mellower flavor. It’s a mild, friendly cheese that I feel most people would enjoy. Also, I read a cheese description way back when where a cheese was described as “friendly,” and I just loved that! Finger Lakes Gold is definitely friendly.
My penultimate cheese selection was the Rawstruck Aged Goat by Coach Farm. What can I say, I’m a goat cheese fan! The Rawstruck Aged Goat is a raw milk goat cheese, crated in small quantities once a month. Much as I believe the Brillat Savarin is the epitome of a good Brie, the Rawstruck Aged Goat struck me as the epitome of a good goat cheese. The rind was especially delicious. Yum!
I rounded out my cheese plate with the Oma by the von Trapp Farmstead. I’m especially partial to this cheese because I’ve always loved The Sound of Music, which was based on the story of the real von Trapp family. Even without that connection though, Oma falls into one of my favorite cheese types – washed rind soft cheeses! Made with unpasteurized cows milk, Oma is aged for two to three months and boasts a lovely semi-soft texture and a luscious edible rind.
So there you have it – my tour of American cheeses with Whole Foods market! I always love learning about the wide selection of American cheeses – there are still so many I don’t know about. I think I should keep learning and sampling more of them – do you agree?? But don’t take MY word for it – now you can sample your own cheese and create your own plate with a $50 Whole Foods Gift Card to build the cheese plate of your dreams!
For your chance to win, enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. This 52 second video provides a tutorial on how to enter a giveaway for Rafflecopter newbies! There are 4 methods of entry, with the first method (commenting on this blog post) being mandatory and the rest just extra cheesiness!
Good luck! 🙂