If you are an artisan cheese enthusiast, connoisseur of fine cheeses, or just like the way that cheese tastes, then you are in for a treat. Whole Foods Maret Augusta (WFMA) is hosting a cheese tasting this coming Tuesday evening from 6-7pm (9/13/16). In coordination with them, the Events Manager Bambi Davis, has given me the opportunity to raffle off a $25 gift certificate for the store (details at the bottom). Not only will you be able to try a selection of delicious Alpine cheeses, for free at the tasting, but one lucky winner can go do some grocery shopping afterwards! Here is a link to the Facebook event page:
To give me a sneak preview of what to expect at the cheese tasting, I was graciously allowed to try a small selection. This knowledge I now share with you. In the list of Alpine Cheeses, expect to see a Pavino, Emmenthaler, and a Cave-Aged Emmenthaler in addition to others. The cheesemongers are extremely knowledgeable and would be more than happy to chat/let you try some of their products – all in the name of fine cheeses.
- The Pavino is similar in taste and texture to a Cheddar/Gouda. Slightly acidic with earthy notes, this cow’s milk cheese also has hints of honey that is perfectly accompanied by a salty, buttercream mouthfeel. This would pair nicely with sweet dried fruit, fig spread, and a full-bodied Cab.
- Emmenthaler is a very mellow Swiss Cheese produced with cow’s milk. It has a spongy consistency and yellow-ivory colored pate. While there is little saltiness in the flavor profile, that is easily compensated for by the sweet cream flavor that ensues. This cheese would go well on toasted sandwiches, in fondue, or paired with an acidic red/white wine such as pinot. Fresh berries and cured meats would go fantastic with Emmenthaler.
- The Cave-Aged Emmenthaler is very similar to the non-aged version, but with a slightly more robust flavor and piqant. It is similarly spongy in consistency and exhibits a buttercream taste, yet there are hints of salinity and various herbs. Regarding color, it is only a slight shade darker than Emmenthaler due to the aging process. Note that there is a slight degree of crumble noticable when slicing. This cheese will certainly not overpower you pallet and would be a first choice on a cheeboard. Enjoy it with dried fruits, fresh fruits, and a full bodied red wine or Chardonnay.
However, this tasting is not the only big thing coming their way. Just recently, WFMA has expanded their cheese counter to better accomodate increasing demand. At the newly installed cooler, you can expect to find stuffed delicacies, glazed Bries encrusted with marcona almonds, and other antipasto options prepared in-house. This extended bar not only allows for a larger variety of cheeses that you can choose from, but also presents intriguing options for you to display at your next dinner party or romantic evening.
One thing I admire about Whole Foods is the sheer number of sample stations that they display throughout the store. In particular, on any day you can find a slew of shiny silver “orbs” that beg you to come and sample an ever-changing selection of cheeses. These are here not only to wet your appetite, but to make the store feel more inviting. In addition to this, there is always a “The Big Cheese” display which showcases the cheesemonger pick of the month. It is always a delicious selection that comes at a discounted price. Come and check out September’s pick.
And now, for the raffle information. All you have to do is leave a comment on this article page or the Our Daily Cheese Facebook page. In the comment, simply list your name and what your favorite type of cheese is. From those who comment, a pool will be made and a random selection will be drawn from that pool. You will not know you have won unless you show up to the free cheese tasting event this Tuesday, however. It is from 6-7pm, and the winner’s name will be displayed next to the cheese tasting booth. I hope to see you there! Cheers!