Whole Foods is known for having a lot of events throughout each month, but December presented an extraordinarily high volume of events. The great thing is that a large number involved cheese. On December 8th, a beer and cheese pairing event was held (already written about in previous article) which featured heavy, cold-weather beers such as stouts and porters.
In the youth of December (Dec 10) a showing of several holiday platter ideas and catering was held. The array of samples included sushi, spring rolls, etc., but also cheese balls and the famous holiday Brie or “Brie en croute”. This is a Brie topped with sweet and savory ingredients such as jellies, fig spread, or various nuts, and then wrapped in a puff pastrie dough. Best served warm right out of the oven, this is always a favorite during the chilly winter days.
However, more cheese was to follow as a “Cheese Nights” Bleu Cheese event was hosted mid December (Dec 13). Six different bleu cheeses and 3 different wines were sampled out ( a sweet, a white, and a red). This particular display of cheese was quite attractive. In addition to this, the same day marked the beginning of their “12 Days of Cheese” in which a different cheese was chosen each day to be reduced by a satisfying 50% off. The first cheese to kick off this enticing sale was the Cellars at Jasper Hill Harbinson. A delectable soft cheese with notes of pine/spruce. This was likely due to the fact that it was actually wrapped in spruce. This deal lasted up through Christmas Eve.
As many of you may know, Whole Foods also has a “The Big Cheese” for each month. December has graced us with a Cave Aged Gruyere AOC from Switzerland. To briefly summarize, “AOC” means that this is an important and respected cheese that IS Gruyere. This is similar to how champagne can only be called such if it is from Champagne, France. This is a nutty, and savory cheese with a slight bit of saltiness – nothing overpowering. An earthen, “nature” flavor can be noted due to the cave aging process. Since it is aged for 12+ months, the cheese has limited lactose remaining, so is edible to a larger number of cheese lovers.
If all this was not enough, Whole Foods Augusta is having another cheese and beverage pairing today (Dec 27) starting at 6pm and lasting until it is over. This event will display 10 favorite holiday wines and their accompanying cheeses which best pair with them. The pairing for all these events is the result of collaboration amongst the most knowledgeable cheesemongers and beverage associates that Whole Foods offers. Needless to say, they are spot on. While I am not aware as to which wines and cheeses will be tasted this evening, I can assure you that the quality will not fail o impress. At $5 per person, this is a fantastic way to get out of the house, socialize, and satisfy your inner foodie. I hope to see you there this evening. Cheers!