Your local Whole Foods Market will host the second event of a new quarterly series, Cheese Nights, on Tuesday, April 1, from 6 – 7:30 (local time). Shoppers will learn about and taste raw milk cheeses at these FREE events.
What to know about raw milk cheeses:
• They are made with milk that has not been pasteurized.
• Raw milk cheeses may be firm, oozy, creamy or crumbly and can come in any shape from wheel to block.
• They often come from single-herd cow, sheep or goat milk. (They often come from small production facilities where the control of the milk and the herds are strictly maintained-something to that effect if more accurate.)
• When milk is cooked (change to heated) or pasteurized, many naturally occurring flavor-rich enzymes (the good bacteria) are destroyed by the heat and the cheese loses its important flavor.
• Every geographical location has its own unique flavor (terroir) that populates the rinds of the cheese. One basic ingredient in one location can create noticeably different flavors in another location 100 miles away.
• Customers may be surprised that some of their favorite cheeses (such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Le Gruyere) are actually raw milk cheeses.
Some cheeses that may be featured at this event are:
• Aged 24 months (to be called Parmigiano Reggiano, it must be aged at least 12 months).
• Enjoy its delightful range of flavors and textures: nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy, grainy, and fruity.
• Pair with Barola or Barbera, lager, honey, walnuts and a plain baguette.
• Use in classic Caesar or arugula salad.
• Buttery with a light sweetness and slightly nutty on the finish.
• Pair with Rioja or Pinot Grigio, cider, Marcona almonds and wafers.
• Goes well with charcuterie.
Le Gruyere Reserve
• Classic flavor profile: nutty, creamy and complex, with hints of fruit and spice.
• Pair with Cabernet or Sauvignon Blanc, wheat beer, dried cranberries, orange marmalade and a plain crostini.
• Goes well with French onion soup and cordon bleu.
Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue
• Rich and earthy, sweet and fruity with slight vanilla notes.
• Pair with Zinfandel, stouts, dried cherries, hazelnuts and wafers.
• Great in mac and cheese.
Grafton Classic Reserve Cheddar
• Mature, creamy two-year aged cheddar with a slightly tart finish.
• Pair with Merlot, brown ale, shallot spread, caramelized pecans and flatbread.
• Use in ham and cheese sandwich.