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Shop Talk: Bianchini’s Market, Calif.

shop talk

The Portola Valley location of Bianchini’s Market—owned by the Bianchini family, natch—opened in 1998; 11 years later, a second post opened in San Carlos. Laurie Andrighetto was hired to assist in the San Carlos cheese department shortly thereafter, growing it into one of the store’s most successful areas. Today she works as the cheese buyer for both shops. Each week Bianchini’s Market brings in a cheese expert to sample wheels and discuss the making process. Andrighetto’s passion for quality curds is evident in the wide selection (at least 500 different wedges and wheels) she offers as well as in numerous awards she’s won over the years (recently she visited Switzerland through Adopt An Alp). “We have so many wonderful creameries here in California,” Andrighetto says. “But I also try to find unique cheeses as well. I’m always bringing in something new and different.”

culture: Do you have a favorite cheese?

Laurie Andrighetto: I love La Tur, mixed-milk cheeses, stinky cheeses…I think my current favorite is Meredith Dairy marinated feta. It’s out of Australia and a sheep-goat mix. You can so do so much with it. But my all-time-favorite cheese is Franklin’s Teleme. (Mid Coast Cheese Company is) local, and I grew up on that cheese.

culture: What is your go-to recipe highlighting cheese?

LA: During Christmas-time, I take goat cheese and mix it with Diane’s Sweet Heat pepper jelly—I prefer mango—roll it into a log, and roll the log in chopped pistachios, cranberries, and parsley. It’s festive, it’s pretty, and, because of the sweet-heat jam, people don’t expect that little bit of pop.

culture: What is the strangest customer request you’ve received?

LA: Some customers ask me for German Limburger in a jar. I can’t get it; they don’t import it here any-more. When I was in Germany, I went to three different cheese shops trying to find it so I could at least taste it, and I couldn’t find it there, either.

3130 Alpine Rd.
Portola Valley, CA
Daily 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

810 Laurel St.
San Carlos, CA
Daily 7 a.m.–9 p.m.

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