Well, it is the start of a new week, and although that sometimes comes with the dragging of heels while returning to work/a busy schedule, I’m here to brighten your Monday a bit with a giveaway! And not just any old giveaway; in honor of American Cheese Month, I’ve got a giveaway for a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card for you to create the cheese tray of your dreams!
American Cheese Month spans the month of October, but I don’t know why you have to relegate yourself to eating amazing American made cheese during those four weeks only. Undoubtedly, my favorite aspect of our brand new Whole Foods Market near my house is the cheese section. When I’m shopping, you can almost always be sure to find me visiting that particular counter. I love trying out cheese varieties that are new to me, and Whole Foods never seems to disappoint with their selection. So, when Whole Foods asked me to try out some American made cheese, how could I possibly say no???
I asked my in store cheesemonger to set me up with a variety of textures and flavors with the cheese, and I left it up to her to surprise me with what she thought I’d find interesting. I ended up with five different cheeses, along with some flatbread, for my cheese tray!
My first selection was the Rum Runner BellaVitano by Sartori. The cheese is made in Plymouth, Wisconsin and is a Whole Foods Market exclusive. The texture is slightly firm, and the initial flavor of this cow’s milk cheese is buttery. The cheese is soaked in a Wisconsin-produced “Heath rum,” and you can definitely taste the sweetness as you enjoy every bite. It was definitely one of our favorites in the tray!
The next cheese on my journey was the Saxony-Alpine Cheese made in Cleveland, Wisconsin. It is full bodied and features sweet and nutty flavors. This cow’s milk cheese has won awards at both the U.S. Cheese Championship and the Wisconsin State Fair, so it isn’t fooling around!
Moving on! The third cheese we sampled was the Five Peppercorn Raclette by Emmi Roth out of Monroe, Wisconsin. I had never tasted a raclette cheese before, and it was the cheese on the tray that brought the most controversy, if you will. The aroma is very distinct (which is what could draw people in or drive them away if they aren’t used to strong smelling cheese), but the texture is smooth and great for melting, which is what I would recommend doing with it instead of eating it cold. It is another Whole Foods Market exclusive!
Next up – the Snowfields-Aged Butterkase Style Cheese by Saxon Creamery. This is another raw milk cow’s cheese. During the late fall and early winter in Cleveland, Wisconsin, their herd produces a unique milk that is high in protein and cream. It is aged for 6 months and rotated through 3 different aging rooms in order to develop it’s unique flavor – buttery, with notes of parmesan. Yet another crowd pleaser on our cheese sampling tray!
The final cheese we sampled was the Rogue River Blue Cheese from Central Point, Oregon. The cheese itself is beautiful, marbled with bright blue specks. This blue cheese is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves that have been macerated in pear brandy. It is cave aged for a minimum of 9-12 months. The texture is unbelievably creamy and the flavor is vibrant.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a great cheese plate without some sort of cracker or flatbread! I had to pick up a package of the new Raincoast Flats. These non-GMO flatbreads are debuting exclusively in Whole Foods Market this October in Kale and Walnut and Lemon Fennel flavors. I opted for the Kale and Walnut Flatbreads, and they were the perfect complement to my cheese. The long, thin flatbreads add the perfect crunch, and the flavors are light. They quickly disappeared from our tray…I guess I’ll have to return to Whole Foods to replenish!
Have I made you hungry for cheese yet? Fear not, Whole Foods has also given me a $50 gift card to dole out to one of my fabulous readers! You too can create the cheese plate of your dreams! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win!!!
***Disclosure: Whole Foods Market provided me with a gift card to purchase cheese samples, as well as a gift card to give away. All opinions are my own.****