We’re beyond excited for fall at Heinen’s, especially in the cheese department. Most people think of fall as being the time when the temperatures get a little cooler and leaves turn into beautiful hues of orange, crimson, gold and even pink . While that is true, it is also a time when we start to ramp up our cheese selection to get ready for the holidays. We look at some of the coolest cheeses that are being produced in the US as well as abroad. This year, we have quite a selection. Make sure you stop in and talk to the cheese specialist at your local Heinen’s about what’s new. In the meantime, here are just a few of my favorites:
Carr Valley Wildfire Blue
This cheeses is the epitome of unique. I’ve never tasted a “hot” blue before, and this one does not disappoint. The creamy, piquant nature of blue is taken up a notch with the heat of jalapenos. Use it to make mac and cheese, and your life will never be the same again. Here’s a really great recipe: Adult Mac and Cheese. Try it and let me know what you think!
Beehive Cheese Company Bourbon Street
Perhaps you’ve tried their crazy good and weird cheese Barely Buzzed? It’s a cheddar-style cheese that’s rubbed with coffee and lavender. Sounds crazy, but wow…. This one is rubbed with a paste of bourbon (hello!) and brown sugar. The resulting cheese is not sweet, rather it is complex, nutty and tastes of bourbon! I’d enjoy this one on its own and paired with, well, bourbon, or a light earthy red wine like Burgundy or Oregon Pinot Noir.
Hook’s Red Errigal
One look at this cheese and you’d think it doesn’t look like much. And it doesn’t. But one taste and it’ll blow your mind. It’s soooo complex (don’t let the Colby-like appearance fool you), with lots of depth, sweet notes, savory notes, earthiness, fruitiness…you name it. Bottom line: it’s awesome, and one of the biggest cheese surprises for me all year.
It’s a play on words, and a play on flavor. Like English Stilton cheese, this robust and not-for-the-faint-of-heart blue is simply stunning. It looks dirty, it tastes earthy, and despite these things it is luxurious and melts in the mouth. I would crumble this over kale salad with dried fruits and a light dressing. Pair with something sweet! Most would go for port, I like late-harvest Riesling or Sauternes.
This cheese is an enigma, because very rarely does one find a Swiss cheese that is aged for any measurable period of time. It’s oddly delicious, with elevated flavors that take it beyond Swiss. It takes on a gruyere flavor that has a little more fruit flavor rather than that nutty Swiss flavor. It’s tasty, fun, and not to be missed.
I’ll stop here, because I could go on and on, and you have things to do today. Me? I’m going to go snack on some cheese and maybe find myself a hunk of crusty bread. But don’t feel sorry for me, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
Heinen’s Cheesemonger and American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional