Every October, while we’re noting the seasonal changes taking place around us, we also take time to marvel at the extraordinary cheeses being produced within North America. From coast to coast, there are expert cheesemakers creating award-winning cheeses every day and your Heinen’s Cheese Department has a great selection.
Check back throughout October for our top three cheese recommendations from various states across the country. #WeKnowOurSources and we work with them to bring you the best of the best.
As the only state in the nation to certify Master Cheesemakers, it’s no wonder that some of the best and most decorated American Artisan Cheeses come from Wisconsin. To be a Master Cheesemaker, one must have at least 3 years of advanced training in making a certain type of cheese. Here are a few of my favorite Wisconsin cheeses, made by the Masters:
- Widmer 4-Year Aged Cheddar – Joe Widmer, master in cheddar, Colby and brick
This is one of our favorites. Four years old and still creamy, and very classically Wisconsin with its orange coloring and sharp, earthy flavor. Pair this perfect cheddar cheese with your favorite IPA.
- Jeffs’ Select Gouda – Jeff Wideman, master in Monterey Jack and cheddar
Made by a Jeff in Wisconsin, and aged by another Jeff in Minnesota, this baby is incredibly rich, almost like butterscotch, with very subtle flavors of brown butter and toasted nuts. Truly an exceptional and unique aged gouda-type.
- Sartori MontAmore – Pam Hodgson, master in fontina and Open Class Hard Cheese
For all of you MontAmore fans, you have Pam to thank. This cheese with the weird name has become one of our most popular sellers because it is sweet, cheddar-y, but totally accessible and versatile. Melt this one in a mac and cheese or on a grilled cheese sandwich and prepare to have your mind blown.
Did you know that delicious artisan cheeses are being produced in our back yard? Try these great finds from the Buckeye State:
- Mayfield Road Creamery’s Havarti with Peppers
This is made with raw milk cheese on a farmstead in Orwell, OH. “Farmstead” means that they only use the milk from their own herd to make the cheese and it’s made on the same property as where the cows graze. Enjoy it with sweet fruits, especially apples and pears, or a seasonal Oktoberfest. For wine drinkers, it’s great with zesty whites and reds with notes of ripe red fruits, like Zinfandel.
- Mackenzie Creamery’s Cognac Fig Chevre
Their most popular and most decorated cheese, and for good reason. Produced in Hiram, OH, the milk comes from local goat dairies. This chevre is then topped with a Courvoisier cognac and fig syrup – the combo is award-winning and a customer favorite. Spread it on any flavor of Heinen’s Fruit Crisps and you’ll be wondering why you hadn’t tried it sooner.
- Canal Junction Cheese’s Black Swamp
A gouda-style cheese made from raw milk that is very versatile and a true American Original. Produced in Defiance, OH, the cheese is named after the Great Black Swap in Northwest Ohio. Pair it with malty beers to bring out the best flavor.