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Specialty Cheese

Shannon Welsh, Heinen’s Cheesemonger

Meet Shannon Welsh, our resident cheese guru. She is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about all things cheese, beer and wine, and she loves to talk!

What is your favorite cheese?
Do I have to name just one?! I love so many different cheeses that it’s hard to say, but I can narrow it down to a favorite style. I love Alpine cheeses like gruyere. They’re nutty, fruity, and they go with everything. Sort of like your favorite pair of jeans.

What do you do with it?
I’m a purist and usually I just eat the cheese on its own, but Alpine cheeses really lend themselves to being used in recipes because they melt so well, and when they’re heated they are even more flavorful.

Is there any cheese you won’t try?
No, I’ve tried just about everything but my least favorite cheese is brie.

Name a few ingredients that are always in your kitchen.
Himalayan sea salt, good olive oil and a selection of good vinegars. I eat mostly vegetarian, so I make a lot of my own salad dressings. Good ingredients are critical.

As someone who knows cheese, what is one of the most FAQs you receive?
Ha! “How do you know so much about cheese?” I always say, I have been very lucky during my 15 years at Heinen’s to wear many hats, and I’ve been exposed to a lot of incredible foods and wines and beer. I am a sponge, and I’m surrounded by people who love food! So I talk to people, I read, and I eat a lot!