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Lillé Coulommiers – December Cheese of the Month

SURPRISE!!!

Two blog posts in one week? Am I crazy or what?

Well, I figured since the holidays are closing in on us fast and there’s so much for me to share with you all, I’d just do a few extra posts! So keep your eyes peeled for the next couple weeks so you don’t miss out on the extra fun!

Especially for this post–I just couldn’t wait any longer to share our December Cheese of the Month. Coming to you from Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, I bring you Lillé Coulommiers (lee-LAY coo-lo-myay).

Vermont FarmsteadVermont Farmstead Cheese Company started out as a small community’s attempt to preserve a beautiful dairy farm back in 2009 in South Woodstock, Vermont. Local residents bought up the pieces of land and equipment, and before they knew it their mission had been accomplished and the first community-owned artisan cheese and dairy farm in Vermont was born: Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company.

Today they offer a variety of cheeses, both flavored and classic, including our newest Cheese of the Month, Lillé Coulommiers. This delightful cheese is a modern take on the classic French Coulommiers-style cheese, the thicker cousin to the well-know Brie cheese. The way that its made is artfully described by Vermont Farmstead:

“Handmade in small batches, each wheel is a slightly different weight. Aged in its own special room, and lovingly turned regularly, the delicate rind develops evenly with a white downy bloom.”

Just like other Brie-style cheeses, Lillé is marked by its fluffy, bloomy, white rind and mild mushroomy flavor. The interior gives way to a pure off-white paste that’s wonderfully creamy with a mild but rich flavor that will enhance as the cheese ripens. Lillé is perfect for the holidays on its own or topped with your favorite type of preserves, and its unique shape makes a statement on any cheese platter.

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Special December Cheese of the Month pricing has this guy on sale for just $6.99! Beat the holiday rush and grab yours today from your local Vineyard Market!

* Special pricing while supplies last. Please check your local Vineyard Market for availability.

Bavarian Made w/ Garden Herbs – October Cheese of the Month

Let us all take a moment to digest the fact that it is, indeed, October already…

Aside from that crazy realization; it’s the first weekend of the month, so I’m sure you could’ve seen this one coming–our newest Cheese of the Month!

If you’ve been following us for a while, you might have noticed a trend over the years: we normally get and feature the most delicious, creamy cheeses around this time of the year. This time around is no different and certainly will not disappoint.

Coming to us from St. Mang, the same company we get our deliciously stinky Limburger from, I give you their Bavarian Made with Garden Herbs. This cheese hails from Bavaria (as you might already guessed), an alpine region in southern Germany where about 75% of all German cheeses come from. This region is known for their high quality milk, all natural and free of rBST, and the particular cheese we’re featuring has an additional advantage: it’s lactose free as well!

Similar to a Brie-style cheese, Bavarian Made with Garden Herbs is a soft-ripened double-cream–but boy, does it taste buttery. Rich yet smooth, this cheese has a clean-tasting base but is taken to the next level by the addition of various herbs including chives, parsley, sage, thyme, garlic, and onion.

This cheese would make an incredible addition to any cheese board, slathered on top of hearty grain bread or a hearty dark cracker. You could even nix the rind and toss a bit of this cheese into mashed potatoes for a luxuriously fresh addition or spread some onto crostini with a piece of roasted red pepper for an easy appetizer.

Have you tried our latest Cheese of the Month yet? Stop in this weekend for a taste!

You’ve goat to try these!

Anyone else appreciate my punny title as much as I do?

So as I’m sure you’ve figured out already, this week I’m going to be sharing with you some new goat cheeses we’ve recently brought into the Vineyard Market! The three items I’m going to tell you about are really some fantastic cheeses and have even managed to make their way into my favorites.

First up, from one of my favorite creameries, is Vermont‘s Coupole. The word “coupole” in French translates to “dome”, representative of the cheese’s round snowball shape. With a thin, geotrichum (wrinkly) rind, this cheese is easily identifiable as a Vermont original. Made entirely with goat’s milk from family farms, Coupole starts out pretty dense in the center with a fresh yet distinct goat-y taste, but as it ages this cheese ripens from the outside-in and soon turns into an ooey-gooey delight throughout. My boyfriend’s new favorite cheese (alongside some Sartori Black Pepper)–he loves eating this one with a touch of real maple syrup and a double-IPA or saison.

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This next cheese is a new one all around: new cheese & new creamery! A local cheese, Blackbert is made by R&G Cheesemakers in Troy, New York and is the perfect choice for someone looking for something a little different. Blackbert begins its life as an ash-ripened Image-1 (22)Camembert-style goat’s milk cheese. Cut it open to see a line of vegetable ash through the center, making for a striking presentation. Similar to Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog, this is a beautiful cheese and a must-try for any goat-cheese lover. A slightly dry texture but with bold flavor, this cheese is great alongside a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or a fruity Pinot Noir.

 

Last but certainly not least is Fromager D’Affinois Florette. The original Fromager D’Affinois was one of the first creamy cheeses I ever fell in love with–sort of like Brie on crack. The rest of their flavored versions never disappoint, and this one certainly doesn’t fall short either. Florette is Fromager D’Affinois made with goat’s milk. Made using the same ultra filtration methods as the original, this version is rich and silky with just the right amount of goat-y taste. A great choice for long-time goat cheese lovers, as well as a great start for goat newbies, Florette is fantastic on some Waterwheel wafers and a glass of Champagne.

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Have you gotten the chance to try any of our new goat cheeses? What’s your favorite?

Get your spread on

Some of you may already know this, but I think the mass majority is unaware

that I am, in fact,

a nerd.

And I’m not just talking about cheese. Sure, I’m a cheese nerd, but I also consider myself a nerd in the conventional sense of the word: I love comics and video games.

So anyway, my point of bringing this up is that this weekend, I will be leaving the great state of New Jersey for a video game convention in Boston. My boyfriend and I will, of course, be staying in at a hotel for a couple nights–which means snacks are in order!

Lucky for me, we just got in a new treat to the Vineyard Market: Di Bruno Bros. cheese spreads. Here in Glen Rock, I started out by bringing in two of the three flavors they make, and I’m so excited to tell you about them.

I feel like I get asked pretty often for some sort of a beer cheese or beer dip, so ladies and gents, the first flavor by Di Bruno Bros. is Smoked Gouda & Beer. A mixture of cheddar and gouda, this spread is rich and smooth with some pieces of pimento scattered throughout. I could definitely taste the smokiness from the gouda right away on my first bite, and then the beer presents a lovely end note. I could see this great with crackers or pretzels alike, or even melted into some mac and cheese. For all you smoked gouda-lovers out there, this is certainly an item you should check out.

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Now, if you don’t know me yet, hi my name is Amber and I’m a chili-head. I love spicy food. The spicier the better really. So as you can probably guess, the other flavor I decided to bring in is a spicy one, called Abbruzze. This flavor has chili flakes, garlic, and herbs and is definitely not a spread for the fainthearted. If you really hate spicy food, this spread is probably not the one for you; however, if you can handle a little heat, I think it’s something you might really enjoy. This one is cheddar-based and has a really nice blend of spices in it making it rich and complex. The heat creeps up on you a bit, and in a range of “not spicy at all” to “it burns your tongue off”, I’d say this guy is on the medium-to-hot side.

Both spreads come in a nicely packaged resealable container, making them perfect for my mini-roadtrip this weekend. You can expect my boyfriend and I to be chowing down on these suckers before bed.

Have you tried Di Bruno Bros. spreads? Let us know what you think in the comments!

March Cheese of the Month – Mackenzie Sour Cherry Bourbon Chevre

Is anyone else ready to stow away their winter sweaters already? I mean come on now, this nice weather is just such a tease! Unfortunately though, spring is still a little while away, and although my allergies are in full swing (anyone else?), winter is certainly still upon us.

So to brighten your day a bit, I’m here to tell you all about our new Cheese of the Month for March: Sour Cherry Bourbon Chèvre from Mackenzie Creamery.

Before I start drooling over this cheese, let me just start by telling you a little bit about the creamery itself. A relatively young company, Mackenzie Creamery was created in 2007 by Jean Mackenzie after she took a cheesemaking class while she was on vacation–and just like that a love and passion for cheese was born. In the few months that followed, Jean Mackenzie became licensed to produce goat cheese in Ohio and Mackenzie Creamery was created. Today, the business continues to be family-run, with Jean’s son overseeing operations as the company continues to grow.

What I love so much about Mackenzie Creamery (aside from the fact that their products are delicious) is

A. I think their packaging is unique, playful, and creative and

B. the company has great values.

Mackenzie’s products are all natural and hormone-free, and the Creamery has played a big role in boosting the local economy in their area. By expanding the local market for goat cheeses, Mackenzie Creamery has increased the demand for these products and thus created more jobs for local farmers.

“Our handmade artisan goat cheeses are produced from goat milk purchased from a local dairy located just three miles down the road. The milk is all natural and contains no synthetic hormones, antibiotics or chemical compounds. It is gently transported from dairy to creamery, one of the factors that contributes to its rich, smooth qualities.” –Mackenzie Creamery

We first debuted this creamery back during the holidays with their Fig and Cognac Chèvre cups–which were out-of-this-world delicious. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out we were getting another variety with sour cherries and bourbon.

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Each 4.5oz cup is filled about 1/3 of the way with sour cherries soaked in bourbon, and then the cup is filled the rest of the way with Mackenzie Creamery’s award-winning chèvre (French for “goat”). The way you’re supposed to serve it is to let it come to room temperature (take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of time) and then flip it upside down onto a dish so the cheese/cherries pop out. If you’re having any difficulty, just take a butter knife and just run it along the outside between the cheese and the container.

But oh my gosh is it so good. One of my assistants here doesn’t even really like goat cheese and he thought it was fantastic. The goat cheese is just soooooooo creamy, and the bourbon cherries have just the right about of sweetness.

This wonderful delight is absolutely perfect slathered on a baguette and served alongside a glass of red wine and some salted mixed nuts for contrast.

Now available at your local Vineyard Market–grab it before it’s gone!

Super Bowl Lineup – Day 3 – Creamy Bruschetta Bites

2 days left until the Super Bowl!!!

Anyone else as excited as I am?

I’m just such a sucker for all the game time snacks, as if you couldn’t already tell. The next snack idea I’ve got lined up is another that’s super easy, only requires 3 ingredients, and requires no cooking at all. And another perk? Following the same theme, all the ingredients you need can be picked up at your local Bottle King Vineyard Market!


Creamy Bruschetta Bites

This snack is easy to prepare and packs a punch of flavor in each bite. A unique twist on the classic mozz and tomato combination, these Creamy Bruschetta Bites have some richness from the burrata, followed by big flavor and some nice acidity from the bruschetta, all wrapped up and ready to eat on a crunchy piece of bruschettini.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 bags Asturi Bruschettini (we used the Rosemary flavor, but any variety works)
  • 1 container Santa Barbara Bruschetta
  • 1 container Bel Gioioso Burrata
  • optional: Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling

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How to do it:

  • Lay out your bruchettini on a serving dish
  • Drain burrata from its container. Using a spreader or small spoon, scoop a dollop of burrata onto each bruschettini
  • Layer a scoop of bruschetta on top of the burrata and bruschettini
  • Optional but delicious, drizzle with a little bit of balsamic

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* Recipe idea from the Vineyard Market’s very own Donna.

Super Bowl Lineup – Day 2 – Stuffed Peppadew Bites

And we’re back for another round!

Hope you all got the opportunity to test out yesterday’s quick and easy recipe and, even more importantly, I hope you loved it just as much as I do!

As I promised you, I’m not stopping there. I’ve got a few more fun and delicious snack ideas lined up for the next few days leading up to the Super Bowl. So let’s jump right in to the next one!


Stuffed Peppadew Bites

These little gems right here are an absolute classic at my store. Every time I whip these up for sampling, people LOVE them. We used two different cheeses this time around: a goat cheese for a rich creamy feel, and a blue cheese for a slightly more piquant taste–plus, And the best part is they only require a couple of ingredients and they’re so easy to prepare.

* If you already have the ingredients from yesterday’s dip recipe, you might even have some leftover goat cheese to use for these Peppadew Bites!

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 jar Peppadew Peppers (mild or hot, to preference)
  • about 8oz. softened goat cheese
  • about 8oz. creamy blue cheese (try Cambozola)

How to do it:

  • Take cheeses out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of time to let them soften
  • Drain Peppadew Peppers from jar & pat off with paper towels
  • One by one, begin taking a chunk of either cheese and stuffing it into each pepper
  • When you’ve gone through all the peppers, place on a serving dish and you’re done!
  • If you want to add a little extra oomph, drizzle with some balsamic vinegar
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