July Cheese of the Month – Forage Mushroom & Scallion Jack

Helloooooooo, everybody! How are we all doing on this gloomy, rainy day?

Well, I’m about to make everything better–with a new cheese!

This month’s Cheese of the Month takes us in a direction that I’m pretty hit-and-miss on: cheese with stuff in it. What I mean by that is any cheeses that have things added to them, besides cheese–for example Havarti with Dill or Stilton with Cranberries. Oftentimes, I’m a purist. I like to taste my cheese just on its own without any stuff in it; however, there are some exceptions such as Pepper Jack–and this new Cheese of the Month: Forage Mushroom & Scallion Jack!

Coming from Kindred Creamery in Wisconsin, each cheese produced is of the best quality. The Creamery practices sustainable production and implements a “Cows First” methodology; cows are treated like family and given no growth hormones, ensuring the highest quality milk and therefore the highest quality cheese. Our new Cheese of the Month is no exception.

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A Jack base, this Forage Mushroom & Scallion cheese begins its journey as a mild and creamy delight. Once the mushrooms and scallion are added, however, the cheese becomes full of yummy flavor. I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical when we first received this cheese. I mean, I’m not much of a mushroom fan myself so…

BUT. One bite off a piece of this cheese and I was in love. The flavor is bold but not overpowering. It’s semi-firm and has a creamy texture. The first taste is definitely onion, thanks to the scallions in it, but it’s quickly rounded out by the rich earthiness of the mushrooms–I swear, it just works. This is seriously a match made in heaven. There are so many ways to enjoy it too:

  • Serve on a cheese platter
  • Melt into a panini with caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms
  • Grate into hot mashed potatoes
  • Add to quiche
  • Melt onto burgers or portobello mushrooms on the grill
  • Mix into fondue for a zesty bite

Get creative! Go crazy! The list is endless. AND to make things even better, we’ve got this cheese available in Bottle King Vineyard Markets for an incredible price of just $3.99. Stop by your local Vineyard Market this weekend for a taste & grab yourself a piece!

A Dutch Masterpiece is back

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, you may already know that I have a special place in my heart for Aged Gouda.

Do not be fooled by the word “Gouda” in the phrase–Aged Goudas are a totally different class of cheese compared to their much younger counterpart. I can even remember a couple of customers that swore to me they hated Gouda and then quickly changed their minds after trying the Aged Gouda I was sampling. As with most aged cheeses, Aged Goudas become harder in texture, stronger in flavor, and develop some little crunchy bits throughout.

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And again, if you’ve been following me long enough, you might be familiar with one of my favorite Aged Goudas: Rembrandt–and I’m excited to tell you that it’s back in full swing, baby!

For those of you unfamiliar to Rembrandt, let me introduce you to him. He’s the cool guy at the party; he’s a smooth talker with a bold yet unoffensive personality. He may potentially be a bit older than the rest of the crowd, but he gets along with just about everyone–this cheese is a real crowd-pleaser.

Now if I just confused you with my crazy analogy, let me give it back to you in cheese terms. Rembrandt is an extra-aged Gouda, aged for over one year to develop a gorgeous light orange tinge. Even with this aging, however, this cheese is rich a creamy with a few crunchy tyrosine bits throughout. Its flavor is bold, yet incredibly approachable, with subtly sweet and caramel-y notes.

Every year, Bottle King usually partners with Rembrandt’s company, Jana Foods, to do a promotion and bring you all a fantastic-tasting cheese at an unbelievable price. I’m here to tell you that it’s that time of year again, and this time we’ve got a special contest and prize to offer, complimentary of Jana Foods! It’s easy to enter, and the prize is a stunning gift picnic basket, filled with wine, glasses, a Bottle King gift card, cheese, and other snacks. Check out the details below, and be sure to pick up some Rembrandt at your local Bottle King Vineyard Market so you can participate–and devour it!

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How to Enter:

  1. Bring home a wedge of our delicious Rembrandt Extra Aged Gouda.
  2. Take a picture of yourself enjoying our cheese–get creative!
  3. Post your photo to the Jana Foods Facebook with a fun caption–make sure to tag @bottlekingnj in your post*
  4. We’ll choose our favorite post and deliver the grand prize to the winner’s local Bottle King!**

More Details:

  • Contest will run 06/30/17 until 07/30/17
  • One (1) grand prize winner will be notified via Facebook chat by 08/06/17

* limit one post per person

** must be 21 or older to enter and claim

Brooklyn Brine Barbecue

Anyone else feeling a little bit of summer-fever?

It’s graduations-galore, Father’s Day, and a crazy heat wave is upon us. You know what that means. Barbecue season is finally here! And you know I’ve got some goodies to share.

Not only do we have Brooklyn Bangers back in stock, we’ve also got some new pickles and sauces to go along with them! Introducing Brooklyn Brine Co. here at the Glen Rock Bottle King Vineyard Market. We’ve got 2 new types of pickles and 2 new condiments for all your sandwich and BBQ needs.

First up is Brooklyn Brine’s Maple Bourbon Pickle chips. We’ve got them in both Spicy and Bread & Butter varieties, and let me tell you, the flavor is unbelievable. There’s no strong alcoholic flavor like you might expect from the word Bourbon in the name, just a slightly sweet and complex flavor. The spicy variety has just the perfect amount of heat, I’d say about a medium-spice, and the bread & butter isn’t overly sweet either, just the perfect balance. I just may have found a new favorite pickle…

The condiments don’t disappoint either. Right in line with the Maple Bourbon Pickles, we’ve also got a new Maple Bourbon Mustard, and it’s so good. It’s definitely on the courser side as far as mustards go–I’m a big mustard seed fan, so I love the consistency of this one. It honestly almost reminds me of honey mustard because of the slight sweetness it has–but so much better. I could see myself putting this on sandwiches, burgers, some Brooklyn Bangers, or even just dunking pretzels in it like a dip.

The last new item I have to share is Brooklyn Brine’s new Secret Sauce. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is really something else. When I said the pickles had a complex flavor, it may have been an understatement compared to this sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, and acidic all in one bite–there is seriously just so much flavor going on. Just like the mustard this sauce would be great for any BBQ food. I think it would even be amazing on a Reuben instead of Russian dressing.

And that wraps it up, folks! I’m so excited for you to stop in and try some of these new item this weekend. Have you tried Brooklyn Brine Co. before? Let me know what you think in the comments section!

June Cheese of the Month – Paradiso Vintage

And just like that, another month has gone by. Does it feel like 2017 if just flying by for anyone else?

Well folks, this month we’ve got another new cheese for you–you didn’t think I’d let you down, did you? Many of you may be familiar with our beloved friend Paradiso, an Italian-style cheese with an aged Gouda sort of feel. This month’s cheese of the month is Paradiso’s cousin: Paradiso Vintage.

Image-1.jpgAlso produced by Beemster, Paradiso Vintage is differs in quite a few ways from its counterpart. While the original Paradiso has a slightly more crumbly texture and robust and tangy flavor, the Vintage version is ironically much more creamy and smooth. Paradiso Vintage is coated in black wax instead of the original gray and its paste is a softer shade of orange with a few more holes dotted throughout. It has a more semi-firm texture and every bite is super rich and buttery with a subtle tang that lingers. And the plus? Just like the rest of Beemster’s cheese range, Paradiso Vintage is naturally lactose free!

This cheese is super versatile as well.

  • Thinly slice and add Paradiso Vintage to your turkey or salami sandwich
  • Serve alongside fruit spreads for a heavenly bite
  • Enjoy with salted nuts for contrasting textures and a little bit of salty & sweet
  • Add to your next cheese platter for a selection everybody will love
  • Taste with a more tannic red wine to smooth everything out
  • Eat with a glass of white wine to enhance its flavors
  • Pair with just about any and every beer

Stop into your local Vineyard Market for a taste of Paradiso Vintage today!

* Please check with your local Bottle King for availability.

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?

May Cheese of the Month – Sartori Black Pepper

I know, guys, I know.

WHERE HAVE I BEEN???

I know I’ve been MIA for the past couple weeks, and for that I do apologize.

BUT.

With great absences, come great new things to the Vineyard Market! We’ve been getting some exciting new things into our stores, as well as bringing back some cult-favored oldies–and I cannot wait to share it all with you in the coming weeks.

For now, however, I’ll ease you all back into it with one new item that I’m sure some of you have anticipating since May 1st: our newest cheese of the month! While it’s a bit of a late reveal this time around, the cheese is still just as amazing. Say hello to Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano.

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If Sartori is sounding familiar to you, you may recall all of our past blogs featuring this wonderful creamery. Started by Paolo Sartori and Louis Rossini is 1939, Sartori brings authentic Italian traditions to Wisconsin-made cheeses. A family-run operation to this day, the company has produced classic cheeses with a twist–such as their Asiago with Basil and Olive Oil–as well as created their own unique cheese called BellaVitano.

BellaVitano is Sartori’s original creation: a pale yellow-cream color, this cheese is crumbly, yet creamy, and so full of flavor. Sort of like a Cheddar-meets-Parm, BellaVitano is the base for many of Sartori’s flavored cheeses, including Merlot and Espresso.

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Now enter: Black Pepper BellaVitano, our May Cheese of the Month. This time around, Sartori has started with their delicious and unique cheese and then added cracked black peppercorn for a delightful little bite. While the flavor is most pronounced on the actual rind, it is nicely imparted throughout. Each piece of this cheese is super moist, creamy, and savory with that hint of a little something else (you know, black pepper).

Black Pepper BellaVitano would make a fantastic addition to any cheese platter–I just added it to mine the other night! My boyfriend loves snacking on it with some Dalmatia Fig Spread and an IPA. I personally love it with some crusty French bread and a glass of Pinot Noir, but hey, potato-potahto right?

How do you love to eat this month’s Cheese of the Month?

The Blues are back in town!

Anyone remember when we did that big feature on Roquefort blue cheese a while back? If not, I can certainly refresh your memory! Roquefort was our cheese of the month some November ago.

The biggest, baddest blue in our arsenal, Roquefort is a classic French cheese made from raw sheep’s milk and has been made using the same traditions for hundreds of years. With a big, rich mouthfeel and an intensely complex blue flavor, this cheese is surely one for my blue-lovers.

Don’t let its pungency scare you away, though, as this cheese is also quite versatile. While its heartiness might be presumed to be enjoyed mostly during the cold months, there are quite a few ways to enjoy you some Roquefort during the warmer months as well.

  • Slathered on a cracker with Flo’s Grows Raw Honey
  • Mixed with some Cheddar and pulled chicken to make a Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • To make a refreshing snack: Little Blue Bites
  • As the blue cheese component in blue cheese dressing
  • Mixed with cream cheese for dunking raw vegetables

And my favorite way: on pizza!! & what a better time for pizza than now, when the weather is just right to grill it outside.

Now you may have realized at this point that my friend Karen has been sending me quite the blog-spiration lately–and she’s still going! Check out the latest mouthwatering recipe she sent my way!


Maple Bacon Roquefort Pizza

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What you’ll need:

  • Store-bought or homemade pizza dough
    • Pro tip: ask your favorite local pizzeria to buy some of their pizza dough! 
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup real maple syrup
  • 12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
    • make it yourself with equal parts Mozzarella, Provolone, & Parm
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • ¼  cup roasted garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
  • 3 ounces crumbled Roquefort

How to do it

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Place the sliced apples in a small bowl and pour the maple syrup on the sliced apples and set aside.
  3. Line baking sheet with foil and sprinkle with corn meal or spray with cooking spray. Divide the pizza dough ball into 4 sections, reserving half of the dough for another use. Stretch the dough and place on baking sheet, working the dough into a rectangle. If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes then continue to spread it into the corners of the baking sheet.
  4. Layer each of your pizzas with half of the shredded Italian cheese, then top with slices of apple, the bacon, the garlic cloves and finally the chunks of Roquefort.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, cut and serve immediately.
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