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Willamette Cheese Steward Cassie Stockton knows cheese. Also a wealth of wisdom when it comes to the many other accompaniments found at your Market cheese shop, such as oils, vinegars, salts, fruits spreads, honey, crackers, nuts, pâtés and dried fruits, Cassie offers practical advice and insight for both the novice and culinarily gifted.

140410MOC willametteCheeseBlog 1Eugene has a large population of citizens of Scandinavian descent. One of our most popular Scandic cheeses is called Gjetost, a caramelized goats’ milk (some brands use a bit of cows’ milk, as well) that looks and tastes like salty caramel. It is traditionally eaten with fruit, such as apples or pears, as well as thinly sliced and served on toast. One of my sales representatives was kind enough to share her sister's recipe for making this cheese into an ice cream topping. Enjoy!

Creamy Gjetost Sauce
Serves 2-3

1 D’Anjou or Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
½ c pear brandy 1/3 c raw sugar 1/3 pkg Ski Queen Gjetost, sliced
½ c whipping cream, divided for topping and sauce
vanilla ice cream or gelato
pecans
sea salt

Sprinkle the pecans with the sea salt and roast in a 350° oven for approximately 6-8 min. Whip ¼ c whipped cream for topping. Heat the brandy with the raw sugar until it comes to a boil. Add pears and reduce to low heat, constantly stirring until syrupy pears are cooked. In a sm saucepan, heat sliced Gjetost with ¼ whipping cream over low heat until creamy. Scoop ice cream or gelato into bowls and top with cooked pears sauce, toasted pecans and a dollop of whipped cream.

Originally created in the kitchen of Kim Sylvester, this dessert is oh-so good. Thanks, Kim!
140325MOCwillamettecheeseFor all you fact finders out there, I’ve put together a short list of fun things you may not know about cheese.

Did you know:

  • Caseus is the root of the word casein, the milk protein that is the basis of cheese; this morphed into “chese” in Middle English and finally “cheese” as part of Modern English.

  • The earliest archaeological evidence of cheese-making was found in Egyptian tomb murals that date back to 2000 B.C.

  • The consumption of cheese predates recorded history. Scholars believe it began as early as 8000 B.C. with the domestication of sheep in the Middle East or by nomadic Turkish tribes in Central Asia.

  • Ancient Greeks and Romans were the first cultures to turn cheese-making into a fine art, developing new recipes, smoking cheese and coming up with new flavors and additions.

  • After the fall of the Roman Empire, many European monasteries started developing and producing new cheese varieties.

  • Cheese is the most stolen food in the world.


And, finally, I’ll leave you with this slightly cheesy quote:

"A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be over sophisticated. Yet it remains, cheese, milk's leap toward immortality." — Clifton Fadiman, American writer and editor

140212WillametteCheeseBlog HenningsKerry Henning is a fourth-generation cheesemaker in Kiel, Wisconsin. He achieved Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker status in 1999 after completing the master cheese apprenticeship program. He attended a variety of courses on quality assurance, product evaluation and cheesemaking techniques. This program also requires that you be a licensed cheesemaker for 10 years. For five of the 10 years, you must manufacture the cheese you’d like to master. At the end of the program, there’s a 40-hour written exam. In addition, his cheese is tested on a yearly basis to ensure master quality. Kerry has obtained his Master's in Cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack.

Market of Choice is proud to stock Henning's cheese curds, as well as their reserve Hatch Chili Pepper Cheddar. Here are two recipes I came up with for the Hatch Cheddar. Try them!

Hatch Chili Cheddar Enchiladas

10 oz shredded Hatch Cheddar
6 oz queso fresco
15 oz crema or sour cream
12 corn tortillas
2 c red enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the cheddar and queso fresco. Bring the enchilada sauce to a boil in a small saucepan. Place each tortilla onto a baking sheet and spoon the cheese mixture onto each tortilla, then roll the enchilada seam-side down and place into a 9x13" baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla. Cover the enchiladas evenly with the sauce and bake 15-20 min. Top with crema or sour cream and any remaining cheese mixture.

Hatch Chili Cheddar Fondue

12 oz Hatch Cheddar shredded
1 T flour 1 c light beer, your choice
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t garlic, minced
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t salt

In a bowl, toss together cheese and flour and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a fondue pot or medium saucepan over high heat and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium and begin adding the cheese slowly, stirring constantly until smooth. Cook until all the cheese is melted. Serving suggestions: crusty bread, sliced chorizo, cubed ham, carrots and celery.
140127MOC CheeseBlog FaceRockCreameryCheese was made in Bandon from the 1800's up until 2,000, when a larger cheesemaker bought the factory and demolished the buildings, leaving an eyesore for more than a decade.

In 2011, the City of Bandon purchased the property and folded it into its Woolen Mill Master Plan.

Face Rock Creamery developers Greg Drobot and Daniel Graham worked with the city and its Urban Renewal Agency to return the property to its original purpose: cheesemaking!

Face Rock Creamery then made Brad Sinko its head cheesemaker. Brad's history includes the creation of recipes for Beecher's Cheese in Seattle, Washington, as well as helping Beecher's set up shop in Pike's Place Market in Seattle, and more recently Beecher's new location in the Flat Iron District of New York City.

Market of Choice is pleased to offer a variety of products from Face Rock Creamery:

Cheddar Blocks: Vampire Slayer, In Your Face 3 Chile or Aged Cheddar
Cheese Curds: Vampire Slayer, In Your Face 3 Chile or Aged Cheddar
Fromage Blanc: Cranberry Orange, Garlic & Olive or Apricot

Your Willamette Market of Choice will demo of these products on Friday, January 31st from 2-5 p.m. Come on down and taste some new local cheeses!
I hav131217MOCWillametteCheeseBlog cheesesaltbathe a confession to make: I am not a native Oregonian. I spent the first 20 years of my life living in a tiny Midwest town, Towanda, Illinois. That being said, the winters there can be extreme, as can the driving conditions.

The land is flat in Illinois and made up mostly of farmland. The wind can be brutal and this often leads to very hazardous and icy road conditions.

Rock salt is often used to clear the roads. This is not the most efficient product to use, as approximately 30 percent of it bounces off the road. It’s also expensive and it rusts out the undercarriages of vehicles.

In Wisconsin, they are trying a new product. Actually, a byproduct of the cheesemaking process: whey. Whey, or cheese brine, is a derivative of certain soft cheeses, such as fresh mozzarella and provolone. These cheeses are placed in a salt-water solution to quickly boost the salt content of the cheese.

Cheesemakers there end up with so much whey that they spend thousand of dollars each year to dispose of it at wastewater treatment plants. Now, instead of tossing it, they’ll use it another whey!

We carry several Wisconsin cheeses at your Market Cheese Shop, so pick up some cheese and show your support this innovative idea.

I think this is an excellent solution and whey cool!
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