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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.

melodLaura Chenel is credited with bringing goat's milk cheese to the attention of America during the late '70s and early ‘80s by producing wonderful cheese and selling it to restaurants in northern California.

In 2006, Laura sold her business to a French artisan cheese corporation, Rians Group, whom she felt would uphold the integrity and quality of her products. She returned to raising goats and is still selling her milk to Laura Chenel Chèvre.

While we have carried many Laura Chenel products through the years, we are excited about one in particular that is new to us. Melodie is an ash-rinded goat's milk brie style cheese. Smooth and creamy in texture and fresh and mild in flavor, this cheese is mellow enough for a wide audience.

Try pairing Melodie with berries and other fresh fruit, or melting it on a baguette or in a panini. Look for Melodie in our current issue of Savories!
Have you ever fried cheese? Or tossed it on the grill? If you need some easy appetizers that are delicious and unusual, try these recipes, both of which are Greek in origin.

Saganaki
These pan-fried cheese strips go well with lemon juice.

1 pound of kefalotiri, kasseri or young pecorino cheese.
Flour for dredging
1/2 c olive oil
2 lemons, cut into wedges

Cut the cheese into strips about 2" wide and 1/2" thick. Place the strips under a water faucet to moisten, then coat lightly with flour and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet and pan fry the cheese strips. Turn once until golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on a paper towel, then serve with lemon juice.

Grilled Haloumi
This grown-up “grilled cheese” will have your kid oohing and aahing.

1/2 to 1 lb of Haloumi cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cut the haloumi into 1/2" thick slices. Brush the grill with olive oil. Grill the cheese slices until the cheese starts softening and you see grill marks; turn only once. Garnish with salt and pepper.

Additional accompaniments:
• olives
• tomatoes
• pita bread
• capers
• lamb meat
• toasted bread slices
• dried figs and dates

As we enjoy spring and head into summer, consider letting your Market of Choice Specialty Cheese Shop help with your gift and entertaining needs. Summer is a time of holidays and important celebrations: Mother's Day, Memorial Day, graduations, weddings and reunions. For these important moments, count on your Cheese Steward to lend his or her advice and support to create unforgettable gift boxes and culinary experiences. Whether you know exactly what you want or need to start from scratch, we are here for you and look forward to making your next occasion a memorable one. Here are some examples of what we can create for you:

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In the cheese shop we are frequently asked by our customers for new ideas for pizza toppings. After brainstorming, I have some new and inspired recommendations!

Spanish Style: red sauce; Manchego (sheep's milk cheese) or Mahon (cow's milk cheese); chorizo; greoregon blue vein cheeseen olives

The Alpine: white sauce (alfredo or bechamel); hard mountain cheese such as Gruyere, Comte or Raclette; sliced boiled potatoes; carmelized onions; ham (optional)

Mediterranean Pie: undried tomato pesto; Haloumi (mild) or Kefalotiri (sharp) cheese; ground lamb (optional); kalamata olives

The Oregon Local: basil pestoa; fresh goat cheese; Oregon Blue Vein crumbles; dry cured pork salami (optional)

Think outside the box and enjoy!

Q: What is the difference between Camembert and brie?

brieA: The main differences between these two cheese types are where they are made and the size of the wheels. Camembert originated in Normandy and is made in a small round that is about 8 oz. in weight. Brie comes from the Ile de France region south of Paris and is available in rounds ranging from one to six pounds. The different locales of production create subtle taste differences (terrior), and the smaller size of the Camembert causes it to age and dry out more rapidly than brie, which leads to a more pungent and concentrated flavor.

Q: What makes cheese orange?

A: Cheese is colored orange using a natural food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree. This coloring is called anatto and is used to regulate the color of the cheese. If anatto is not used, the color of the cheese can vary in shades of light cream to a darker yellow, depending on the feed of the animals being milked.

Q: Is Gorgonzola a blue cheese?gorgonzola

A: Yes. Gorgonzola is the name of a town in the Lombardy region of Italy that has been producing a blue veined cheese for centuries. Gorgonzola is available in a range of ages and flavors; from young and creamy to mature and bold.

Q: What are those crunchy "crystals" in some cheese?

A: Some aged cheeses, such as Gouda, Parmagianno-Reggiano and cheddar have small little crystals in them that crunch when you eat the cheese. These crunchies are lactic acid that has been converted into a crystal form and are a natural part of the aging process.



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