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Kala NyxKala Nyx finds the science and romance of cheese fascinating. "As Market of Choice's Cheese Merchandiser, I work with amazing people from all over the Northwest and the world to find the finest products for our foodie customers," she says.
October is my favorite month of the year! The colorful leaves, the smell of the first fireplace fires being lit, Northwest apples coming into season and our annual Harvest Cheese Sale!

This year’s selections for the sale include:

Laura Chenel Summer Fig Chevre – Fantastic in dried dates, wrapped with bacon and drizzled with balsamic.

Cabot’s Private Stock Cheddar – Break off chunks to enjoy with a crunchy apple.

Cypress Grove’s legendary Humboldt Fog – An accent of vegetable ash makes it dynamic on a cheese plate with the different textures.

Wyke’s Smoked Cheddar – Chewy Irish Cheddar smoked with oak chips that were soaked with hard cider; fantastic shredded and melted with ham in a panini.

In addition to these and other fantastic cheeses at great prices, don’t forget to pick up some 34Degrees crackers, Corozon del Sol Quince paste, Les Petite Cochon Mustard and more to get a jump on holiday-entertaining essentials.

Visit your Market Cheese Shop Thursday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 23, to snack on some yummy samples, enjoy the bounty of the season, and guess the weight of the cheese for a chance to win a grand gift basket of Harvest Sale items!

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160411CheeseBlogLocal is a trendy catch phrase right now and a lot of people are using the term. I want to take a moment to celebrate what local means to me and to your Market Cheese Shop.

With nine stores, all located in Oregon, and a 10th store opening this summer in Bend, Market of Choice is proud to be Oregon grown and Oregon owned! We have three stores in the Portland metro area, one in Corvallis, four in Eugene and one store in Ashland, and we refer to Oregon products as local. We also honor our northern neighbor, Washington, and refer to amazing products from that state as regional items. Our next Savories ad, which begins on April 15, will celebrate the local bounty of Oregon. In the Cheese Shops there will be four great flavors of Portland’s Olympia Provisions salami on sale, along with the fantastic fruit spreads and pâtés from Oregon Growers in Hood River and La Mariposa Chubut cheeses, made in Albany.

Here are some other local heroes in your Market Cheese Shops:

If you are fortunate enough to be in Ashland, stop by your Market Cheese Shop and check out some cheesemakers that are so local, the other stores don’t carry their products yet! Mama Terra Micro Creamery from Williams, Oregon makes fantastic chèvre in innovative flavors, and By George Farm in the lovely Applegate Valley has transformed the creamy goodness of milk from its Jersey Cows into Brie, fromage blanc and feta that will delight your palate! Our Ashland store also sells the largest variety of Rogue Creamery cheeses outside of Rogue’s own cheese shop, so if you forgot to grab some award-winning Blue in Central Point, you can find it in Ashland.

Our stores in Eugene are a stone’s throw from Ferns’ Edge Goat Dairy in Lowell, where some of the mildest chèvre I’ve ever tasted is made, along with some fantastic award-winning aged cheeses.

Our location in Corvallis is lucky to have cheeses from OSU Creamery, which are made on the Oregon State University campus with milk from the OSU dairy. They win the closest proximity award! Albany is nearby—home to La Mariposa and Ochoa’s Queseria—and Willamette Valley Cheese Co. is just down the road in Salem!

Portland is home to Ancient Heritage Dairy and Portland Creamery, which are bringing cow, sheep and goats’ milk cheeses into the area from the center of the city. Fraga Farm and Briar Rose Creamery are just west of Portland and make stunning cheeses in a territory that also produces incredible wines.

I must also mention Face Rock Creamery in Bandon, River’s Edge Creamery outside of Siletz and Tillamook—and anyone else offering the bounty of great cheeses, fine meats and tasty accompaniments that we’re fortunate enough to have in Oregon. The best way to experience them is in person! Come visit your Market Cheese Shop and ask your Cheese Steward for a delectable tour of Oregon. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the variety this great state has to offer, and you’ll see why Market of Choice is truly grateful to call Oregon home.

DSCN1026Cheese making was resurrected in Bandon, Oregon, with the opening of Face Rock Creamery almost three years ago.

Award-winning cheese
Starting out with a big win at the 2013 American Cheese Society Competition in the cheese curd category for their super-garlicy Vampire Slayer Curds, this little creamery has been bringing home awards and winning over fans since opening its doors!

DSCN1057Face Rock produces a stunning variety of cheddars, cheese curds and creamy fromage blanc. You can buy some fun cheeses that are only available at the creamery in Bandon, where you can also enjoy a great grilled cheese for lunch and ice cream for dessert!

Your Market Cheese Shop carries one of their 2015 1st Place award winners – a fantastic, two-year aged cheddar that reflects the experience and skill of cheese maker Brad Sinko, who left Beecher’s Cheese to return to Bandon.

A history of cheese making
Brad’s father, Joe, was one of the owners of the Bandon Cheese factory that once sat on the same land where Face Rock stands today. Brad started making cheese at the Bandon Cheese factory, so his return to Bandon brought him full circle.

DSCN0993With business partners Greg Drobot and Daniel Graham, this trio has brought cheese making back to Bandon, anchoring Face Rock Creamery into the heart of the community and cheese lovers, alike!

Perfect pairings
Try one of Greg’s favorite combinations–one that reminds him of apple pie topped with cheddar: slice thin Face Rock Creamery’s Extra Aged Cheddar and serve atop Effie’s Homemade Oatcakes with a dab of Oregon Growers Apple Butter.

A Market of Choice Cheese Steward fave is Face Rock Creamery’s Apricot Fromage Blanc on Effie’s Homemade Cocoa-Cakes, which tastes just like cheesecake!

IMG9504771 resizedIMG9504821 resizedOne of the best things about going to a big food show, like the January’s Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, is the amazing people you meet.

I was on my way to check out a shiny, red phone booth at the Somerdale Cheese booth when someone asked me, “Would you like to meet Mary Quicke?” The question stopped me in my tracks, and the fastest “Yes, please!” jumped out of my mouth. Up until that moment, I’d only tasted the fantastic British cheddars that Mary has made on her family farm for the last 29 years, and I was already a fan.

If you look at Mary’s heritage—she’s the 14th generation to live on the 450-year-old Quicke family farm—that’s pretty impressive all by itself. Her father, Sir John, built the dairy 40 years ago, where their cheddars are handmade, clothbound and naturally matured.

While some cheeses are “encouraged” to age quickly to meet shipping deadlines, Quicke’s cheddars are allowed to naturally mature. Mary routinely tastes and selects them when they are ready to be released to market. They are the largest British cheddar maker to produce naturally matured cheeses and also one of the UK’s leading award-winners at competition.

Mary was kind and delightful, leading the happy group of cheese fans I was with through a tasting of her world-famous cheeses and a couple new cheddars she’s working on bringing to market. She referenced the heritage starter cultures that give the cheese the slightly chewy texture that the brand is famous for. We all enjoyed chatting with her and snapped a couple photos before her next round of fans stepped up to the cheeseboard.

If Mary didn’t have enough on her plate with the farm and keeping the cheddar lovers of the world happy, she’s also a regular on the judging circuit at competitions. And although she’s in high demand at cheese competitions, Mary also judges other agricultural competitions and shows. I even found her listed as a judge for a short story competition! With her monthly blog, called Mary’s Dairy Diary, she provides fans updates on how things are shaping up at the farm with the weather, crops, cows and cheese. She tops off the blog with a recipe that is so tempting, I think to myself, “Dinner with Mary?—Yes, please!”

20150529 163747 resizedEDITEDThere’s nothing as wonderful as summer in Oregon – the great festivals, the fresh berries and other amazing produce coming in from local farms, and the fresh air! Speaking of fresh air – who doesn’t love riding a bike with the roses blooming and the sun shining?

Right now, in your Market Cheese Shops, we’re displaying three fantastic Dutch Gazelle cruisers to be given away! These bikes will go to three lucky customers on June 11th, when we hold our drawing. So now is the time to visit your Cheese Steward and sign up!

While you’re there, be sure to taste the amazing Dutch Goudas that are featured in our current issue of Savories, including Rembrandt, Vincent and Vermeer for $2lb off the everyday price. These cheeses are firm enough to take on a day trip and soft enough to break apart for a savory, crystal-studded bite of nutty, caramel toned goodness! The fantastic flavor of these cheeses will prove why this is called the “Master’s series!"

So hurry in, and don’t miss the chance to win a bike and take these masterpiece cheeses home at a great price!

 

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Cheese Merchandiser List