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Cheese-Ucopia

Oh cheese, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways.

It’s always evolving. Cheese demand is being fueled by a new generation of shoppers and diners looking for Old World experiences. And now, more consumers are being pulled into its pleasure as grocery stores, delis and markets are delivering unique varieties and flavors for us to discover, sample and savor. So if you want new ways to party with havarti, get gone with Gorgonzola, or find a ricotta to make you holla’, there’s a whole new cheesy world out there to enjoy.

Baby, You’re a Natural

Cheese is often seen as a rich treat, yet it’s considered a clean food. With none of the long list of ingredients we’re told to avoid as the natural, short and authentic recipe trend continues to grow, “craft cheese” is becoming a table staple. Whether it’s an Old World classic or a locally sourced small-batch innovation, diners are willing to buy a larger range of cheeses and pay more for high quality.

Experience Culture Firsthand

The variety of on-trend cheeses includes small portions of craft-made flavors, which can be found at corner grocers and bigger chains, not just specialty stores. Ideal for millennials who seek out experiential shopping, sampling, learning and comparing are essential for picking the right wedge. From local specialties to European must-haves, buying from hand-cut cheese counters lets shoppers enjoy all the textures, tastes and smells that make purchasing a personal experience again.

Curd Nerds

Like fine wine, there’s a rich world of information and strongly held preferences that keep eaters engaged, and encourages them to return. And enthusiasts and novices are hungry for more. A range of styles, from the clean range of a fresh goat cheese to the barnyard funk of a stinky washed rind, the plethora of varieties that are coming into market gives shoppers and diners more choices and allows them to customize the flavors to their own tastes. When it comes to options, the more, the merrier.

Important Board Meetings

Curated cheese boards (or plates or slates) are a versatile approach to show your unique slice of the options out there without the massive inventory of a specialty cheese shop. Even a small selection allows for endless combinations and pairings with condiments, sweet and savory. Try serving a variety of milks (goat, sheep, cow) and spin the classic sweet accompaniments like dried fruits into house-made treats such as a chili-infused honey or a tart chutney.

As demand for unique tastes surge, cheese is a simple solution for entertaining. By engaging with a cheese-counter artisan, you can offer a range of tastes and textures at your next gathering without having to cook and have fantastic story to share with your guests. Get a few wedges of wonderful, slice some super charcuterie and you’re set for a superior platter. Speaking of charcuterie, we’re seeing a few big flavor trends taking place with this already in-demand item.

Two’s Company, Three’s Charcuterie

Smoked ham, salted beef, pate to make your day. Basically, we want all the meats. Even more than cheese, cured meats lure eaters out of their comfort zones. New proteins such as wild boar salami and offal cuts such as chicken liver mousse are very much on modern menus. This type of nose-to-tail eating shows a commitment to local purveyors and sustainable eating, from restaurants to small grocers alike. With the creamy comes the savory, and as we like to say—no guts, no glory.

Ready to cheese out? We thought so!

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