Thanksgiving is a holiday based on gratitude and food. Be grateful for your meal and company and celebrate with glorious cheese! We have some amazing deals on quality, flavorful cheeses for all your holiday needs, as well as an array of complimentary condiments and crackers.
General Cheese Platter Tips & Profiles
The artfully well-balanced cheese plate contains at least 3 different styles of cheese. Choose a familiar cheddar or Swiss-style cheese, something creamy and soft, and something with a stronger flavor. Classic combinations include: Tillamook Vintage Extra Sharp Cheddar, Delice de Bourgogne triple cream French brie, and crumbly, salty Blue Stilton from the UK. Serve garnished with honey, toasted nuts, bread or crackers, fresh and dried fruits, and condiment spreads. Keep reading to discover some winning pairing combinations that are sure to enhance your holiday! For more information on holiday guest portion sizing, check out Co+op Deals Thanksgiving Planner Guide.
Mon Sire Brie & Le Delice Mon Sire – we are offering two delicious creamy French classics for only $9.99 per pound! The Mon Sire cheese company is based in the Burgundy region of France and makes a wonderfully delicate, mildly flavored French double cream brie from fresh-pasteurized cow’s milk. Le Delice Mon Sire is an extra-decadent triple cream brie. Both of these items are sure to be a hit on any cheese plate. Compliment and cut through the rich flavors of Mon Sire bries with tangy fruit preserves, such as Dalmatia’s Fig Orange Spread or berry jam. Beverage pairing: Crispin Dry Pacific Pear Hard Cider — new to the beer cooler, available now in 4pks for $7.99. Or pair with non-alcoholic Knudsen’s Organic sparkling pear cider, 750ml for $2.99 each.
Cheese Compliments: an array of spreads and crackers designed to be enjoyed with cheese. Browse our Specialty Cheese Island and crackers aisle to discover our extensive selection! A few highlights:
Mt. Vikos Kalamata Olive Spread – vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified, this spread is bursting with the earthy and savory flavors of its whole food ingredients: naturally cured ripe, purple Kalamata olive fruit, garlic, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and wild oregano. Pair with smoked meats and your favorite cheese.
Quinn’s Pepper Jelly – Pacific Northwest-made with gourmet, high quality ingredients to combine the sweetness of fruit preserves and red bell peppers with the heat of jalapeno and habanero peppers. Utilize this excellent sweet/spicy condiment to amplify the flavors of creamy, mild cheeses, such as bries, cream cheese, and fresh goat chevre. Choose from: Peach Habanero, Raspberry Pepper, and Jalapeno Pepper Jelly.
Raincoast Crisps – locally made in British Columbia, these gourmet chewy crisps pioneered by Lesley Stowe are ideal for serving with strongly flavored cheese, such as blues, washed rinds, and sharp cheddars. Add a crumble of Stilton, a slice of pear and a drizzle of honey on a Raincoast Crisp, and you’re set. Studded with dried fruits and roasted nuts, these hearty crackers are available in several varieties, including gluten-free options!
Late July Saltine Crackers – a simple and time-tested recipe for saltine crackers, made from all organic ingredients. The light, crisp nature of Late July’s saltines acts as a canvas for cheese, and does not impress too much flavor. Upshot: they pair with pretty much every cheese and are great for dipping. Late July Saltines and Rich Butter Crackers are on sale now for $1.99 per 6oz box.
Mediterranean-Style Bruschetta Recipe
Create a new classic holiday appetizer that’s quick, tasty, and colorful. Serve it alongside a cheese platter, or it also tastes terrific when served atop a green salad course with a light balsamic-olive oil vinaigrette. Read more The Cheese Whisperer: Think Thanksgiving Cheese …
Fresh from our Deli to your tastebuds: Organic Mayan Chocolate Ice Cream. Warm up and perk up with the latest seasonal flavor in our ice cream well: handmade Mayan Chocolate — a blend of dark chocolate, vanilla, chipotle chilies, and ground cinnamon.
Stop by for a scoop or pint of our popular twist on the Co-op’s smooth, melt-in-your mouth, original chocolate flavor. It’s gluten-free and handcrafted using quality chocolate and a special combination of spice. Our Mayan Chocolate is just the fix for a cool, drizzly day: it’s zippy, tickles the senses, and warms the blood.
The ancient Mayan people of the Mesoamericas were chocaholics and revered chocolate (or cacao) as “the food of the gods”. One can argue that not much has changed since. Humankind, across the globe, loves chocolate. According to CNN, in 2009, chocolate was a $83 billion a year business.
Rich in iron, antioxidants and fiber, chocolate is a delicious super and comfort food. One we enjoy incorporating into ice cream. Enjoy this fabulous marriage of chocolate and spice by making an unforgettable milkshake: blend it with organic fair trade bananas, coconut or berries.
Posted by Claire
It’s time to embrace the winter ale season! Many breweries are beginning to release their seasonal winter brews; brace yourself for rich flavors and slightly higher alcohol content.
We now have a large display of seasonal ales at the foot of the stairs to the mezzanine. Several winter seasonal ales are available now, such as Ninkasi’s Sleighr and Big Sky’s Powder Hound, and there are more on the way. So stop by the Co-op and pick up some liquid winter warmth!
Here’s a quick guide to some festive favorites:
10° Below, Scuttlebutt Brewery, Everett, WA. 7.4% ABV / 22 IBU. An Imperial dunkelweiss-style brew, this local gem is loaded with crisp citrus flavor and a smooth, rich finish. Locally grown Cluster and Cascade hops are combined with deep roasted malt, evoking the flavors of milk chocolate, pretzels, and orange peel. Medium-bodied and very food friendly — don’t miss this limited release. Pair it with roasted lemon herb chicken or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
Wee Heavy, Hale’s Ales, Seattle, WA. 7.2% ABV / 24 IBU. In December 1985, Hale’s Wee Heavy became the Northwest’s first designated “seasonal” ale. This award-winning, chestnut-colored Scotch-style ale is well matched for the cold weather months. Savor its warming, malty richness alongside hearty foods and good friends. Pair it with chocolate desserts or blue cheese with honey and pears.
Samuel Smith 25th Anniversary Winter Welcome, Yorkshire, UK. 6% ABV, 30 IBU. America’s first imported winter seasonal beer is still a benchmark: deep honey gold, with a full body and wonderful malty richness. Inviting and elegant, it’s fermented in open-topped stone vessels called “Yorkshire Squares”, which are made of slate. This icon of British ales delivers well-balanced flavor and restrained bitterness from dried whole cone Fuggle and Golding hops. Pair it with roasted meats, shrimp ‘n’ grits, or cheese plates.
Festeroo Ale from Hop Valley Brewing Company, Springfield, OR. 7.8% ABV / 60 IBU. Hop Valley Brewing is a relative newcomer to the microbrew scene, but are gaining notariety with their Alpha Centauri Imperial IPA. Their holiday seasonal, an English-style Old ale, does not disappoint. Loaded with flavors of burnt caramel and hazelnut, with sprucy hop spice, Festeroo is an easy going winter warmer. Enjoy it in moderation and good cheer. Pair it with raspberry cheesecake and chocolate truffles.
Posted by Claire
New to our Cheese Department: natural white cheddar curds from the Henning Cheese Company in Kiel, Wisconsin. These “squeaky” fresh curds are perfect for snacking or adding to your favorite meals. Free of gluten and rGBH (recombinant growth bovine hormone), these curds are now available at an affordable price of $6.99 per lb!
Curds are essentially very fresh, young cheese. In order to create cheese, artisans cook milk and add enzymes to separate the milk into curds and whey, a la Little Miss Muffet. In the usual cheese making process, curds are salted and pressed into wheels, then aged for at least 3 months before being sold. Typically, curds have a fresh, mild flavor and springy texture, similar to a string, paneer, or mozzarella-style cheese.
Kerry Henning, American Master Cheesemaker
Since 1914, the Henning family has been making cheese. Founders Otto and Norma Henning purchased a rural hometown cheese factory in the heart of dairy country. For 100 years, the Henning Cheese Company has been producing award-winning cheeses. Most recently, Kerry Henning — a graduate of the only Master Cheesemaker program in the United States — heads up the company’s cheese making operation by innovating and fine tuning heirloom recipes.
Fun with curds: melt on pizza, pasta, or steamed vegetables. Dress them up with some fresh herbs, garlic, or chiles. Add curds to green salad or serve atop french fried potatoes with gravy to create homemade poutine, a national dish of Canada. Or go carnival-style and batter and deep fry your curds in oil for a tasty melt-in-your-mouth treat.
Pair your curds with lighter beers such as pilsners, hefeweizens, and blonde ales. Try Pike Brewing’s Naughty Nellie organic Blonde Ale or the original Czech Pilsner Uruquell. Wine fans may serve curds alongside fruit wines — try local Pasek Cellars’ Cranberry Wine, or a white Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Rielsing.
Posted by Claire