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Stew Leonard's Cheese Shoppe Expands, Doubles Inventory

Stew Leonard's Cheese Shoppe Expands, Doubles Inventory

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Anticipating the holiday shopping rush, renowned employer and grocer Stew Leonard's has announced and implemented a Cheese Shoppe expansion, which has doubled their assortment and will most-likely entice and satisfy a huge range of cheese fans, conniseurs, afficiandaos, and casual cheese-heads. 

Stew Leonard Jr., President & CEO, Stew Leonard's“Over the past few years, Stew Leonard’s cheese specialists have seen our Brie and Gouda both rise in sales by about 10%,” notes President & CEO Stew Leonard Jr. “We realized our shoppers were just as passionate in learning about cheese as they are about wine, and they were interested in not only where and how a cheese is made, but in the stories behind the cheesemaker as well. Our new Cheese Shoppe really celebrates my family’s roots in dairy farming!”

Stew Leonard's is immensely knowledgable about cheese and creates, markets, and sells over half of a million pounds of cheese per year across the brand. The most popular cheese they sell is their own hand-made mozzarella, proof they know what they're doing. Jarlsberg, Sharp Cheddar, Double Cream Brie, and Gorgonzola round out the top 5 varities sold.

Stew Leonard's Cheese Selection (Photo Source: International Business Times)

Their knowledgable cheesemongers buy direct from family-owned farmers and have built a reputation for collecting hard-to-find U.S. and international cheeses. They have also published a list of the top 5 questions they get asked by shoppers about cheese:

Question 1: What does “aged” cheese mean? 

Answer: An aged cheese is one that has been cured for six months or longer. It is especially notable in Cheddar, Swiss, Manchego, and Gouda. They’ll have a fuller, sharper flavor than young cheeses such as Brie or fresh cheeses that have not been aged, like Mozzarella.

Question 2: How do I slice and serve cheese?

Answer: Slice cheese into cross sections so you get the pate (the white, inside part of the cheese) as well as the rind. Stew’s cheese specialists recommend cutting cheese into long strips or wedges and taking the cheese out of the refrigerator for about 45 minutes before serving it.

Question 3: Can I eat the rind?

Answer: Yes, on almost every cheese you can eat the rind! (You may not choose to eat it, but you can.) Don’t eat rinds that have colored wax or foil, like those found on Gouda, Manchego, or foil-wrapped Blues. Plus, don’t throw your Parmigiano-Reggiano rind away! Use it to flavor soups and sauces; the rind will soften as you heat it and release the cheese’s nutty flavor.

Question 4: How do I store cheese?

Answer: Stew’s cheese experts recommend first wrapping the cheese in wax paper or parchment, and then wrapping it in plastic wrap. Don’t keep your cheese in a Ziploc bag as it will cause the cheese to become moldy! Store your cheese in the vegetable drawer of the fridge and never freeze cheese.

Question 5: How do I build the perfect cheese plate?

Answer: When building a cheese plate, look to mix a few different milk types, including cow, sheep, and goat. Don’t forget to create interest and excitement to your cheese plate by adding cured meats, dried fruit, nuts, grapes, and even Dalmatia Fig Spread – Stew’s favorite! Serve with a selection crackers as well as a freshly sliced baguette from Bethy’s Bakery.

Stew Leonard Jr. Proudly standing in one of his stores (Photo Source: Westchester Magazine)

In addition to the useful information provided above, Stew's—can we call you that?—has also published a list of their favorite cheese combinations to wow your guests and make your cheese platter look proud:

  • Aged Manchego: The best cheese to drink with red wine! Aged for 12 months, this La Mancha sheep cheese offers salty notes of caramel and hazelnut. Serve with quince paste and macona almonds for a real Spanish delicacy.
  • Beemster Vlaskaas Gouda: If you like cheddar, you’ll love Vlaskaas! Best described as “cheese fudge,” this firm yet velvety cheese from the Netherlands can be eaten on its own – no cracker necessary!
  • D’Affinois Brie: Stew calls this one the perfect “first date” cheese: impressive, rich, and decadent! Mild and a little tangy, spread this oozy French cheese onto a baguette or a water cracker.
  • Kaltbach Cave Aged Gruyere: Aged at least 12 months in Switzerland’s Kaltbach sandstone caves, this raw milk cow cheese is nutty and indulgent. Also great for fondue, grilled cheese, or shaved onto a salad!
  • Fresh Mozzarella: Freshly made by hand all day at Stew’s, this light and milky cheese should be enjoyed right away. Our most popular cheese!
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: This world famous Italian cheese has a nutty flavor and was first made at the Benedictine monasteries starting in about 1200. Stew’s sells about 25 tons of Parmigiano-Reggiano every year.
  • Point Reyes Blue: This award-winning farm-stead raised blue cheese is made less than 100 miles away from San Francisco where cows graze on salty organic grasses flavored by the Pacific Ocean fog. Also great when slathered onto a burger, porterhouse steak, or filet mignon.
  •  Vat 17 Cheddar: A gold medal winner, the sweet & creamy Vat 17 tastes like a cheddar more than twice the price. Aged for two years by cheese experts in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
  • Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche: America has outdone the French in this little, ashed round of goat cheese that resembles on the classic goat cheeses of France’s Loire Valley! This oozing, spreadable cheese is made with fresh pasteurized goats’ milk from family farms.

Thank you, Stew Leonard's for the informative and thourough lists. Stay up-to-date with Stew Leonard's on DeliMarket News.

Stew Leonard's