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