By Peg Todloski, Weaver Street Market Cheese Merchandiser
This week’s owner coupon is $10 off a $20 or more purchase of southern cheese (NC, VA, GA, or TN). Learn more about the coupon below.
I am happy to say that the state of southern cheese is alive and well. The South has more cheese-makers—and more cheeses—than ever before!
The Past 15 Years
When I started with Weaver Street Market some time in the early 2000s, we carried a small handful of southern cheeses. I remember carrying cheeses from Celebrity Dairy (Pittsboro, NC), Meadow Creek (Galax, VA), and Chapel Hill Creamery (Chapel Hill, NC). Three producers—about 15 cheese varieties in total—that was our selection. It wasn’t because we chose to only carry those, but because that was all that was available.
These days we have over a dozen southern cheese-makers represented, with more than 50 different cheese varieties available at any given time. I’m proud to say that many of these cheeses are award-winning and nationally known cheeses in a wide variety of styles.
The average age of most of the creameries we work with is about 12 years. That’s a pretty young average. It makes me extremely excited for the future. In my experience, cheese-makers are always making improvements to their cheeses, whether it’s improving the quality of the milk, the consistency of their product, the packaging, the flavor, or the varieties they offer. The world of cheese never stays the same. If our southern “State of Cheese” is young, think what it will look like in ten years. I’m imagining a wider variety of styles, a larger number of cheese-makers overall, and the southeastern United States becoming its own cheese destination, like Vermont or Wisconsin. It will be amazing!
Southern Cheese Highlights
Back to the present, we’ve got plenty of wonderful southern cheeses to explore now. Here are a few highlights from our southern cheese selection, but be sure to check in with the staff for their favorites, too!
Boxcarr Handmade Cheese is making wonderful creamy, soft-ripened Italian-style cheeses not seen in these parts before their arrival. Check out Rockets Robiola if it’s not already one of your favorites. Meadow Creek’s Taleggio-inspired Grayson is rich, creamy, and stinky in all the right ways. Twenty Paces Hardware is a Grana-style goat and sheep’s milk, hard-aged cheese that has a firm texture, but absolutely melts in your mouth.
Our two best-selling chevres come from Holly Grove Farms and Celebrity Dairy, and both are delicious in their own right. Celebrity’s is slightly drier and great for crumbling over salads and adding to eggs. Holly Grove’s is soft and creamy, a great substitute for cream cheese any day.
For soft-ripened French-style cheeses, choose from these amazing cheeses: Try Sequatchie Cove’s Dancing Fern for an amazing Reblochon style, Chapel Hill Creamery’s Carolina Moon for a classic Camembert-style, or Sweet Grass Dairy’s Thomasville Tomme with its creamy notes and perfectly meltable texture.
Whatever style you’re in the mood for, southern cheese has you covered! Come by and try a new (to you) southern cheese today!
This week’s owner coupon is $10 off a $20 or more purchase of southern cheese (NC, VA, GA, or TN), good March 6-13, 2019. Owners, look for the coupon in our weekly e-news, sent on Wednesday morning. If you didn’t get the coupon, you may need to update your email address in our owner database. Contact us at email@example.com.
Not an owner? Become one today to receive the weekly owner coupon as well as the other benefits of ownership, like invitations to the Co-op Fair, a logo T-shirt and bag, and the right to vote in board elections. Learn more here.