My Love Affair With Formaggio

by Grace Boyle on October 20, 2010

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I adore cheese – stinky, soft, sharp, aged, goat, crumbly, yes please.

When it’s a cheese plate, then even better. I wrote a guest post for my close friend Doniree over at Nomadic Foodie on: “The Art of the Cheese Plate” you can read the whole post here. I deconstruct what makes a delicious cheese plate, how to entertain with cheese and some of my favorite local restaurants here in Boulder, that offer (what I think) are the best cheese plates.

To dive a little deeper, I visited Cheese Importers (Market Europa) a warehouse of artisan cheese from around the world in Longmont, Colorado. Heaven.

The temperature was cold, to keep the cheese fresh so they provided down jackets while you shopped.

Cheese heaven

Cheese was separated by country in the warehouse – here is England, United States and Germany

Cheese Importers is a local, family owned business that has been around since 1976. They not only offer cheese (many being organic) but olive oils, spices, an olive bar and other artisan kitchenware. They deliver door-to-door fresh cheese in the Front Range area and if you’re far away, you can order their delicious gift baskets.

As the man and I were perusing the warehouse, they had out varying samples of cheese and I went straight for the Italian cheese (surprise, surprise). He loves his cheese stinky – stinkier than I prefer. Almost that ammonia smell. So we sought out their cheese guy and one of their employees kindly walked us around, letting us sample cheese, he even brought a special plate for us. He was extremely knowledgeable and friendly.

The man decided on a Chimay cheese, made by Trappist monks of Chimay who make their cheese from good milk on the farm and let it mature in the vaulted cellars of their abbey (where they also make beer, and lets it ferment even more). Chimay is the name of four cheese in the area – he chose the Chimary with beer, the natural rind is bathed in Chimay Trappist beer.

I went with the Leonora, a goat cheese from Leon in Northern Spain (my mother’s name is Lenora). There were notes of lemon and thyme and the texture is similar to a ricotta (a little harder) and it’s soft and creamy. It was delicious!

After over an hour at the warehouse, we made our purchases and walked away with fully belly’s of cheese. Needless to say, I will be going back.

{Photo Credit: French Cheese Plate}

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