What cheeses kept you warm this winter?

Photo: Stuart Mullenberg

In the Trending series, Nosh Pit talks to local food providers, shop owners, chefs, servers—whoever’s appropriate, really—about those consumables Seattle can’t get enough of right now. This week: cheese.

1. DeLaurenti ’monger Connie Rizzo told us customers have been buying hearty Alpine cheeses to get them through the winter months—gruyere, comte, Beaufort. Also popular at DeLaurenti: the soft and smelly Winnimere from Jasper Hill Farm.

As the weather warms, Rizzo predicts customers will gravitate towards softer, fresher cheeses like Camembert and brie. And since now is the time fresh goat cheeses are becoming available, she’ll be stocking those. Try the version from Tieton Farm and Creamery in Yakima.

2. Local cheeses like Camembert-style Dinah’s from Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island, are popular at Melrose Market’s The Calf & Kid, said owner Sheri LaVigne. She said many people ask for Dinah’s after feasting on it at Sitka and Spruce next door. LaVigne anticipates that Camembert-like Nonna Capra goat cheese from Yarmuth Farm—which has a limited season “from late spring to early fall” —will be a hit during the summer.

3. Dinah’s Cheese is also a favorite at Picnic in Phinney Ridge. Owner Anson Klock noted too that customers request harder, sharper cheeses in the winter months, such as the sharp and tangy aged cheddar from Fiscalini Farm in Modesto, California.

4. Fondue is popular in the winter, so Paris Grocery has kept the shelves at its Western Avenue shop stocked with Swiss and Alpine cheeses like gruyere and comte, according to social media manager Rachel Eggers. Lately, she’s seen a heightened interest in washed-rind cheeses like Abbaye Sainte Mere from the Normandy region of France.

Good tip: Eggers said people often opt for grab-and-go cheese because they think they have to buy the precut slabs behind the glass counter. But vendors are almost always willing to cut you a smaller piece—that’s true at supermarkets as well as specialty shops.

5. Cheesemongers across the board have seen a persistent interest in raw milk cheeses. Spanish Table cheesemonger George Calvo says all three of the Iberico raw milk cheeses he sells (cow, goat, and sheep) are well-loved by his customers.

Come summer, Spanish Table will offer soft-ripened goat cheese along with specialties like Argentinean provoleta, which is delicious when grilled, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with oregano. Yum. Can we have that right now?

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