ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-12-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Looking for something that’ll be the talk of your next party? Then check out two French cheeses making their holiday season debut at select Wegmans Food Markets: the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys and the Cremeux de Bourgogne. These one-of-a-kind finds have been ripened to the peak of perfection in Wegmans Cheese Caves for a flavor and texture that can’t be matched on this side of the Atlantic.
The Wegmans Cheese Caves opened earlier this year, and are a high-tech version of Europe’s famed cheese caves. Now Wegmans can replicate the ideal climate conditions and labor-intensive rituals of turning, brushing, and washing premium cheeses that Europeans have used for generations to bring out the richest layers of flavor and a gorgeous texture.
Eric Meredith, cheese affineur at Wegmans, and his team tweaked the recipe for the Bourbon-Washed Pie d’Angloys for about three months, adjusting the concentration of the bourbon in the wash, the cave climate, and the ripening time. “This incredible cheese from Burgundy is air-shipped to us at 19 days old. Then we wash it with bourbon for three weeks as it’s ripening in our caves to create a luxuriously buttery texture and a slightly sweet caramel-vanilla flavor that lingers on your tongue. It’s got the sweetness of bourbon without the burn!”
Of the Cremeux de Bourgogne, Meredith says, “We’ve been working closely with a family of cheese makers in Burgundy to perfect the recipe for this one. We finish its ripening in our special Brie Room in the caves and assess when it’s ripe and ready to be enjoyed.” Compared to Brie, the Cremeux de Bourgogne is softer, suppler and more velvety, with a more pronounced flavor and a buttery taste that lingers on the tongue. Serving suggestion: Slice off the top rind and serve its soft, buttery interior like a fondue.
Building a cheese tray at your next party . ..
The new Holiday 2014 issue of Wegmans Menu Magazine shows how to build your own holiday cheese tray, with a grid giving several different examples of four types of cheese – soft-ripened like the Cremeux de Bourgogne, hard like Gouda, washed-rind like the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys, and blue, like Blue Stilton. Take one example from each column, and your tray will be an easy step to a distinctive, elegant offering.
A few accompaniments can make the tray even more festive: Sweetened dried cherries for tangy sweetness, Marcona almonds for a salty crunch, or glazed walnuts for a sweet crunch.
“The Marcona almonds go very well with soft-ripened cheeses, and the dried fruits are a wonderful accompaniment for the Bourbon-washed Pie d’Angloys,” says Cathy Gaffney, director of specialty cheese and deli at Wegmans. “They add color to your tray and act as palate cleansers between bites of the different cheeses.”
The first stop for do-it-yourselfers is the store’s Cheese Shop. “Our people love engaging with customers around cheese. They’ve all trained through our Cheese University, an intensive, 20-week course of study, so they’re prepared for questions and ready with suggestions,” Gaffney says. “They really want the Cheese Shop to be a place where cheese lovers feel at home.” Wegmans shoppers can try cave-ripened cheeses every Saturday during December by visiting the Cheese Shop for tasting times.
Tip: Names of specialty cheeses can sometimes be a bit daunting. When in doubt, Gaffney recommends using a smart phone to take a picture of the label or scan the barcode using the Wegmans app to add it to a shopping list. Then, on future visits to the Cheese Shop, the information can be recalled quickly on the device.
If you’re doing your own tray, says Gaffney, the first thing to remember is this: “Don’t be nervous. You can put anything together that you like, and it’ll work.”
And what if you’re running short on time? No worries – Wegmans can help with that, too. The beautiful and ready-to-serve Holiday Cheese Quartet tray combines the two latest Cheese Cave releases with a buttery Organic Fourme d’Ambert and a firm, nutty Organic Gouda. Pick it up at the Cheese Shop at select Wegmans stores, take it home, unwrap it and be prepared for compliments from your guests!
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.
Contact Information: Jo Natale, director of media relations, 585-429-3627