Today officially marks the beginning of Central Market’s five-week cheese extravaganza, “Cheese Makes the Party.” The celebration of all things lactose runs from October 19 to November 25, and is intended to showcase the store’s phenomenal array of cheese. The Broadway grocery will have more than 150 different types of fromage on hand, featuring selections from across the globe, including French, Spanish, English, Alpine and American offerings. Of those nearly 150 different cheeses on display, 36 are brand new, available for the very first time in the store.
Throughout the celebration, Central Market will be offering “foodie freebies,” which are items paired with certain cheeses that you receive for free with the purchase of their dairy counterpart. The freebies have all been hand-selected as complementary flavors, meaning that if you buy Marin French Camembert, you receive Divina fig jam and a baguette, or if you take home half a pound of Grana Padano, you get salad mix and Antica salad dressing. With all the different freebies available, an enthusiastic cheese lover can leave the store wheeling a cart filled with the perfect free products to make their dairy platters sing.
In addition, to really kick off the cheese-athon, Central Market is hosting a Sip ‘n’ Stroll today, October 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. During the event, treats, wine pairings, and samples will be available to anyone in the store. The stroll is completely free for everyone, and is intended to show shoppers how enthusiastic Central Market is about their products.
“We really want the event to showcase the new and exciting products we have in the store right now,” says Chad Maly, the store’s head cheesemonger. “This is by far the biggest event of its kind that we have ever thrown.”
Though there are hundreds of varieties to please every palate, Maly singled out three that really impressed him including the Ivy’s Vintage Reserve Cheddar ($9.99/pound), which comes from cheesemakers who have been in the business for more than 15 generations, and brings a sweet nuttiness with a tight crumble. With its decadent saltiness, the Parmigiano Reggianno, known as the king of cheeses, is a perfect foil to citrus or acidity, making it perfect for lightly prepared vegetables and meats. And finally, the Henning’s one-year aged cheddar, a cheese offered exclusively by Central Market, has built up such a cult following among turophiles that when supplies ran out one time, fans counted down the days as it aged for a year, eagerly anticipating its release. Some people are REALLY into cheese.