Get Nutty This Winter!

Every one that is familiar with Marcona almonds already know how good they are. If you aren’t familiar – Marcona Almonds, also sometimes referred to as the Queen of Almonds, are imported from Spain. They have a distinctive shape that are flatter, rounder, and a little sweeter than the Californian variety. First they are blanched, than roasted in olive oil, and finished with a good dosing of sea salt resulting in a crispy texture that is just plain delicious.

A couple of years ago we tossed them in our blend of Herbes de Provence and knew we had a hit on our hands. Truffle flavored Marcona almonds are here just in time for the holidays! They’re so perfect as-is with a glass of Champagne. Or, pile a handful onto a charcuterie platter or as a pairing with a wedge of your favorite cheese. Stop by and try our newest addition to the lineup.

Many Moods of Mustards

With Oktoberfest upon us, it is time to get serious about mustard!

Plain and simple – I love mustard. When I was a kid I hated both ketchup and mayonnaise, and believe it or not, all forms of frosting too! One of my favorite after-school snacks was a piece of ham slathered with mustard and rolled around a pickle. Mustard has been a constant condiment that has always had a home with me. Nowadays, there is always a minimum of 3 kinds in my home refrigerator, although on average it runs closer to 5.

Being a native Chicagoan, good ol’ Yellow Mustard is a staple in my fridge—I even keep a spare one in my pantry. There is simply no other that will work on a Chicago style hot dog or a burnt bratwurst at my house. Plus, it’s indispensable for American potato salad along with my mother-in-law’s salad dressing, a family classic.

While in culinary school, I learned how important and versatile Dijon Mustard can be. Way beyond a simple ham and cheese sandwich, there are sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes, and so many more recipes make that jar living in your fridge a powerhouse of creative ideas just waiting for you to open the lid.

Whole Grain Mustard can do things that other mustards can’t – texture being an important and distinctive feature. Whether you are coating a rack of lamb or spreading it on top of a country pâté, it not only adds that acidic brightness of mustard flavor, but also a pop of crunch that is unmistakable. Visibly it helps add interest and it informs the diner that mustard is an integral part of the dish.

Being a traveler has added a bevy of other mustards to my arsenal that are delicious and truly unique. I love the German Extra Hot Mustard for its wicked bite, Provence Mustard for any cheese and charcuterie tray I am whipping up, and Tarragon Mustard for anything with poultry to name a few. Stop by our mustard aisle and broaden your culinary horizons.

Prost!

That’s So Cheesy!

Get ready for an ooey, gooey time next Thursday at our Springboro store for the DLM Cheese Show. If you love cheese and haven’t been to this yet, you need to come! First off it’s a great deal at $50 bucks (or $25 with 2500 points). There are so many things to try, all featuring a world of different cheeses. Plus, did I mention there is BOTH wine and beer too?!

Some of my favorites this year are a Raclette Station, where we scrape off bubbling, toasty cheese onto our farmhouse bread with some other goodies thrown in, like your choice of crispy, roasted potatoes, pickled onions and gherkins, and a Macaroni and Cheese Bar with not one, but two different types of this cheesy delight.

Our Grilled Cheese Station, which will feature a few of our favorites, is not one to miss. The Trifecta, our best-selling grilled cheese made with Barber’s Cheddar, Emmental, and DLM Handmade Fresh Mozzarella, and a melty sandwich with Brie and local turkey are tasty eats at this stop. Visit the Charcuterie Station, which is overflowing with salami, prosciutto, pâtés, and olives.

Several fun and unique cheesy appetizers will be coming out of our kitchen, pairing up cheese with all sorts fun ingredients, like quince, chorizo, Hatch Chiles, hot honey, and even chocolate!

Hope to see you there!

 

Check out our gallery of images below of past highlights, and be sure to purchase your tickets now so you can cheese out with us on Thursday, September 13 at the Cheese Show!

 

Curds + Hops: Tips for Pairing Beer and Cheese

Most may find that wine and cheese go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Both are two of life’s great culinary pleasures. But on a hot summer day, the taste of a cheese that’s very salty and full of fat will be left hanging on your palate, which begs the question: have you ever considered pairing your cheese with a nice cold beer? Let’s trade in those fruits and tannins for some malts and hops instead, as beer and cheese are natural partners with equally wide ranges of possible flavors.

The first thing to consider when pairing cheese and beer is the same principle that holds true when pairing it with any other food: match the intensity of the beer with the intensity of the cheese. Set aside your doubts—taste is subjective and not everyone’s taste buds are the same. That said, you can’t pair any cheese with any beer and expect pure bliss. Cheers with beer and add a little curd to your hop with these tips.

Lighter Beers are Best with Lighter Cheeses. Pale lagers or wheats tend to pair nicely with lighter, fresh cheeses such as DLM Handmade Mozzarella, burrata, or chèvre. Try this: LIFT from MadTree Brewing Co. paired with a fresh chèvre from Laura Chenel. The crisp and refreshing hint of orange from LIFT marries with the rich-tasting, bright, citrusy tang of the Laura Chenel. It’s like the icing on top of a cupcake!

Stronger Cheeses Deserve a Stronger Beer. My favorite pairings include a decadent blue cheese like our Champignon Grand Noir with a rich stout like Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide. The salty and creamy experience of the Grand Noir melds so well with the sweet, smoky goodness that the Yeti has to offer.

Hoppy Beers Lift Buttery, Floral Cheeses. Now, I didn’t forget about you hop-heads! If you’re anything like me, then your go-to is a nice, juicy IPA, like New Belgium Brewing Voodoo Ranger. Match that with the key notes of buttery, floral goodness from the Comté Saint Antoine Gruyère. This is a young cheese with an old soul but somehow an IPA just brings out a refreshing and citrus life that it didn’t have before.

In the end, tasting is believing so don’t take my word for it and try some combinations for yourself. Grab your favorite cheese, try it with a variety of beer, and give it a whirl!

A Gastronamic Tour de France

The bicycle world’s Tour de France consists of 21 stages over the course of about three weeks in July. While the thought of that spectacle is daunting and exhausting, we like to think of a wonderful idyllic saunter through the culinary landscape of this country that seems to ooze gastronomical finds from every square inch. So, set your own pace and journey to France via a Tour de DLM with these specialties.

CHAMPAGNE
In the great city of Reims, the heart of Champagne, we like to think of bubbles that make any occasion special. Guyot Choppin Brut Champage is tangy, full of fresh apple fruit, and mineral driven—begging for a bowl of clams simmered in white wine. Add a refreshing twist to a salad with Champagne Vinegar by J. Leblanc.

ÎLE-DE-FRANCE
Not far from Paris is the commune of Meaux and the great Brie de Meaux, which is perfect on a warm baguette with a glass of wine, or with a preserve, such as Bonne Maman or L’Épicurien… ooh la la!

GRAND EST
In years past, Strasbourg has hosted Tour de France riders. It’s also home to the wines of Hugel, a family estate since 1639. We’ve had the pleasure of sitting with family members of the estate and tasting their Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Gentil, which is a blend of several varietals making it crisp, vibrant, and lively

FRANCHE-COMTÉ
Heading not far south, one comes to the region of France where you’ll find one of the great cheeses, St. Antoine Comté Gruyère, made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. This cheese melts in your mouth, leaving you with flavors that range from dense and smoky to sweet and fruity; cut into small straw-like pieces on a cheese tray or use in a fondue with a splash of white wine.

BURGUNDY
While in Burgundy, one must have the mustard, cheese, escargot, and of course, the wine! The 2016 Côtes Salines Bourgogne Chardonnay is one of our favorites this summer and it showcases the fruit perfectly. Try with a roasted chicken or cheese plate (and include a generous dollop of Edmond Fallot Mustard while you’re at it). Afavorite cheese of ours from Burgundy is the Époisses de Bourgogne, which is a pungent, soft-paste cow’s milk cheese that is simply heaven in a little round container.

SOUTHERN FRANCE
In the south of France is one of the great blues of the world—Le Papillon—and it started as any good French story: love. A young shepherd was distracted by a shepherdess. Forgetting his rye bread and sheep’s milk cheese in the cave of Combalou, he left to pursue the girl. He later returned to discover his meal covered in a blue-green mold. Famished, he tasted the cheese and was delighted. Roquefort was born! Another great, P’tit Basque, is a sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. Enjoy with with charcuterie, fruit, or grilled veggies. Southern France also has so many superb wines, but a great warm-weather favorite is the 2017 Picpoul de Pinet Florensac. It’s minerally, crisp, clean, and perfect for summer entertaining. Other delights that we’d be amiss to not mention include Maison Pébeyre Truffle Mayonnaise founded in a small southern French village in 1897 and Vinaigre de Banyuls.

LOIRE VALLEY
Loire is where many of the fairytale castles of France can be found. We love to pour a glass of La Vigne des Sablons Vouvray, a deliciously dry and mineral-driven wine, with a chilled plate of oysters—simply a magical pairing.

BRITTANY
M. Gilles Hervy Fleur de Sel is a yummy grey natural sea salt harvested from the Atlantic.

NORMANDY
Pierre Biscuiterie French Butter Cookies have been made in the French Countryside since the 19th century. Another sweet delight from this region is one of our favorite whipped creams in a can, Isigny Sainte-Mère

5 Gourmet Grilled Cheese Ideas

A grilled cheese is a grilled cheese, right? As if! If you’re anything like me, then a grilled cheese sandwich was probably the first thing you learned to cook by yourself using the pre-wrapped cheese slices that shall remain unnamed. Why not do yourself some justice and gift yourself some of the cheesy, comforting goodness you deserve with a gourmet grilled cheese?

Take that old tried-and-true grilled cheese sandwich up a notch (or ten) by exploring all of the cheeses that The DLM Cheese Shops have to offer. The possibilities are endless! From the spicy, tangy flavors of goat cheeses, like Humboldt Fog, to the smooth, velvety flavors of the Comté Saint-Antoine Gruyère, we’ve got five sure-fire ways to elevate you to grilled cheese gourmand status:

1. FOGGY BOTTOM. Take our Raisin Walnut Bread as a base and add Humboldt Fog goat cheese plus a few slices of Prosciutto di Parma for a perfect salty-creamy bite.

2. THE ULTIMATE. Take two awesome cheeses, Comté St. Antoine Gruyère plus Barber’s 1833 Vintage Cheddar, put them on our classic Unbleached White Sandwich Bread, and you get a simply perfect grilled cheese.

3. DELISH. The perfect grilled cheese for brunch! Take slices of Deer Creek’s The Doe, stack them between slices of Sesame Seed Bread that is spread with DLM Apricot Preserves, and grill until golden brown.

4. THE RETRO. We love the retro flavor of DLM Pimento Cheese Dip paired with DLM Uncured Bacon piled between buttered slices of Farmhouse Bread.

5. CAPRESE. This is a toasty and gooey take on the flavors of a caprese salad: DLM Handmade Mozzarella, thinly sliced Roma tomato, fresh basil leaves, and Ciabatta Bread.

Anatomy of a Cheese Board

Nothing is as easy, and yet so impressive, as a cheese board for home entertaining. If your friends and family are anything like mine, cheese is a must for almost every occasion. But how do you make a cheese board? I find that a lot of people are intimidated when it comes to assembling a crowd-pleasing cheese board. To begin, set aside your doubts about finding the right combination. While it is possible, it is incredibly hard to come up with a bad pairing.

I personally like to use about three to five different cheeses. Of course, you can do more, but it’s easy to overload the senses, so keep it simple. Once you’ve chosen your cheeses, have fun with sweet and salty accompaniments, from assorted crackers and cured meats, to fresh fruit and cornichons. The possibilities are always fun and endless! Lastly, don’t forget about the one-hour rule; to maximize the flavors of your cheese, allow them to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving. Now, let’s get started with making some cheese board magic!

Pro Tip 1: Define the Foundation

Are you hosting a casual get-together or a formal affair? How many people? Any known likes or dislikes? These are good questions to consider, and don’t be afraid to talk to your DLM cheesemongers. It’s our job to steer you in the right direction. If your experience hasn’t surpassed Kraft singles, don’t worry! We’ll get you to where you want to be.

Pro Tip 2: Set the Framework

When selecting cheeses for my boards, I think of a rhyme I once learned: Something old, something new, something goat, and something blue. Make this your motto and you’ll have the framework for the perfect cheese board.

Pro Tip 3: Finish, Finesse, & Serve

To keep your board from looking like a battle site by the end of the night, cut your cheeses before placing them on the board, but not too far in advance as to keep them from drying out. Try thin slices from the rind to the center to showcase flavors from the inside out that the cheese has developed through aging. For soft, crumbly cheeses, leave them whole and provide a spreader for your guests to use.

Anatomy of a Cheese Board: 3 Steps

Nothing is as easy, and yet so impressive, as a cheese board for home entertaining. If your friends and family are anything like mine, cheese is a must for almost every occasion. But how do you make a cheese board? I find that a lot of people are intimidated when it comes to assembling a crowd-pleasing cheese board. To begin, set aside your doubts about finding the right combination. While it is possible, it is incredibly hard to come up with a bad pairing.

Continue reading “Anatomy of a Cheese Board: 3 Steps”