Indulge a Passion for Cheese: Friday,
Nov. 2nd; Saturday, Nov. 3th and Sunday, Nov. 4th, 2007, 11am-6pm

You probably already know Central Market's showing off its best food of the year, with sparkling wines and seasonal beers.

But you may not know cheesemakers will visit all Central Markets Nov. 2nd-4th. So ask the person handing you that sliver of cheese anything you want to know.

UNDERSTAND CHEESE THE WAY YOU UNDERSTAND WINE Peter Mohn, of Grafton Village Cheese Company, Grafton, VT, says, "It's very appropriate for cheesemakers to use the word terroir. Every cheese is unique because of its terroir. We can teach people to make Cheddar the way we do, but they will not make the same cheese we make."

CHEDDAR FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA Grafton (Vermont) makes Cheddar from Jersey cow milk. Deep flavors concentrate during 2-year aging of Classic Reserve. Each age of Grafton has a distinct flavor profile. Smoke from hard maple wood seasons Maple Smoked Cheddar, a multiple American Cheese Society (ACS) award winner.

Carr Valley Cheese Company (Wisconsin) Apple Smoked Cheddar is lightly smoked, then hand rubbed with paprika. 4th-generation cheesemaker Sid Cook makes cheese from Wisconsin cow, sheep and goat milk. Gran Canaria won Best of Show in the 2004 ACS competition. Cocoa Cardona, multiple award winner, is creamy, firm goat cheese aged with an exterior cocoa rub.

Beehive Cheese Company's (Utah) flagship cheese is full-bodied, nutty, smooth Promontory Cheddar. Beehive's Barely Buzzed Coffee Lavender Hand Rubbed rocks; it brought home a 2007 ACS blue ribbon.

Add Coombe Farm Farmhouse Cheddar (England), Kerrygold's Irish Vintage Cheddar, and Montchevre's (Wisconsin) Goat Cheddar for an all-Cheddar extravaganza.

IN OUR OWN BACKYARD Eating great local cheese has been possible thanks to Paula Lambert creating Mozzarella Company in Deep Ellum 25 years ago. 2007 brought 7 new ACS awards and her second book, Cheese, Glorious Cheese. Mitchell Whitley will bring Mozzarella Company Fresh Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, Fresh Ricotta and Smoked Mozzarella to all 4 Central Market metroplex stores.

Our newest cheesemaker, Anne Jones opened Latte Da Dairy in Flower Mound. She will offer farmstead Fresh Chevre, Fresh Feta, and flavored chevre, on Friday in Dallas, Saturday in Southlake and Sunday in Fort Worth.

GOAT GEMS Vermont Butter and Cheese is bringing two new signature aged artisanal cheeses: Bijou, a versatile crottin and Bonne Bouche, a ripened, ashed goat round. Montchevre adds La Chevriotte (camembert-style) and Chevre in Blue.

FRESH THRILLS, MORE WINNERS BelGioioso (Wisconsin) Burrata is an 8-ounce fresh mozzarella ball filled with cream. Sierra Nevada Traditional Cream Cheese and Gina Marie Cream Cheese win by their taste and their purity: read the ingredient list.

EUROPEAN CLASSICS Comte AOC (France) is the famous mountain cheese made in cooperative dairies within 15 miles of member's small farms. 80-pound wheels age a minimum of 4 months. You'll taste 12-month Comte and other French, German, Swiss and Austrian mountain cheeses, Dutch Gouda and rarities from Piedmont, Italy.

Central Market, all locations, free tastes.

- Karen Silverston, November 2007