If you’re looking for more fun things to do with Mom (or Dad) this week, or just need another excuse to take a trip to one of our markets, then our Big Cheese Event might be the perfect destination. Central Market Shoreline and Town & Country Market Lakemont in Bellevue are both hosting our first two specialty cheese tastings of the year this weekend: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, May 18, at Shoreline and Sunday, May 19, in Lakemont.
If you live near either of these areas, you may already have seen our mailer and stuck it on your refrigerator, or seen our daily Facebook posts about some of the specific cheeses. Whether you’re a cheese novice who’s content with a simple slice of cheddar on your burger or a fromage aficionado who prefers their Comté over a French Gruyère, the Big Cheese Event is designed to be welcoming for everyone.
Taste a cheese you really love? Grab a wedge or two because we’re taking 25% off all our specialty cheeses all day long as a “thank you” for stopping by!
This is the second year we’ve organized Big Cheese events for all our markets and we think we’ve got a pretty cool new tradition on our hands.
“We want to make the scary accessible,” says Rob Foley from our Deli team. From planning to procuring to cheese cutting, he’s been a major part of helping us put these exciting events into action.
The day will offer about 70 specialty cheeses to taste and several cheesemakers will be in the market, including those from local creameries, to inspire you.
“You literally can’t go wrong with an afternoon like this,” Rob said.
Part of the fun when it comes to putting on events like these, Rob explains, is getting to meet the people and hear the stories behind the cheese, like Dutch cheesemaker Marieke Penterman from Marieke Gouda in Wisconsin. “She literally woke up from a dream about making cheese and decided to throw herself into this world. Now she’s winning international awards with her farmstead cheese. She even puts Fitbits on her cows so she can track how much exercise they’re getting and make sure they’re doing OK. Her passion is contagious at an event like this,” Rob said. “Of course, getting to sample a wheel of Champagne-soaked Langres cheese is fun, too.”
If you can’t make it to Shoreline or Bellevue this weekend, we’ll be holding Big Cheese events in our other four markets soon, so be on the lookout for our mailer! The plan right now is for Ballard Market and Central Market Mill Creek to host their events I October, and it should be early August for Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo. Be sure to take a peek at last week’s blog post to learn more about our cheesemonger program.
Time to Fill Up on Fresh Salad
I hope you all had a pleasant and relaxing Mother’s Day weekend. I’m still a little stuffed from the extra helpings of my mom-in-law’s chocolate ring cake topped with chocolate-fudge icing and vanilla ice cream on the side. Uff da! It’s supposed to be me who’s providing the sweet treats on Mother’s Day, not the other way around!
This week’s Big Board Buys have inspired me to take my foot off the gas a bit and dive into our fresh salad bar. Every delectable selection is $6.98 a pound this week only, for a savings of more than $2 a pound. We have the best versions of the classic choices you expect, like fresh spinach and tomatoes, broccoli florets, kale blends, chunks of roasted Smart Chicken breast, and much more. But we also feature several delicious varieties of grain and pasta salads, like Mediterranean Eggplant Salad, Yam and Black Rice Salad, Tabbouleh Salad with Bulgur Wheat, Greek Orzo Salad … I could go on and on. My partner, Anna, and I love to pick up one of these super flavorful and filling salads when we’re both too tired to cook on a weekday night.
Many of these unique salads come from Our Own recipes and are prepared fresh in our kitchens. Our selections often change with these seasons and feature the absolute best peak-season fruits and vegetable from our excellent Product Market. With no preservatives or additives in our salad bar, it’s a choice you can feel good about.
Chinook Book Coupon Saves on Salad
Speaking of the Salad Bar, now through July 31, we have a mobile coupon through Chinook Book that lets you “Save $2 from any Salad Bar item of $5 or more.”
We’ve been a partner with Chinook Book for about 10 years now. Each year, we offer three coupons good for a year in the book and mobile app – usually two that let you save a certain amount off your total so you can choose what you want to use if for (this year it’s $5 off any purchase of $25 or more and $10 off any purchase of $50 or more) and one more – this year it’s $3 off your purchase of $5 or more from our Produce Market. Then we run one- to three-month seasonal coupons on their mobile app. Currently it’s the Salad Bar. We have offered coupons for Bakery and Bulk, as well.
One of the reasons why we love Chinook Book is their effort to promote sustainable living in the Seattle area and their mission to be a “company that focuses on connecting good people with good businesses.” Hey, that sounds familiar! We love to highlight outfits that share our own values and aspirations and we always have a few coupons available through their platform.
They even made a little video about how to use their mobile coupons. You can purchase Chinook Books and their mobile apps in all of our markets. If you don’t see them – ask!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
MARIEKE SMOKED CUMIN GOUDA: This smoked cumin gouda is made in Wisconsin but you can certainly taste the Dutch influence.
Marieke Penterman immigrated to Wisconsin to marry her dairy-farmer husband and later went back to Holland to study cheesemaking to bring the authentic taste of Dutch cheese to America. Marieke imports cumin directly from Holland for this cheese — she’s very finicky about her flavors.
The smoke on the cumin makes the cheese irresistible for snacking, but once the rind is removed, I suggest grating it over chili, soup or a Caesar salad with toasted pepitos.
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.