11 N School St
Lodi, CA 95240

Can't view this email? Please click HERE to open in a new browser.


An outdoor chalk sign, somewhere in the Valley, said:

"Dear God: Whatever you are baking outside... it's DONE!"

On the other hand, either for hot or cold weird weather, I think Mother Nature is perimenopausel. Been there and done that, Mama, and I thought the sweats were a cruel joke!

Essentially, Summer has arrived with a vengeance. Stay rested, hydrated, and plan no-cook meals such as a great cheese board and seasonal produce bounty!

Happier note? Farmer's Market has been fabulous, and now all the fruits and veggies have been displayed at the market after a slow un-seasonal start. Come out and have a glass of wine, a bite to eat, and shop the terrific goodies that are just waiting to go home with you.

Lots of custom gift baskets have been going out the door for birthdays and weddings this summer. Several gifters have said that their wedding recipients haven't "registered" for wedding gifts since they have households full of stuff already! Brides and their grooms are opting for ultimate foodie gifts, travel experiences, and classes or events instead. One of our guests gave a CHEESE CENTRAL gift certificate, movie tickets and a Lodi Lake kayaking tour--all tucked into a shelf-stable food basket from our shop! What a great idea, not just for a wedding.... Christmas is coming. How do I know this? One of the wineries is having Christmas in July event on the weekend. Just so you know...

New classes are listed below, so we hope to see you and a friend in our Grand Central Kitchen sometime soon. Learn something fun and new to you, have some good wine and great times. Call soon to reserve your place in a class.... I call it "planning for future happiness!"

PLEASE NOTE: Monday and Tuesday shop hours are 10am-2pm.

Wednesday through Saturday 10am-6pm

Open on Thursday Farmer's Market until 8pm

Can't wait to see YOU!

Cindy and Staff

Cate, Gina, Kim, Diana,

Liz, Madeline, and Tonya



These day, don't we all try to reduce waste, use less plastic packaging that goes into landfill, and so make more intentional changes to daily life to help the planet?

An obvious change to the grocery list is to purchase a single wedge, block or wheel of cheese to be sliced or grated as we need it. Pre-sliced or pre-shredded cheese (such as parmesan, cheddar, jack) has lost much of its flavor by the time you use it, as it oxidizes reducing flavor when processed, much like an apple or banana that turns brown. More flavor = less cheese needed, something that we talk about at the cheese counter. It is proven that better quality cheese means less is needed to satisfy desire.

Second, did you know that the shredded cheese in plastic packaging has a powdery substance added to it to prevent it from clumping? Look at the label: it may simply say "anti-caking blend" which is made up of potato starch, cornstarch, calcium sulfate, and natamycin (which prevents your cheese from molding too fast). Calcium sulfate is actually commonly used to make ground cement and making tiles.

Or, the label may simply say "cellulose," aka wood pulp! Cellulose, which dehydrates the moisture out of the shredded cheese to help it reduce mold and to not stick together, is actually found in a number of common food products, and is typically called "added fiber," as when it is added to your cereal. One journalist quipped, "don't you want your 'fiber' to be whole wheat, not whole wood?" I certainly don't want it in my cheese!

On the cooking side of this equation, anti-caking substances also change how the cheese melts or combines in your recipe. Hmmmm. Had that problem before, and the recipe didn't turn out as you expected? Definitely too many reasons to avoid pre-shredded or pre-sliced cheeses.

Interesting, huh?


Are you ready to join a public class, have a great cooking experience, and meet new foodie friends?

Culinary classes, hands-on unless noted otherwise, and are $85 per person. This experience includes a full meal and the appropriate alcoholic beverage, along with a class booklet to go home with you. Minimum of 8 guests, maximum of 10

Cheese 101 is $65 per person, minimum of 6 guests. Bread Baking is $65 per person, minimum of 3 guests


Wed, Aug 30 6-8pm

this is the last time Dictators will be offered until January 2024, as our Autumn schedule will have other seasonal classes. Requested to run again, Vicious Dictators class is so fun, and tongue-in-check. "If Ghengis Khan's mom had fed him more comfort food, he would have been a nicer guy!" Our focus tonight is to explore delicious comfort food through the ages, and happily that food is as relevant today as it was then. Trust me, Moms know best!


Wed, Sept 20 6-8pm

Back by popular request, the fabulous recipes presented for this dinner feature late summer produce and a number of easy techniques that bring the flavor of the Mediterranean islands into your home. Tricky dessert, too--super time-saving method for enjoying a labor-intensive sweet. Opa!


Fri, Sept 29 6-8pm

A stroll through the cookbook-let takes us through seven Southern states. The dinner is a luscious combination of classic Southern delights, and ends with not one--but, TWO desserts! (I just couldn't decide, ;} so we will have both)


Fri, Oct 20 10:30am-12:30pm

$65 per person

Never baked bread before and want to learn? Are you an new baker, and have had some bread success, but some flops too? Does yeast scare you? Come to this workshop and learn the science of bread baking, then try your hand at the three styles of bread we will be making in class. Not only do you get to enjoy it on the spot, you get to take home lots of goodies to share, or bake later! This class has a minimum of 3 guests and maximum of 6.


Thurs, Oct 26 6-8pm

In the Italian way, simplicity is the feature here. We will use seasonal ingredients for our complete dinner. Fresh takes on corn, zucchini, tomatoes, pasta, polenta, herbs, and more!


Wed, Nov 1 6-8pm

$65 per person

No cooking here. This popular class back by customer demand...

A complete presentation of how cheese is made, with lots of samples and side-by-side tastings. THEN we have a big cheese tray to explore four of the cheese families. Word to the wise--don't eat dinner before you come to class! You will leave full!


Fri, Nov 10 6-8pm

A no-cooking presentation of good food and delicious wine.  Just sit and enjoy the delightful flavors, discussion of all parts of a typical French meal, and a "palette" of cheese. This presentation was first introduced in Summer 2022, with overwhelming approval from participants!  Let's lift a glass of Provencal-style rose to those wonderful French cheesemakers.


We also offer private party classes, too! With many topics available, this is a great group activity, and kitchen skills are taught with fun and love. Great recipes to take home, and since class is participation, you have had a chance to make them with me! The classes listed above are some choices for the current season, but there are quite a few more to pick from--call for details. Choose one, and follow the directions below to arrange your own private event.

Bring your friends and family (minimum of 8, maximum of 10). Plan for future happiness by purchasing a gift certificate. Enjoy a themed book club class. The options are endless!

Here's what to do:

--Send email to

CheeseCentralLodi@hotmail.com, with an inquiry for possible dates for your exclusive private cooking class

--Pick a cooking topic

--Gather a group of 8-10 friends or family, or co-workers for team-building

(3-6 guests for Bread Baking)

--Show up to the shop on your appointed date...hungry and ready to cook and drink wine (or beer) and have a fun event

All cooking classes: $85 pp

includes a full meal and adult beverages (see above for seasonal topics)

Cheese 101: $65 pp

you leave very full of good cheese!

Bread Baking: $65 pp

for beginners and mid-level bakers, go home with baked and raw bread products, and a happy full tummy

PARKING FOR CLASS PARTICIPANTS: Street parking is limited, though available. Feel free to park in the F&M Bank parking lot (after banking hours) and walk through the alley to School Street. The parking lot on Church St. across from F&M Bank is public parking after 5 pm daily and on weekends. The entrance to the public parking garage is on Pine Street at the Lodi Arch. Free and accessible to all three levels.  

New items in stock now

Seasonal products are in:

Burrata and fresh mozzarella, both in 4 oz size, are fresh and delicious, and many in stock! Not only are both awesome with those summer tomatoes and basil, on pizza or pasta.... substitute fresh peaches for the tomatoes in a Caprese Salad for a jolt to your taste buds.

Burrata is particularly delicious for dessert with peaches: just arrange slices in a shallow bowl or platter, top with burrata in the center, and drizzle with honey. A handful of toasted chopped almonds over the top, a garnish of fresh mint.... dessert is waiting for YOU!

FUN FACT: Fresh Mozzarella is typically found in five sizes...

Perle, wee bits just 4 gr in size

Ciliegine, 13 gr (size of a grape)

Bocconcini, 1.5 oz

Ovoline, 4 oz (we've got it!)

Mozzarella, 8 oz

Our shop-made fresh ricotta will be available throughout the Farmer's Market season. Gina makes it on Tuesday morning, it drains overnight, and she packages and tops it on Wednesday morning. Plain ricotta and both topped flavors (changes weekly) are fresh for two weeks in your fridge, or freeze for longer storage. DON'T FREEZE OTHER CHEESES, PLEASE!

$5 / 5 oz, plain ricotta, or

$7 / 5 oz ricotta with a topping.





A large cluster of red grapes

A large cluster of green grapes

2 T olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper

half-dozen sprigs fresh thyme

half-dozen sprigs fresh rosemary

A selection of your favorite

cheeses, about 1/2 lb each

1 C smoked almonds

Fresh figs, quartered

Crackers and baguette slices

Preheat oven to 450*. Arrange grape clusters on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. tuck the herb sprigs into the clusters. Place in sheet in the oven and roast until grape skins are wrinkly and blistered, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool about 15 minutes until placing in the center of a large platter or wooden board. Arrange your cheese wedges, almonds and fresh figs round the grapes. Place crackers and baguette slices around the perimeter.

To enjoy, pick off individual grapes to place on cheese bite.

Surprise! The grapes are almost "honeyed" in flavor after roasting.... soooooo goood!



....Always available

....Any dollar amount,

customized for you

....A great gift for any

holiday or occasion

....Can be ordered in

shop or by phone

....Phone payment easy

with VISA or MC

....Can be picked up in

shop, curbside or




So many gift baskets go to lucky recipients during the Christmas holidays, but food gifts are welcome all year! We customize your basket, choosing goodies totaling any budget you choose.

A shiny and crisp cellophane wrap with a bright bow, in a special box or basket, with goodies from our cold cases or shelves. Ask for a non-perishable basket of treats from the shelves, and insert a gift certificate for your recipient to come in and choose their favorite cheese to go with the boxed goodies! Or, let us pick the cheeses to go with the goodies, and give a cold basket gift.

Call today to schedule a basket pick-up, even if it is for a gift sometime in the future! We don't charge you until the basket is wrapped up, and YOU can check that chore off your To Do List.

209-368-3033 during shop hours.

Make your reservation now!
CALL 209 368-3033 Phone registration with VISA or MC

Facebook  Instagram