11 N School St
Lodi, CA 95240

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Welcome Cheese Fiends and Friends!

We hope you are well and surviving the hot days of our Valley’s summer! We’re currently enjoying nice white wines chilled to perfection, and cooling caprese salads! In this newsletter, we have fun cheese and savory jam ideas for your burgers, and some great recipes to serve along side of them. There are interesting facts about our favorite topic--you guessed it--Cheese! What's the best cheese for your burger? What’s the difference between "sell by" and "best by" dates? The answer to these burning questions and MORE await you in the July newsletter!

We’ve also added some great new titles to our book selection. Cheeseballs, anyone? How about Cheese,Sex,Death? A great summer read!

Farmer's Market means our staff member, Gina, makes fresh ricotta in-house! She sells out almost every week, so come by early for your sample taste and choice of plain or flavored toppings. Join us at our table at the Market, or in the shop until 8pm!

And last, see the section below about our culinary classes. Many of you are wanting to come back for cooking fun, and we have the answer below! Book your spot by emailing questions to CheeseCentralLodi@hotmail.com. We are can't wait to cook with you!

We can’t wait to see you!
Cheers! The Cheese Staff
Cindy, Gina, Julie,
Cate, Heather and Nina

PS We're Hiring!
Your name could be listed above.... we are hiring for a cheese monger position! Come join our cheesy team!!
(print our application from our website contact page, Employment Opportunities. Fill in and bring it to the shop--we'd love to set up an interview)

It’s summer... and for food fans we know what that means! Time to fire up the grill and get those good summertime eats on! I don’t know about you, but I’m sad to wheel away the grill in late fall. Then I impatiently wait all winter and spring until it makes it gleeful return to the patio! We have lots of great ideas for what to grill, but you can’t deny, burgers are always at the top of the list.

Whether you’re grilling up a sirloin patty or a veggie burger, we have cheeses and jams to top those beauties! Check out our Delectable Pantry shelves for the yummy toppings noted here. These are some of our top choices!

Cooper’s Hill: Definitely our top selling cheese! We like to say it tastes like a twice baked potato without the bacon! It’s a double Gloucester cheddar flavored with dried chive and onion. A crowd pleaser! Melt a slab on top of your hamburger and wait for the ooohhhhhhs and awwwwws. If you’re a silly facto-phile, like me, check out videos of the annual cheese roll on Copper's Hill on YouTube.

St. Agur: Looking for a hint of blue funkiness? Look no further than St. Agur. This is a 2 month aged double cream cow’s milk cheese from France with a buttery, salty and strong blue flavor. Stuff it in the middle of your burger for a Juicy Lucy, or let it melt on top. Bring that burger to the next level with some of our caramelized balsamic onion jam from Snowdonia. If you’re feeling extra fancy, add some grilled figs on the side to really wow your taste buds. Pair with a Syrah or a big Chardonnay.

Red Dragon: This 3 month cow’s milk cheddar from Wales flavored with brown ale and mustard seed will make your mouth water. My mouth is watering just writing about it! Savory with a slight piquantness from the mustard seed, this cheese will have you pushing the condiments aside and asking for another slice. We recommend a peppery arugula to top it with and perhaps a nice Welsh ale to wash it all down.

Jalapeno Jack: This organic and vegetarian Jack cheese from Sierra Nevada Cheese Co., in Willows, CA,has the perfect amount of spice to top a delicious veggie burger! Dedicated to great farming and cheese making processes, this company has been making wonderful cheese since 1997. Add a few slices of avocado, some Tart n’ Spicy Tomato Jam from Friends in Cheesus, a slice of red onion and enjoy! For pairing try a cold Mexican lager or a chilled Sauvignon Blanc.

Holey Cow:‘ That’s good cheese!’ If you frequent our shop you may have heard us exclaim this when describing this young Alpine-style cheese from Central Coast Creamery in Paso Robles. It’s the closest thing we carry to a holey ‘Swiss’ in our cases and we think it’s the only one we need. It has a smooth and creamy texture, a zingy taste similar to sour cream and a lovely buttery finish. We love it with our Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Ancho Chili Jam from Earth and Vine. Or, think outside the burger and try it with some Diane’s Sweet Heat Blackberry Habanero Jam or Peach Habanero Jam for some sweet fire!
Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Lemon, Herbs and Parmigiano Reggiano

You don’t need any fancy equipment to make a vegetable ribbon--a plain old veggie peeler will do! Lay the zucchini on it’s side and run the peeler along the squash long ways. For a little color variation, yellow crook neck squash can be used, as well.

5 small zucchini and/or yellow crookneck squash trimmed and peeled into ribbons

4 T fresh lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1/2 C shaved Parmigiano
(or try crumbled feta or a fresh
goat cheese!)
2 T chopped Marcona almonds
2 T, or to taste, finely chopped fresh mint, basil and parsley
(any of your favorite herbs
would be nice: thyme, a
smidge of tender rosemary or
a little dill)
Kosher or flake salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Toss the zucchini ribbons, salt and pepper, olive oil and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning. Once coated arrange them on a serving platter.
Top the zucchini ribbons with Parmigiano cheese shavings (or cheese of your choice), herbs and almonds. Serve immediately.
Those Darn Stickers
"Sell By" and "Best By"

What’s the difference?

You look in the fridge and pull out that container of yogurt. Hmmm, the ‘sell by’ date was a few days ago….is it still safe to eat? You open the container, it smells fine, the yogurt looks the way it should, but that date….?

Please note, the only date regulated by the government is for baby formula.  Do observe that date carefully.

‘Sell By” and “Best By” dates are determined by the manufacturer. “Sell By” is the date that retailers should pull the food off the shelf, but the product should be good for several days to weeks after that, as long as it has been stored properly. Smell and taste, and you can decide if it is still consumable.

“Best By” means the manufacturer determined your food will be in optimal condition by this date. Those crackers will be crispier and that salsa will be a little spicier. It is by no means unhealthy to eat!  Depending on the food product, it will be in good condition for consumption for days to weeks after this date.
At our cheese counter, if there is a date noted on a cheese, it is somewhat random.  Cheese is a living food, and cold temperatures will not age cheese, but just keep it in a holding pattern. Please let your cheese monger advise you how your cheese choice is aged, will continue to age, and how to best keep your cheese once it is opened.

We are very sad when a customer drops a cheese choice back into the case after seeing a “Best By” sticker!  That cheese baby would have been fabulous in their recipe or on a cheese board.  We will NOT sell you a cheese that is unhealthy to eat, and we monitor the cut cheeses regularly.  Let us help you decifer the sticker!

We’ve brought in a few new book titles for summer entertaining! Up your cheese knowledge while you lay by the pool (or in front of the air conditioner).

 It’s all about Cheeseballs
Layla Tacy
If you love a good cheese ball (beside yours truly) then this book will be sure to satisfy! With 50 recipes to experiment with, we think you’ll find the perfect appetizer to share at the next event. Most of the recipes are fast and easy and would be wonderful made with our Gina Marie Cream Cheese, which is the BEST.

Cheese Sex Death, A Bible for the Cheese Obsessed
Erika Kubrick
Cheesmonger and photographer Erika Kubrick has written a comprehensive guide about ALL things cheese! This book is beautifully written, illustrated and photographed. Containing the Old and New Testament of Cheesus, it has histories, recipes and tons of good information on our favorite subject!

Melt, The Art of Macaroni and Cheese
S. Stiavetti & G. McCord.
Cheese and pasta have been best friends for centuries! This book has over 75 great recipes exploring their relationship in a variety of interesting and surprising combinations. Soups, casseroles and lots of great information on the basics of cheese and pasta. I can’t wait to try the Raclette with Farfalle, cornichons and sauteed onions!

The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook
Appetizers, salads, soups and mains! This cookbook tackles classics such as blue cheese wedge salad, mozzarella sticks, and cheese souffle. A great book to add to your library for go-to recipes.

Around the Board
Emily Delany
This great book has all the information you need to make a delicious food board for any occasion. Split into seasonal sections, the author has the basics nailed down, including tools, styling tips, color consideration and ingredients! It’s not ALL about cheese, but that’s ok, we like chocolate, fruit and veggies, too!

PLAN YOUR PRIVATE PARTY COOKING CLASS FOR AUTUMN .... Bring your friends or family for Date Night, Birthday, Anniversary or just plain ole culinary fun !!

As the pandemic still has an impact on our posting of cooking classes offered to public registration, there's no reason not to have a great time with your favorite folks or "bubble group" in our Grand Central Kitchen! Many seasonal topics are offered for the Autumn quarter.

A class is a great gift, gift certificate, employee reward or corporate gift for top-tier customers!

All culinary classes are $75 per person, which includes a full meal and the appropriate alcoholic beverage. A private party is a minimum of 8 guests, and max of 10 guests.

Most popular Autumn topics are:

a delicious savory menu using the freshest fruit of the autumn season. From appetizers, salads and entrees, with just one sweet apple recipe.

Terrific Italian flavors inspired by my travels in Italy. A recent visit to Lake Como brings memories of a fabulous panini made with Taleggio, one of our favorite cheeses in the shop. We think just a bit outside the Italian box!

Fast to make, and addicting soups of many textures, flavors and cuisines... you know the cold weather is on its way (rain or no rain, hey, its California!). Soul-soothing and party ready...to share, to freeze for later, or to start holiday entertaining.

Special appetizers, and easily prepared, are the impressive skills a holiday host has up his or her sleeve! Made ahead of time and frozen for simply baking, or quickly assembled from quality ingredients that are simple to source, or just a simple twist of common ingredients will make your holiday festivities a snap!

A wonderful class to inspire acquiring bread baking skills for the new baker, or to answer questions about the sometimes unsuccessful attempts novice bakers have on past recipes. You will bake two types of bread styles, and take home lots of baked and unbaked products. An amazing hostess gift jam will surprise the heck out of you, too. Of course, munching on fresh bread in class is a must, and coffee and juice are offered. You WILL successfully bake at home after this session!

and the always mouth-wateringly popular

If you think Fondue is fun and delicious, have you ever tried Raclette? Not only will you enjoy the history of this dish, but you will leave the Kitchen stuffed with the yumminess of the easier "sister" to Fondue! Perfect cool weather meal with NO stress on the host or hostess. An awesome presentation that you can recreate at home with ease.