Stew Leonard’s Cheese Shoppe Expands to Include New Selection of Locally Crafted & Internationally Renowned Cheeses
NORWALK, Conn., November 30, 2015 – Just in time for the holidays, Stew Leonard’s has unveiled a newly expanded Cheese Shoppe featuring a curated selection of cheeses from around the globe. The new assortment of specialty cheeses has doubled to include a variety to satisfy a range of palates at great prices.
“Over the past few years, Stew Leonard’s cheese specialists have seen our Brie and Gouda sales both rise in sales by about 10%,” notes President & CEO Stew Leonard Jr. “We realized our shoppers were just as passionate in learning about cheese as they are about wine, and they were interested in not only where and how a cheese is made, but in the stories behind the cheesemaker as well. Our new Cheese Shoppe really celebrates my family’s roots in dairy farming!”
Stew Leonard’s annually sells more than 500,000 pounds of cheese; the most popular is Stew’s hand-made mozzarella followed by Jarlsberg, Sharp Cheddar, Double Cream Brie, and Gorgonzola. The new Cheese Shoppe offers these same favorites, but features an emphasis on award-winning “Made in the USA” cheeses alongside a selection of time-honored international cheeses. Each new cheese was hand-selected for its taste and value, expanding the assortment of Brie, Gouda, Swiss, Blue and exciting new sheep and goat cheeses.
Stew Leonard’s knowledgeable cheesemongers buy direct from direct from family-owned farmers and have amassed a collection of hard to find US and international cheeses. Here are the top five cheese questions asked by Stew Leonard’s shoppers:
What does “aged” cheese mean?
An aged cheese is one that has been cured for six months or longer. It is especially notable in Cheddar, Swiss, Manchego, and Gouda. They’ll have a fuller, sharper flavor than young cheeses such as Brie or fresh cheeses that have not been aged, like Mozzarella.
How do I slice and serve cheese?
Slice cheese into cross sections so you get the pate (the white, inside part of the cheese) as well as the rind. Stew’s cheese specialists recommend cutting cheese into long strips or wedges and taking the cheese out of the refrigerator for about 45 minutes before serving it.
Can I eat the rind?
Yes, on almost every cheese you can eat the rind! (You may not choose to eat it, but you can.) Don’t eat rinds that have colored wax or foil, like those found on Gouda, Manchego, or foil-wrapped Blues. Plus, don’t throw your Parmigiano-Reggiano rind away! Use it to flavor soups and sauces; the rind will soften as you heat it and release the cheese’s nutty flavor.
How do I store cheese?
Stew’s cheese experts recommend first wrapping the cheese in wax paper or parchment, and then wrapping it in plastic wrap. Don’t keep your cheese in a Ziploc bag as it will cause the cheese to become moldy! Store your cheese in the vegetable drawer of the fridge and never freeze cheese.
How do I build the perfect cheese plate?
When building a cheese plate, look to mix a few different milk types, including cow, sheep, and goat. Don’t forget to create interest and excitement to your cheese plate by adding cured meats, dried fruit, nuts, grapes, and even Dalmatia Fig Spread – Stew’s favorite! Serve with a selection crackers as well as a freshly sliced baguette from Bethy’s Bakery.
Here’s Stew’s favorite combination of cheeses to make a cheese platter to really WOW your guests!
Aged Manchego: The best cheese to drink with red wine! Aged for 12 months, this La Mancha sheep cheese offers salty notes of caramel and hazelnut. Serve with quince paste and macona almonds for a real Spanish delicacy.
Beemster Vlaskaas Gouda: If you like cheddar, you’ll love Vlaskaas! Best described as “cheese fudge,” this firm yet velvety cheese from the Netherlands can be eaten on its own – no cracker necessary!
D’Affinois Brie: Stew calls this one the perfect “first date” cheese: impressive, rich, and decadent! Mild and a little tangy, spread this oozy French cheese onto a baguette or a water cracker.
Kaltbach Cave Aged Gruyere: Aged at least 12 months in Switzerland’s Kaltbach sandstone caves, this raw milk cow cheese is nutty and indulgent. Also great for fondue, grilled cheese, or shaved onto a salad!
Fresh Mozzarella: Freshly made by hand all day at Stew’s, this light and milky cheese should be enjoyed right away. Our most popular cheese!
Parmigiano-Reggiano: This world famous Italian cheese has a nutty flavor and was first made at the Benedictine monasteries starting in about 1200. Stew’s sells about 25 tons of Parmigiano-Reggiano every year.
Point Reyes Blue: This award-winning farm-stead raised blue cheese is made less than 100 miles away from San Francisco where cows graze on salty organic grasses flavored by the Pacific Ocean fog. Also great when slathered onto a burger, porterhouse steak, or filet mignon.
Vat 17 Cheddar: A gold medal winner, the sweet & creamy Vat 17 tastes like a cheddar more than twice the price. Aged for two years by cheese experts in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche: America has outdone the French in this little, ashed round of goat cheese that resembles on the classic goat cheeses of France’s Loire Valley! This oozing, spreadable cheese is made with fresh pasteurized goats’ milk from family farms.
About Stew Leonard’s
Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned and operated fresh food store founded in 1969, has four stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn. and Yonkers, N.Y. with a fifth store planned in Farmingdale, N.Y. Stew’s earned its nickname, the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores” because of its country-fair atmosphere, with costumed characters and animated entertainment throughout the store that keep children entertained while parents shop. Stew Leonard’s legion of loyal shoppers is largely due to the stores’ passionate approach to customer service: “Rule #1 — The Customer is Always Right”; Rule #2 – If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1.” This principle is so essential to the foundation of the company that it is etched in a three-ton granite rock at each store’s entrance. The company’s culture is built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.: Satisfy the customer; Teamwork gets it done; Excellence makes it better; WOW makes it fun. For more information, visit Stew Leonard’s website at www.stewleonards.com.
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