Cheese has always been near and dear to my heart. When I was a toddler, my favorite foods were cottage cheese and cheese scraped off of my cheeseburgers (mmmm, charred cheese flavor!). And my cheese obsession has continued to evolve with my palate. Nowadays I love it all. The smellier, the better.
Since moving to Jackson Hole, I’ve discovered several go-to spots for cheese shopping. So before you pick up your next block, check out my favorite places in and around town to satisfy your cravings.
Cheese Monger Melody Hoggan strives to offer unique and local cheeses at Lucky’s. She always has something new and exciting when I go in. This week it’s a selection of Poor Orphan Creamery cheeses from Montana, which I’ve never tried before. Every time I chat with her I learn something new about cheese, or discover something new. They also have their in-house brand of Lucky’s cheeses, which are cut daily. Their Australian Cheddar and Somerdale Cheddar are two staples you’ll always find in my refrigerator. And don’t forget to look in their $4 and under remnants basket.
Melody also teaches ongoing cheese classes at Lucky’s. Next up is a free mozzarella making class from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 18.
With daily samplings lingering in-store, it’s hard to leave Jackson Whole Grocer without cheese in hand. From Challeerhocker, a Swiss Alpine cheese, to Lark’s Meadow Farms’ Brie from Rexburg, Idaho, there’s always something unique for the avid cheese connoisseur. Toss 34 Degree crisps and Utah’s Creminelli Fine Meats in the mix, and you’ve got a palate-pleasing snack in your hands.
And don’t miss out on their Free Friday Tastings where you can partake in free cheese and wine/beer pairings. It happens from 4 to 6 p.m. every Friday.
I used Murray’s in Greenwich Village, New York City, on a regular basis when I lived there, so imagine my excitement when I learned they were doing kiosks in Kroger chains around the U.S. — Smith’s in Jackson Hole being one of them. When I want an over the top cheese board, this is my stop. From hard to find cheeses from across the world to their best-selling Solo di Bruna Parmigiano-Reggiano, you can’t go wrong. And if you’re unsure, the strategically trained cheese mongers in red jackets will be more than happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Cheese aside, they also have all of the necessary utensils and accompaniments to make the most gorgeous and tasty spread ever. Think Brie bakers, fruit spreads, cheese knifes, slate boards, cheese paper, cured meats, Marcona almonds and McClure’s Pickles from Brooklyn (aka the best pickles you’ll ever have).
I live in Wilson, so if I’m craving cheese but don’t feel like driving into town I’ll bike over to the Aspens Market and pick up a Persephone baguette and a couple different cheeses. They have a nice variety of cheese staples like creamy Brie, blue cheese, local goat cheeses, Manchego, Parmigiano and more.
Wine and cheese make the perfect pair, which is why it’s almost impossible to resist a ball of Bin 22’s house pulled mozzarella, which you’ve probably devoured at Osteria before, when shopping for wine. Their cheese selection in the specialty grocer section changes on a regular basis, so it’s fun to pop in and see what’s available that day. I like to think of it as a fun game of cheese roulette.
My new Wednesday ritual is stopping by the People’s Market for local finds from Lark’s Meadow Farms and Winter Winds Farm, both from Idaho. There’s something amazing about talking to the cheese makers and taking home super fresh cheese. I am obsessed with Lark’s Meadow Farms’ Bluebird Blue and Farmhouse Cheddar. Combine them with artisanal bread and you’ve got the perfect meal. And Winter Winds Farm specializes in goat cheeses, which I like to spread over day-old bread or crostini for a delicious snack.
After you’ve got your fridge chock full of all the good stuff, read cheese expert Liz Thorpe and Murray’s Cheese buying manager Walshe Birney’s tips on how to store cheese so it stays fresh longer here.