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Formaggio Kitchen’s Staff Top 10 of 2011

Staff Survey Results: Our Top 10 of 2011

Comté Extra Grand CruAt the end of each year, staff members at all three of our shops fill out a staff survey, reflecting on our year in food. We pick our favorites, reminisce about revelatory food moments and about new discoveries. Like clockwork, some products can be counted on to appear each year. Other foodstuffs disappear and/or reappear, depending on staff members’ palates. Here we share our top ten picks culled from this year’s survey results – we hope you enjoy these delicious goodies as much as we do!

– 2011 Staff Top 10 –

Marcel Petite Comté – Year in and year out, this is the headline cheese of the survey! A raw, cows’ milk cheese from the Jura mountains, it is a classic French AOC cheese. What did staffers have to say? One wrote, “I feel this is the backbone of our cheese collection. Hand crafted and hand selected.” Another wrote, “aging cheese does matter and the care taken from start to finish with these cheeses makes for an amazing product at any age.”

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and ApplesCellars at Jasper Hill Cheeses – So many of their cheeses cropped up in this year’s survey results, we couldn’t pick one. Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is a perennial favorite – one person wrote of the cheese, “[it] is such a consistently perfect product. It can be put on any cheese plate. It’s affordable and very versatile.” Newcomer Harbison was much lauded with one staffer writing, “[Harbison] has an amazing, creamy, bodacious texture with a rich woodsy flavor. The first time I had it, I ate half in one sitting and I kept going back to it even after I put it away.” Among the other cheeses from the Cellars that got mentions were Moses Sleeper, Bayley Hazen Blue and Landaff.

Seaver Brook from Bonnieview Farm – Seaver Brook was the wild card cheese of 2011. Across all the years of conducting this survey, it is the blue cheese that accumulated the most votes in one year (Stilton runs a close second). One staff member wrote, “the new blue cheese from Bonnieview is one of the best cheeses I have ever tasted. It is perfect! I could eat this cheese everyday at any hour.” Another wrote, “it still amazes me that our producers can eke such an incredible variety of flavors out of a simple bucket of milk, and this sheep’s milk blue is a prime example. It’s super savory, with notes of bacon and wood smoke, and it’s got just the right amount of sheep-y funk going on.”

Agreed on Cabot Clothbound and the Marcel. More love for the Harbison… I’m still reserving judgement but the few I know directly who have tried it have yet to have a ripe cheese with the rich flavors some are describing.

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