Happy Holidays from the Co-op Cheese Shop

Want holiday help? Ask a Co-op cheesemonger.

Ken Weldon
Cheesemonger, Hanover Co-op Cheese Shop

The holidays can be a busy and stressful time of year, even as we enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season.  Your Co-op Cheese Shop can help reduce the stress and pressure of holiday parties and meal planning. Our cheese platters, cheese courses, custom-cut cheeses, special orders, and accompaniments will make your cheese choices just a bit more special.

If you’re tired of the same old holiday menu, we can help you choose cheeses and accompaniments to add a simple or complex cheese course. One large piece of cheese, such as cheddar or blue cheese, can be a dramatic presentation at a party or as a cheese course.

If you’re creating your own cheese plate, stop by the shop and one of our cheesemongers will be happy to help. We’ll begin the process by asking questions such as  how many people are you feeding? Does your group consist of people who prefer mild or assertive cheeses or somewhere in the middle? We’ll talk to you about the different types of milk that the cheeses are made from and suggest accompaniments such as jams, jellies, honey, and cured meats.

If you don’t see the cheese that you are looking for, we may be able to order it for you.  Stop by the shop or give us a call. Need something else? As always, just ask.

Do you prefer to have your platter made ahead? Give us a call, and we’ll make a cheese platter for your home or office holiday party for 15, 20 or 50 people. You can request your favorites or let us decide which cheeses are at their peak of ripeness. Please be sure to give us at least two business days to complete your order. 

Featured Cheese: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar


Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is an English style of Cheddar aged at Cellars in Greensboro, Vermont. Cabot, the venerable New England cheesemaker, makes the cheese from the milk of one herd of Holsteins. Cabot Clothbound starts its life much like any other Cheddar but is soon wrapped in several layers of cheesecloth and coated with lard. Once moved from the Cabot Creamery to its home at Cellars, the cheese is carefully aged and cared for until it comes to us here at the Cheese Shop. The wheels that we choose for you are aged for 16 to 20 months and weigh between 32 and 35 pounds when they arrive.

Before we can cut and wrap the cheese, it needs to be unwrapped and brushed. The unwrapping process is painstaking and delicate, as the cheese is easily broken at this stage. When the cheese is unwrapped, it needs to be brushed. At this point, the cheese is ready to cut.

We begin this process with a cheesemonger’s tool called a hand wire or garrote. The wire is placed under the whole wheel and drawn through the middle of the cheese, cutting the cheese in half. Each half is then cut in a similar fashion. At this point, the cheese is moved to the table wire, a tool that allows the cheesemonger to cut cheeses very quickly and precisely. Cutting of the cheese is finished on the table wire.

The cheese is then wrapped in Cheese Guard, a plastic wrap made especially for cheese that allows the cheese to breathe and thus regulate its moisture content. The cheese is weighed and priced, a label is applied, and it goes into the case waiting for you, the customer, to bring it home.

Cabot Clothbound features a nicely balanced flavor profile that is sharp and earthy but also nutty and caramelized. The paste is firm and creamy and has fine, slightly crunchy crystals that form from salt, fat, and calcium as the cheese ages. Never waxy or dry, Cabot Clothbound has flavors that unfold in layer after layer, making a complex but accessible cheese that appeals to a wide range of palates. Stop by the cheese shop for a sample. We’re looking forward to seeing you.

—Ken, Your Neighborhood Cheesemonger

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