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Ingredient of the Week: Cheese

Ned White from Whole Foods Market talks to Tom and Thierry about cheese and simple cheese pairings. (AP Photo/File)

Ned White from Whole Foods joins Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau to talk about cheese.

“Cheese is an amazing food,” Ned says. “It comes from milk, which is one of the most perfect foods, and that makes cheese one of the most perfect foods.”

It’s a pretty amazing invention, Tom adds, because it essentially stores milk without it going bad.

“Once they started domesticating animals, there was fresh milk every day,” says Ned. But until they figured out how to save it, it didn’t keep.

Now, 10,000 years later, there are hundreds of types of cheese. Some are still created using primitive methods, like Roquefort cheese made in the famous caves, while others rely on science and isolation of specific cultures.

Obviously, different cheese types suit different palates, but they also pair well with food and wine. But how do you know what goes well together?

“It seems hard because it’s such a complicated world out there,” Ned says. “But there really are no rules, and in the end, it’s what you like.”

One cheese Ned recommends is the Seastack, made locally by the Mt. Townsend Creamery.

“It plays well with so many local products,” he says. “Finnriver [cidery] is right by there, and they’re making fantastic ciders, and ciders are a great alternative beverage and pair beautifully with most cheeses.”

You can also try pairing cheese with food and beverages from its same origin. Similar flavor profiles complement each other.

To complicate your pairings, go for opposites.

“A creamy-flavored Chardonnay will go with a creamy, buttery gruyere, but also a crisp, bubbly Champagne will also go with brie,” Ned says.

“We want you to be inspired to go out and taste more,” Ned says.

Whole Foods Markets are a proud sponsor of Seattle Kitchen’s Ingredient of the Week.

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