Sample Artisan Cheese at Venissimo Del Mar’s Cheese Feast

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Did you know that cheese has seasons just like the fruits and vegetables we eat? Many people don’t realize that there is much more out there than just the generic, mass produced cheddar and American cheese that you find at your typical grocery store. The flavor of the industrial cheese that many have grown accustomed to eating stays the same throughout the year because the cows, sheep, and goats that produce this cheese are fed the same food all year and they are kept indoors. This means that the animals are not consuming the food that grows from a rich, dynamic land. Their food affects their milk, which then affects the taste and texture of their cheese.

Though people are often quick to point out the high calories and cholesterol that exists in cheese, there are also certain benefits (if you consume it in moderation and keep it balanced). Registered dietitian Karen Ansel states that, “Eating cheese can keep your teeth healthier thanks to calcium and phosphorus. These two minerals fight the lactic acid that’s naturally present in our mouths and prevent it from breaking down tooth enamel.” So smile and say “cheese!” 

Ansel also points out that since cheese is made from milk, it’s has plenty of calcium which keeps your bones strong. She says, “Snacking on just one ounce of parmesan gives you 336 milligrams of calcium, and the same amount of cheddar offers 216 milligrams.” Now that we know that there’s more to cheese than the high calories in the industrialized packages we’ve been buying for our sandwiches, Venissimo Cheese is here to teach us the rest.

Venissimo Cheese is a locally owned cheese shop that is changing the game when it comes to our cheese knowledge and options. Their mission is to do for cheese what Starbucks did for coffee. “Someday, camembert will be as well-known as cappuccino”, they say. Venissimo has had more than 2,000 cheeses on their shelves since their opening in 2004, and when it comes to the topic, they’re the local experts.

If you want to see what all the hype is about, check out Venissimo Del Mar’s Cheese Feast. This event is a happy hour serving charcuterie boards and wine, and it’s bringing artisan cheese to the masses. Every third Thursday of the month at Venissimo’s Del Mar location, all-you-can-eat charcuterie boards and a glass of wine are yours for only $25. This is a perfect place to learn some basics about the featured and seasonal cheeses and make a few friends along the way. The folks at Venissimo are kind and inviting, and they are always thrilled to pass on their cheese knowledge. 

Whether you’re a cheese snob or a newbie to the world of artisan cheese, come enjoy a good time and the timeless combination of cheese and wine at Venissimo Del Mar! If you like what you see, Venissimo also hosts other cheesy events. Try their Beer and Cheese 101 or Whisky and Cheese nights.  See a full schedule of their events here.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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