Roast 2020

Let’s roast 2020 and toast to 2021
I know many of us are ready to bid a big ole adieu to 2020. And, as is the theme this year, it looks like we’re gonna have to do it secluded style, stuck at home. We’re banging out a number of cheese trays this week and would be honored to ring in the new year with you on your table. After all, you’re never alone when Cheeses are around!
When to order a Cheese Tray? Order today for pickup the day you intend to eat it. We cut and plate everything fresh daily. No pre-cubed chunks of cheese here!
Why order a Cheese Tray from us?
  • Everything is prepared in our food safety inspected facilities and kitchens by cheesemongers with up to date food handlers permits
  • We feature only artisanal cheese and meats, and we know the names of the people behind each product
  • Nothing is sourced from bulk groceries; all comes direct from makers or through our friend distributors
  • The featured goods are cheeses and meats first and foremost. Everything is intentionally curated to compliment cheese and/or meat: sweet, salt, bitter, sour, and umami. We engage all 5 tastes and all 5 senses
  • We also have trays that are specialized, like the Vegetarian (including vegetarian-rennet cheeses) or Pasteurized (for pregnant mamas). We even have a dairy-free Charcuterie Tray, just featuring cured meats
  • We’re a locally owned and operated mom and pop on a mission to #DoGoodEatGood, which includes a give back program.

We’ve got a great selection of sparkling wines, ciders, and beer. Bubbles make a perfect pairing with cheeses, especially the soft ones. Cheese is palate-coating richness, and the lightness and effervescence of bubbles just picks those flavor compounds off your palate, helps aromatize the flavor, and keeps you going back for more. From $19.99 to $72.99, we’ve got a range of sparkling wines from dry to off-dry to please all palates.
  • Naveran Cava Brut Vintage
  • Honey Bubbles Sparkling Moscato
  • Stellar Organics Sparkling
  • Bodkin Sparkling Sauv Blanc
  • Bodkin the Fearless
  • Dorfeuilles Vouvray
  • Paillard Champagne Extra Brut
  • Tarantas Sparkling Rosé
  • Radice Rosé Lambrusco
  • Petillant Naturel Rosé (pic right)

Don’t forget you can order your favorite goodies a la carte from our website for pick up. Pickup slots are filling up fast again, and we can only serve so many folks a day. Thank you for making us part of your tradition.

Book a Raclette Experience - A quarter wheel of raclette cheese, a machine to melt it, and all the fixins (cured meats, potatoes, an assortment of pickled goods, salad, and bread) that feeds up to 6 folks. This is a fun, interactive dining experience and oh-so-decadent. We have 4 machines to rent out daily, and you must return it before noon the following day (so we can spread the love!). Completely booked for 12/22, 12/23, but two left for 12/24 Christmas Eve! Also availability (at the time of writing this) for 12/28, 12/29, and 12/30. - Austin only

Big Annual (Virtual) Beer & Cheese Pairing - JAN 8 You’ve waited for it all since last December 2019, and - in its 10th year! - it’s finally here (albeit delayed). We welcome back one of our fave events of the year, our annual (512)Brewing & Antonelli’s Cheese Pairing to benefit Slow Food Austin! We'll be talking through and tasting 6 different featured beers, each paired with a cheese (for a total of 6 cheeses). Plus, we love fun flavor combinations and will throw in some other food pairing bites like jams and fruits. Following Slow Food principles, we’ll be spotlighting as many local artisans as we can, including breads from Abby Jane Bakeshop, pate from Casero, preserves from Confituras, and Sheena’s Pickles.

Slow Food Austin reconnects people with the food they eat. Their educational initiatives, social activities, fundraising events, and community volunteer projects inspire respect for where food comes from and awakens true pleasure in eating. Tickets sold by the pair and include two 6-packs of beer, 2 cheese plates with pairing bites, and a box of bread, pate, and preserves. Folks will pick up their tasting the day of the event from their choice of either (512)Brewing in South Austin or Antonelli’s Cheese in North Central Austin. At 7pm, you'll click on the zoom link provided, surrounded at home with all your goodies, maybe your pod, and maybe socially distanced friends in the yard. Certified Cheese Professional Casie Wiginton and Owen Sawyer, Head Brewer of (512), will be leading this yearly favorite. More details and tix here.

New Shop Cheese: Sagesse Comte If you’ve ever taken a class with us, you know it’s tradition for us to go around the room and introduce ourselves with a cheese-y icebreaker. It’s taken on various forms over the years, depending on which cheese host is leading the class: What is your island cheese? If you could be any cheese right now, what would you be? What is your spirit cheese? Basically, we do everything we can to get around the daunting and paralyzing question: What is your favorite cheese? Because we know. Oh do we know. It’s just too hard to answer. So all that being said, here’s the point. John’s “first cheese love” as he likes to say, or his “island cheese” that he could eat almost daily if trapped on an island, is Comté. Some fun facts about Comté from Comté-USA:
  • Comté is an ancient cooked and pressed cheese made from raw milk. A wheel weighs about 80 lbs and measures 3 ft in diameter
  • Comté is made in the Jura Massif of France, a region of medium-elevation mountains that covers the départements of the Jura and Doubs in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, and the department of Ain in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region
  • Montbéliarde and French Simmental cows are the only breeds authorized to produce the milk for Comté. The cows graze in vast pastures from spring to autumn, and eat local hay in the winter. All fermented feed is banned from their healthy diet
  • There are about 2,500 small dairy farms that produce Comté milk. Producing a high-quality milk is vital for the expression of flavors and aromas in Comté
  • Comté is handmade every day by artisans in about 150 small village cheesemaking facilities, known as fruitières
  • It takes time for Comté to develop its taste. It is aged in maturing cellars for at least 4 months at a minimum, but aging can last up to 8, 12, 15, 18, 24 or more months. Comté is characterized by its complex aromatic richness. It is not a cheese with a uniform taste. Each wheel of Comté reveals a distinct aromatic composition that varies according to the micro-region where it was produced, the local microflora, the season in which the cheese was made, the distinctive style of the cheesemaker, the cellar where it was matured… In this respect, Comté is truly a unique cheese
  • Rich in phosphorus, calcium, minerals and protein, Comté is a valuable food whose nutritional contents are useful in maintaining a balanced diet. Made with no additives or artificial colorants, and controlled at each level of production, Comté is a pure, healthy and natural food
  • Comté is the highest consumed AOC/PDO cheese in France. (About 1,600,000 wheels are produced every year. Because it’s an artisanal cheese, production can vary from year to year.)

So, as you’ve just read, there are numerous cooperatives that produce Comté, as well as various affineurs and selectors of this famous cheese. That means, not all Comté you purchase tastes the same. We specifically feature Essex Street Cheese Comté year round in our shop. These wheels are aged in Marcel Petite's Fort St. Antoine aging cave, developing “aromas of hazelnuts, fried onions, and spring berries with an undercurrent of cut grass, wet earth, and straw. There is a humble, everyday perfection in these wheels; herbaceous and fruity, and kissed with deep, heavy cream.” What’s not to love about that description? Well, just when I’ve potentially piqued your interest, I’ve got to mention that our same friends at Essex St. Cheese have sent us a different, special batch of their Comté, and it’s the first time in our almost-11 year history we’re featuring it in the shop!

Sagesse Comté Selected by Essex St. Cheese Co., Sagesse Comté (formerly “Symphony”) represents the highest level a wheel of Comté can achieve at Marcel Petite. Only 2% of all production reaches this point. Sagesse Comté is selected in line with the Essex flavor profile, but is bigger and broader in taste with a darker paste and immense tyrosine crystallization. This is an unpasteurized cows’ milk cheese with a powerful depth of flavor, similar to a great piece of dark chocolate. Sagesse Comté is available only once a year. This crept into our case weeks ago, but I failed to mention it. So whatever is left is all we have. To that end, make sure you get some! (All photos from Essex Street Cheese.)
In The News
When the folks at Culture Magazine: The Word on Cheese contacted me this fall asking for some of my most memorable bites of 2020, I shot off a quick email with what immediately came to mind. Little did I know, they were going to print it verbatim. Ah! That said, I stand by some of my most memorable bites, mentioned here. Thanks Culture Mag for spotlighting our producers and retailers!

Dec & Jan Virtual Tastings Local: Our complete January schedule is here. That way, you can gift tickets to a cheese class if you want! You can search by class topic here or by date here (scroll down and click on the date). Questions? Check out our most frequently asked questions here
  • Wed 12/30 - Conservas & Cheese Pairing
  • Thu 12/31 - Bubbles & Cheese Pairing
  • Sun 1/3 - An Antonelli’s Cheese Date Night
  • Mon 1/4 - Honey & Cheese Pairing
  • Tue 1/5 - Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
  • Wed 1/6 - Preserves & Cheese Pairing
  • Thu 1/7 - Pickles & Cheese Pairing
  • Fri 1/8 - Annual (512)Brewing Beer & Cheese Pairing benefitting Slow Food Austin
  • Tue 1/12 - Cheese & Chocolate Pairing
  • Fri 1/15 - Soft Cheeses: Rich, Gooey, Delicious
  • Sat 1/16 - An Antonelli’s Cheese Date Night
  • Thu 1/21 - Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My!
  • Fri 1/22 - Honey & Cheese Pairing
  • Mon 1/25 - Cheese 101: The Seven Styles (benefits a local charity)
  • Fri 1/29 - An Antonelli’s Cheese Date Night
  • Sat 1/30 - Chocolate & Cheese Pairing
  • Sun 1/31 - Preserves & Cheese Pairing

Outside Austin: While we can’t ship you our cheese class plate, you CAN still take a virtual cheese tasting with us. Check out our Cheese Class in a Box, available for nationwide shipping in the continental USA. Each box has enough goodies to feed up to 4 folks (or leftovers for 1 person!), comes with a 10-min plating video, and an hour-long guided tasting led by John and me (Kendall). Folks can simply enjoy everything at their own leisure or take the included class. (Note that any orders made online now will be shipped the first week of January.) Current selections include:
  • Cheese 101: The Seven Styles of Cheese (& Pairings)
  • Cheese & Cured Meats Pairing
  • Cheese & Chocolate Pairing
  • Cheese & Honey Pairing (coming soon!)

Direct Links & Resources
From Austin:
From Anywhere in the United States: We offer FREE SHIPPING in Texas on orders over $75 (price per item, pre-tax).

Stay Cheese-y!

John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team.