AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 6, 2023) – Whole Foods Market’s annual 12 Days of Cheese returns from Dec. 13 through Dec. 24, highlighting some of the highest quality and world-renowned cheeses that will elevate any charcuterie or cheese board this festive season. Handpicked by Whole Foods Market’s Specialty Cheese team, which includes Certified Cheese Professionals (CCPs) recognized by the American Cheese Society for their exceptional knowledge and skills, these distinctive cheeses showcase the expertise of our highly trained team members.
This year’s cheese line-up includes the only American Cheese Society Best in Show three-time awardee, Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve, and several others with top previous recognitions. Each of the selected cheeses will be 35% off for Prime members for all 12 days and 28% off without Prime. Additionally, a 12 Days of Cheese sampler bag, including three handpicked cheeses, Savannah Bee Whipped Honey and crackers, will be available for $34.99.
“With the festive season upon us and the trend of DIY cheese boards and charcuterie at an all-time high, our team of CCPs is thrilled to present the 12 Days of Cheese program, an annual tradition that can provide inspiration to both cheese novices and enthusiasts alike. We’ve scoured the globe to bring you an array of innovative cheeses at an exceptional value, and our knowledgeable store team is eager to share tips to create the perfect pairings,” said Cathy Strange, Whole Foods Market’s Ambassador of Food Culture and renowned cheese expert. “The 12 Days of Cheese sampler bag also offers a quick and thoughtful way to gift a host, enhance any holiday meal or even just treat yourself this December.”
The featured cheeses this year include:
- Jasper Hill Farm Cabot Clothbound Cheddar – Made as a collaboration between two titans of the Vermont cheese scene, this cheddar is produced at Cabot Creamery and aged to perfection in the Cellars of Jasper Hill Farm. Look for notes of toasted nuts, caramel and grass with a lingering tang on the finish.
- Sweetgrass Dairy Thomasville Tomme – Thomasville Tomme is a grass-based, raw, cow’s milk cheese made in the style of a French mountain Pyrenees Tomme. The dairy’s free-range Jersey-based herd yields milk high in butterfat, giving this cheese its smooth, creamy character. Thomasville Tomme is subtle and complex, with a thin, natural rind that gives way to a semi-firm golden interior.
- Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog – This masterpiece paved the way for soft-ripened goat cheese in America, and each handcrafted wheel features a distinctive ribbon of edible vegetable ash. With flavors of buttermilk and fresh cream, this beloved cheese is complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones and a clean citrus finish.
- Cowgirl Creamery Mt. TAM Organic Triple Cream – Organic, single-source, forage-based milk from Marine Co. makes this triple cream cheese an American original and a customer and team member favorite. A dense, fudgy core in an evolving creamline features fresh grass aromatics and rich notes of crème fraiche, cultured butter and white mushrooms.
- Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve – Winner of an unmatched three Best in Show American Cheese Society awards, Pleasant Ridge Reserve is one of just two cheeses produced at Uplands Cheese, a farmstead grass-fed cheesemaker in southwestern Wisconsin. The cheese boasts a distinct sweetness typical of Alpine cheeses with notes of pineapple, toasted nuts and grass with a lingering finish redolent of hay and alliums.
- Vermont Creamery Bijou – Introduced in 2006 by Vermont Creamery, Bijou (translating to “jewel” in French) is a button-shaped goat Crottin made in the tradition of goat cheeses from the Loire Valley in France. The distinctive wrinkled texture lends a light, slightly yeasty character while ripening the center of the cheese to a dense and fudge-like consistency with notes of citrus and herbs.
- Neal’s Yard Dairy Appleby’s Cheshire – Though farmhouse-style cheese was once one of the most famous styles of British cheeses, the Appleby family — of Hawkstone Abbey Farm — is now the only cheesemaker producing these raw-milk, clothbound wheels. Crumbly in texture with a notable acidic, tart finish evocative of lemon peel, grass and cream, Cheshire is a natural pair to crisp apple slices, whole grain mustard and fruit compotes.
- MonS Pyrénées Brébis – Produced in the Basque region of southwestern France, Pyrénées Brébis is a natural rind product similar to other Protected Designation of Origin cheeses from the Pyrénées region but aged in famed affineur Hervé Mons’ caves west of Lyon. Mild and sweet with hints of rosemary, thyme and hazelnuts, it pairs well with cherries and something effervescent to offset the rich texture of the sheep’s milk.
- Papillon Roquefort Revelation – Quite possibly one of the most famous cheeses, Roquefort comes from the Combalou Caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in France. Roquefort earned the first-ever cheese-protected designation of origin (AOC) in 1925 and is required by law to be made from raw Lacaune sheep’s milk from the surrounding area. Roquefort is robust and complex, featuring notes of licorice, herbs and pepper with a lingering finish.
- Quattro Portoni Quadrello di Bufala – Hailing from outside Bergamo in northern Italy, Quattro Portoni is a small, family-owned water buffalo milk farm. Water buffalo milk has been used in cheesemaking since at least the Medieval era but only sporadically makes appearances in American cheese counters. Modeled off another washed-rind Italian classic, Taleggio, Quadrello di Bufala has a lighter, milder profile with a compact, fatty paste and orange moist rind.
- Klare Melk Truffle Gouda – Exclusive to Whole Foods Market, this gouda is made from raw cow’s milk and generously studded with black truffles throughout the paste. Rich and savory with an unmistakable truffle kick, it is especially fun at home on cheese boards; pair it with honey for a sweet-salty kick.
- Emmi Kaltbach Cave Aged Gruyère – This gruyère features silo-free, raw cow’s milk aged in the sandstone caves of Kaltbach, Switzerland, where the mineral-rich air creates the ideal environment for transforming wheels into the depths of flavor for AOP Swiss perfection. Robust and deeply full-flavored with rich tones of tangy fruit and classic nuttiness, this cheese does it all, from classic fondue to salads, potatoes, roast meats and even dessert.
Whole Foods Market’s cheese experts ensure that stores offer a diverse selection of the highest quality cheeses, all of which are free of rBST, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Each store offers hundreds of different types of cheese sourced from artisan cheesemakers around the world, as well as several varieties from each store’s local community. Find out more about the 12 Days of Cheese program here, including more pairings and tips from our expert team.