8 years ago

Meet our
experts: Cheese Specialist Ruel Brown

Our cheese specialists are a remarkable group of
experts found in each of our stores. They can help you build a great cheese
plate, pick a perfect pairing or find a new, unique cheese to try. At our
France Avenue Edina store, Ruel Brown loves making sure you leave the cheese
counter happy and inspired.

Q: What does a
cheese specialist do?

A: A cheese specialist does everything from selecting and
ordering the many different specialty cheeses we offer to cutting and
displaying them in an appealing way. The best part of being a cheese specialist
is educating our customers about each cheese. I really enjoy interacting with
customers on a daily basis, and I feel a great sense of satisfaction when I
recommend a quality cheese the customer likes.

Q: How did you become interested in food and cheese?
A: My background is in agronomy and my degree is in agricultural economics. I
knew I wanted to eventually work in the food industry and Lunds & Byerlys
seemed like a natural fit, as it has an excellent reputation in the community
as both a grocer and employer. I’ve been working at Lunds & Byerlys for
almost 18 years – and working with a food I love: cheese!

Q: What do you like most about working with cheese?                                   A: I really enjoy learning about the origins of different cheese, and the
different animals and regions of the world that produce these delicious
cheeses. It’s interesting to learn and become familiar with the characteristics
and qualities that are unique to each cheese.

Q: What’s
your favorite cheese?

A: My favorite cheese is Appenzeller. It’s a cheese that has diverse qualities
since it is produced in a mountainous region of Switzerland. The milk for
Appenzeller comes from a variety of Brown Swiss cows that feed in high quality
pastures high in the mountains. The wheels of cheese are soaked in brine while
they cure. The unique herbal brine is composed of 24 different flowers and
roots, plus cider, which flavors and preserves the cheese.

Q: Do you have a go-to wine and cheese pairing?
A: I have a few that seem to work really well. White wine and Chardonnay are
great with soft cheeses such as goat cheese, Brie and triple cream. On the
other hand, red wine is best with more robust flavors such as Manchego, aged cheddar
and Gruyère.

Q: Do you have a good cheese tip?
A: The best way to store cheese is by wrapping it in wax paper, and then
putting it in a plastic container. Blue cheese should be wrapped in foil. This
is the ideal way to store the cheese because it needs to breathe, and it will also
have a longer shelf life.

Q: Anything else you want our readers to know about cheese
specialists at Lunds & Byerlys?

A: We love to tell the story of each cheese – where it’s from and the process
of making it!