3 years ago

Monger Madness: Help us pick the ultimate cheese champion

UPDATE: 2016 MONGER MADNESS CHAMPION
Herbert Excentrique Gouda

Eight cheeses. Three weeks. Seven taste-offs. Who will be the champion of cheese? The king of queso? The finest of fromage? Join us for Monger Madness, in stores now through April 4, 2016.

Vote for your favorites by texting CHEESE to 55955.* When you cast your vote, you’ll receive a $5-off coupon for cheese and be entered for a chance to win a $100 Lunds & Byerlys gift card!

Last year’s big winner, Alemar Bent River Camembert, will be facing off against seven other cheeses in the ultimate cheese-tasting event of the year! Meet the competitors:

Alemar Bent River Camembert (2015 winner)

  • Named for the sharp turn of the Minnesota River a few hundred yards from the Alemar production site, this artisanal, small-batch, soft-ripened cheese has a creamy interior and loads of flavor.
  • Each morning of production, the cheesemakers pick up a fresh batch of milk hours from the cow. Over the next six weeks or so that it ages, the cheese will ripen to full maturity.
  • The ideal time to eat this cheese depends on your preference; as the weeks go by, the flavor profile will change with a mushroom-like aroma and taste leading the way.
  • A slight press of your thumb in the top-center of the cheese will tell you a lot: at full ripeness, the indent will not recover.

Marieke Foenegreek Gouda

  • Aged on traditional Dutch pine planks, this award-winning raw cow’s milk farmstead cheese is made with feonegreek seed, which gives the cheese a nutty and slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of maple syrup.
  • Made with fresh rBGH-free cow’s milk, piped directly from the first milking of the day directly into the processing vat. This milk becomes cheese within 5 hours of milking, resulting in an extra creamy cheese that is velvety smooth, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and flavor.
  • Made by Marieke and Rolf Penterman, first-generation Wisconsin dairy farmers who learned how to make traditional Boerenkaas Gouda in Holland and immigrated to Thorp, Wisconsin, from the Netherlands in 2002. All the equipment, cultures, herbs and spices used to make this cheese are imported from Holland.

Red Barn Reserve Cheddar

  • This internationally award-winning, hand-crafted full cream white cheddar cheese features a rich flavor with a subtle bite.
  • The cheese is handcrafted in Appleton, Wisconsin, using rBGH-free milk from happy, healthy cows on family owned and operated farms.
  • Red Barn was founded by Terry Homan, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, whose experience as a veterinarian on farms across Wisconsin deepened his appreciation for his pledge on the ethical treatment of animals; Red Barn gave him the opportunity to fulfill his professional oath.
  • Eight Red Barn family farms are in the top tier across the industry for milk quality; all Red Barn family farms are certified by the American Humane Association, an annual independent third party inspection of each farm.

Carr Valley Glacier Wildfire Blue

  • A Wisconsin cow’s milk blue cheese with a fiery heat! This bright blue cheese features a soft, crumbly texture and flecks of red and orange Italian pepperoncino peppers throughout the blue veining for a perfect balance of heat and creaminess.
  • The cheese is aged for at least 3 months, developing a pleasing blue flavor up front with a peppery finish.
  • Makes a great addition to salads and sandwiches, or can be served on cheese boards with roasted tomatoes, peppers, olives and salumi.
  • Glacier Wildfire Blue won 1st Place at the prestigious 2014 American Cheese Society Competition in Sacramento, California, and most recently it placed third at the 2015 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.

Champignon Grand Noir

  • Made by Käserei Champignon Cheese Company, this exquisite blue cheese is aged for several months in its waxy black mantle, like wine in a cask. It’s known for its distinctive flavor and aroma and is so creamy, it almost melts on your tongue!
  • The cheese is made with high-quality pasteurized milk from Brown Swiss cows that graze in the Allgäu region of Bavaria, Germany.
  • Gluten-free, lactose-free, and rBGH free. Ideal for fine dining, top-quality cheese platters or as an accompaniment to elegant cocktails.

Herbert Excentrique Gouda

  • This farmstead cheese features a creamy, smooth texture and small crystallization throughout. It’s hand-washed with savory caramel for a lightly sweet, buttery taste.
  • Sustainably produced on the Kaamps estate in the Netherlands and made from the milk of grass-fed Dutch cows.
  • Pairs well with Beaujolais Villages Riesling, pale ale, Chardonnay or merlot. Serve with with red apples, toasted almonds and dark breads.

Somerdale Red Dragon

  • This buttery, spicy cheddar-style Welsh cheese is made with Welsh brown ale and whole grain mustard seeds, with a bite almost like horseradish. The mustard seeds give Red Dragon a marvelous flavor and texture, while the brown ale makes the cheese moist and tangy.
  • The cheese is all natural and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. It’s aged for about three months and made of pasteurized cow’s milk and vegetarian friendly rennet.
  • Delicious served as a table cheese or melted on toast with dark ale.

Garcia Baquero Reserva 12

  • Made in La Mancha, Spain, this unique cheese is a blend of all three milk types: goat, sheep and cow’s milk. Handcrafted using the same artisan techniques and recipe that award-winning master cheesemaker Hersilio García Baquero first created in the early 1960s.
  • The cheese is aged for 12 months, gluten free and lactose free. It’s aromatic, with intense roasted notes, featuring warm and rounded mouthfeel and sweet, fruity notes.

Tournament Recap:

ROUND 1
March 15-17: Tasting #1
Alemar Bent River Camembert vs. Herbert Excentrique Gouda

WINNER: Herbert Excentrique Gouda

March 18-20: Tasting #2
Marieke Foenegreek Gouda vs. Carr Valley Glacier Wildfire Blue

WINNER: Carr Valley Glacier Wildfire Blue

March 21-23: Tasting #3
Red Barn Reserve Cheddar vs. Somerdale Red Dragon

WINNER: Somerdale Red Dragon

March 24-26: Tasting #4
Champignon Grand Noir vs. Garcia Baquero Reserva 12

WINNER: Garcia Baquero Reserva 12

SEMI-FINALS
March 27-29: Tasting #1
Herbert Excentrique Gouda vs. Carr Valley Glacier Wildfire Blue

WINNER: Herbert Excentrique Gouda

March 30-April 1: Tasting #2
Somerdale Red Dragon vs. Garcia Baquero Reserva

WINNER: Garcia Baquero Reserva

FINALS
April 2-4
Herbert Excentrique Gouda vs. Garcia Baquero Reserva

2016 MONGER MADNESS CHAMPION
Herbert Excentrique Gouda

Stop by our deli between March 15 and April 4, taste these magnificent cheeses for yourself and help us choose the 2016 winner!

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