Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Big Cheese in ASAP’s Get Local March Initiative

Looking Glass Cheeses
The Big Cheese in ASAP’s Get Local March Initiative

Western North Carolina is home to dozens of farmstead cheese operations that produce every type of cheese imaginable: aged cheddar, Gouda, Brie, chevre (goat cheese), the list goes on and on. In fact, WNC may soon be home to a cheese trail, modeled after Vermont’s popular tourist attraction. So, it’s no surprise that farmstead cheese gets its own month in ASAP’s Get Local initiative.

To celebrate, Asheville-area Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants are getting cheesy. Look for local cheeses throughout their menus. At Posana Café, for example, try their citrus roasted beets appetizer with fresh chevre from Looking Glass Creamery in Fairview and their kale salad with Manchego from Three Graces Dairy in Marshall. Also look for local cheeses on restaurants’ cheese plates. The Market Place’s plate is local, featuring cheeses from Three Graces and Looking Glass, as well as Spinning Spider Creamery in Marshall, Locust Grove in Knoxville, TN and Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia.

Spinning Spider Cheese Selections
The same goes for Bouchon’s cheese plate. Owner/chef Michel Baudouin features a trio of cheeses from Three Graces Dairy: a soft goat cheese, a cow’s milk Brie, and a seasonal selection.Why local cheese? “It’s here, it’s good, and it supports our local economy,” Baudouin says.

Baudouin encourages the community to come and enjoy his cheese plate for a cause every Thursday this March. To further show his support of local food, he will donate a portion of sales from plates ordered on Thursday evenings to ASAP.

Local cheeses also abound at area groceries and special winter tailgate markets now. To find a list of all area cheese makers, as well as restaurants serving and groceries and tailgates stocking their products, search ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at buyappalachian.org.  

Looking Glass Cheese Tray
To connect with farmers, producers and chefs in your community, contact Communications Manager Maggie Cramer at maggie@asapconnections.org.

ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)
ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

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