As we approached The Big Cheesy at Openhouse Gallery on Saturday, we could smell the cheese wafting from a block away. We waited patiently with the hungry crowd at the top of the staircase, taking in the pungent aroma of a myriad of different cheeses, until the 3:00 group was allowed to descend into cheese heaven.
Our first stop was Melt Shop, last year's victors, who were serving up Widmer's aged cheddar with Nueske's bacon and cranberry onion chutney sauce. Simply put, it was a flavor explosion, and they won Paul's vote for best in show. Next we ventured over to Murray's Cheese Bar, who were sampling a classic, buttery grilled cheese with a smoked tomato soup, and the combination was out of this world - perfect for a less adventurous grilled cheese aficionado. Another huge standout was the concoction dreamed up by Lucy's Whey, which featured sharp cheddar, local apple butter, forage blanc, and ham. It was sweet and savory at the same damn time.
Knowing fair well the Big Cheesy goers would become thirsty after sampling so many salty goodies, beer was provided by Sixpoint Brewery and Vita Coco coconut water was also provided as a less alcoholic alternative. After washing down the cheesy goodness with our preferred beverages of choice, we were ready for a cholesterol induced nap. This year's Big Cheesy was a great success, we might even call it cheese-tastic. It's a good thing we have a whole year to recover before the next go-around. Check out some highlights from the event below.
above Sons of Essex cheesing it up with their veg & non-veg specialties
Descending into cheese heaven
The good people from Milk Truck, the original Big Cheesy champions
Melt Shop (above + below), showing us how it's done.
Doling out the goodness from Lucy's Whey, Sooz's favorite of the day