Whole Foods’ Amazing Holiday Cheese Sale Is Back — And Some Editor Favorites Are 50 Percent Off
As a kid, I absolutely LIVED for my dollar store Advent calendar filled with extremely low-quality chocolate, primarily because it helped my very impatient self count down to Christmas. For breakfast, I’d rip open the cardboard door and eat a tiny (and unsatisfying) chalky square — a ritual that lasted for 24 days. As an adult, however, I’ve come to learn that there are far more sophisticated ways to bide my time until the holidays, thanks to certain retailers’ smart marketing tactics.
I’m talking about Whole Foods’ annual 12 Days of Cheese sale. During these glorious 12 days, a selection of Whole Foods’ best cheeses are 50 percent off, one per day from December 12 through December 23. If you’re a Prime member, the deal is even sweeter: You’ll get an additional 10 percent off. It’s official: I’m not counting down to Christmas any other way again.
I’ve loved this special cheese sale for a few years now, but the lineup for 2020 looks particularly good. In fact, I shared it with some fellow Kitchn editors and they got ridiculously excited, telling me that some of these cheeses are their all-time favorites.
Note: Whole Foods was tight-lipped when it came to sharing the prices in advance, just know that, if you follow this guide, you’ll pay exactly half what you’d normally pay for extremely high-quality cheese. And, if a wedge of cheese is too big, their highly trained cheesemongers are happy to cut it down to customers’ ideal weight and price.
Without further ado, here are this year’s 12 featured cheeses — and some staffer commentary.
1. December 12: Klare Melk Truffle Gouda
Tuffle-loving folks should head to Whole Foods for this very fragrant and creamy Gouda. It’s speckled with truffle pieces and every bit as decadent as you would imagine. This cheese is a Whole Foods exclusive, so you won’t find it anywhere else.
2. December 13: Uplands Cheese Company Pleasant Ridge Reserve
This nutty cheese is a prize-winner — and I’m not just saying that because I personally think it tastes good! This cow’s milk Alpine-style hard cheese has won “Best in Show” at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition three years in a row. Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, says this is one of the most crystal-y cheeses she’s ever had. And that’s a good thing.
3. December 14: Mitica Cordobes
Add this Castellana and Merino sheep milk cheese to your holiday cheese board for a taste of Spain. I personally would eat this cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. It’s another Whole Foods exclusive.
4. December 15: Cowgirl Creamery Organic Hop Along
Kitchn editors swear by the artisan cheeses from California-based Cowgirl Creamery, owned by cheese legends Peggy Smith and Sue Conley. This rich, buttery wedge won’t disappoint. Fun fact: This one’s washed in local cider and aged for 45 days. The experts at Whole Foods describe this as “fudgy.”
5. December 16: Caseificio dell’Alta Langa La Tur
If you like stinky cheese, you will LOVE this soft-ripened specimen. It’s made from a mixture of cow, sheep, and goat milk which is so good you’ll want to go at it with a spoon.
6. December 17: Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme
This semi-firm raw cow’s milk cheese is so delicious that you’ll want to eat it rind and all. (And you can!) Whole Foods’ tasting notes describe this as “rich and early with a finish of light salt, fresh grass, and tangy cream.”
7. December 18: Mons Gabietou
“They have a gabietou!” Lisa exclaimed. “Pronounced gabby-two, this is washed rind, semi-soft cheese made from a blend of cow and sheep’s milk. This one in particular is washed with water and rock salt from warm springs. It’s fairly funky with tones of fruit and mushrooms at the same time.”
8. December 19: The Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm Harbison, Prosecco Washed
When Kitchn’s Interim Executive Editor, Carey Polis, saw this cheese on the list, she got very excited. “I love Jasper Hill’s Harbison, but I’ve never seen it washed in Prosecco!” Carey says. “It sounds fancy and perfect.” This luxurious soft-ripened disc is another one that you’re going to want to eat with a spoon. In fact, the package instructions actually encourage that!
9. December 20: Emmi Kaltbach Cave-Aged Le Gruyère
I have big plans for this tangy and nutty block (with prominent cheese crystals, mmmm). I’m going to grate a nice big pile and melt into a decadent and fancy grilled cheese.
10: December 21: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
No cheeseboard is complete without this sophisticated goat’s milk cheese that’s gorgeously segmented with a ribbon of edible ash. Spread this on a Raincoast Crisp (rind and all) and top with a fruit preserve of your choice for the perfect bite. Also, can we talk about that cream line?
11: December 22: Neal’s Yard Dairy Sparkenhoe Red Leicester
Break up your cheeseboard with a bright pop of color from this beautiful raw cow’s milk Red Leicester. It’s crumbly, crystal-y, cheesy perfection.
12: December 23: Rogue Creamery Organic Enraptured Blanc
Here’s another cheese that will make you feel like a million bucks. This young blue cheese is washed in white wine and is creamy instead of crumbly. It’s another Whole Foods exclusive, so don’t miss out!
Which of these cheeses are worth a trip to Whole Foods?