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Have a cheesy New Year!

The Great American Cheese Collection warehouse sale offers a variety of artisanal cheeses for tasting and purchase. (Photo ©2009 by Leah A. Zeldes.)

The Great American Cheese Collection warehouse sale offers a variety of artisanal cheeses for tasting and purchase. (Photo by Leah A. Zeldes.)

Need some nibbles for your New Year’s Eve party? The Great American Cheese Collection, Chicago’s top source for small-batch, artisanal and farmstead cheeses, will open its Back of the Yards warehouse for special pre-New Year’s hours from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30. They’ll also open for their regular hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2.

Giles Schnierle (Photo ©2009 by Leah A. Zeldes.)

Giles Schnierle (Photo by Leah A. Zeldes.)

Proprietor Giles Schnierle will feature such specialty cheeses as:

  • La Mancha Moo, from Evergreen Lane Farm in Fenville, Mich., a soft, creamy, farmstead cow’s milk brie with a bloomy rind.
  • Kelle’s Blue, from Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Ga., a natural rind, farmstead raw goat’s milk blue with a soft and crumbly texture, a rich salty taste that and heavy bluing.
  • Rapture, from Lazy Lady in Vermont, a goat’s milk crotin wrapped in grape leaves.
  • Fil-A-Buster, from Lazy Lady in Vermont, a creamy, stinky, washed-rind, organic farmstead, raw cow’s milk cheese aged 60 days.
  • Flavored fresh goat’s milk cheeses, including Forest Mushroom, encrusted with a blend of chanterelle, shiitake, porcini and oyster mushrooms; Pine Nut-crusted; and Honey, saturated in honey and topped with brandied prune paste and roasted walnuts.
  • Screamin Mimi and Extreme Heat Monterey Jack and Chipotle Ole and Smoked White cheddar cheeses from Beechwood Cheese in Adell, Wisc.
  • Vermont Shepherd, a raw sheep’s milk hard cheese made in small batches.
  • Belvidere Cheddar and Illinois Prairie Swiss from Bruce Workman in Monticello, Wisc., made with milk from two small dairy farmers in Belvidere, Ill.
  • Burrata, a thin skin of fresh mozzarella wrapped around a blend of fresh mozzarella curd mixed with heavy cream.
  • Super Aged Gouda, from Winchester Farms in Winchester, Calif., a hard, aged cheese with a highly concentrated, multi-layered flavor structure, lots of crystal, plenty of bite and parmesan-like flavor tones.
  • Roasted Wild Rice Gouda, from Eichten’s Hidden Acre in Center City, Minn., a farmstead, semi-soft raw-milk gouda with lots of toasty flavor notes.
  • And dozens more.

Along with the cheeses, the warehouse sale offers Gramma Pearl’s heat-and-eat Slow Smoked BBQ Pork Butts, Baby Back Ribs and Pulled BBQ Pork; organic chicken, beef and vegetable bases from Eatem Foods; and other gourmet goodies.

Lots of cheeses will be available to taste. Feel free to bring wine or beer to enjoy with the cheeses. Dress warmly, though — it’s chilly in the warehouse.

Racks of cheeses for sale at the warehouse. (Photo ©2009 by Leah A. Zeldes.)

Racks of cheeses for sale at the warehouse. (Photo by Leah A. Zeldes.)