Skagit Food Co-op blog:

the Cheese Whisperer

Cheese Whisperer: Curds of the Irish

March is a terrific month to celebrate cheese from Ireland, a place known for its rich dairy heritage and fertile grazing pastures. Visit our Specialty Cheese Island now to discover great deals on vintage and flavored cheddar made with grass-fed cow’s milk from the lush, grasslands of the Emerald Isle.

The Co-op is featuring a trio of handmade Old Irish Creamery Cheddar for St. Patrick’s Day: choose from their smooth Natural Oak Smoked Cheddar, creamy Irish Whiskey (featuring Jameson) Cheddar and fruit-forward Porter Cheddar, made with Guinness Stout; each are on sale for $8.99 per lb. and made with pasteurized cow’s milk and traditional production techniques.

Image from Boise Food Co-op

Another Irish cheese treat for March is Oscar Wilde Aged Cheddar, a sharp cheese that has been aged for at least two years. This mature white cheddar is creamy and buttery rich with a slight crunch from naturally occurring tyrosine protein crystals. Add a sprinkle of Oscar Wilde cheddar to liven up pasta dishes or hearty vegetable stews. Or contrast the sweet-tart flavors of fresh fruit and fruit-based desserts – such as pies, cobblers and muffins – with this cheddar’s buttery richness. It also makes an excellent companion with crusty bread, crackers, or green salads. Pair Oscar Wilde Cheddar with Iron Horse Brewing’s Irish Death Dark Ale, a slightly sweet Northwest stout. Or go traditional and enjoy this traditional Irish cheddar with a pint of Guinness Stout.

Smokey Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam

Serve this sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Photo from


  • 2 slices of your favorite bread
  • Butter, or buttery spread alternative
  • 2-3 oz. Old Irish Creamery Smoked Cheddar, crumbled
  • 6 Organic apple slices, thin
  • CURED Bacon Onion Jam, slathered to taste

Directions: Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Butter one slice of bread, then add a thin layer of CURED Bacon jam, crumbled cheese and apple slices. Carefully place the one loaded slice of bread in the pan, add the top buttered slice of bread. Cook sandwich on one side for 2 minutes, checking the bread to prevent burning. Then flip and cook another minute or so, until bread is golden and cheese melted.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.