As you might have read here or here, I’ve been working with Kraft Cracker Barrel Cheese and learning so much about the culture of cheese making. Last weekend, I enjoyed a little cheese trip throughout NYC and it was – as you can imagine – delicious. So if you’re visiting NYC soon, then take a few tips from my trip and add some of these unique stops to your culinary tour. I hope it provides you with a bit more information about why I’m so thrilled to partner with an award-winning brand that is so passionate about cheese.
And check back soon because I’ll be sharing ways to use serving dishes like cake stands to serve up cheese platters for parties and other celebrations!
The trip began at the darling Maritime Hotel across from Chelsea Market (I held my Push-Up Pops book signing at Chelsea Market last year so I enjoyed popping in to shop there).
My first night was a wonderful dinner at L’artusi where I must recommend the house-made ricotta cheese. It was served with an onion and strawberry jam and cracker crisps.
The next day, we met up with Kraft Cheese Distributor and artisan cheese maker, Pasquale Guerella! He was a wealth of knowledge and toured us through several family-owned spots in Brooklyn. He has a continued passion for the craftsmanship of Kraft cheese and the decades he has worked in the cheese making industry. First up was a super cute Italian bakery where we learned about using ricotta in sweet treats (like cannoli) and next up was an Italian Market. For generations, the market has been making artisan cheeses and like Cracker Barrel cheeses, they use the highest quality ingredients and it really shows!
Franksals was the name of this cute Italian market where we learned how to make mozzarella! It was so neat to see the craftmanship of the cheese-making and how unique the artisan process is. I was fascinated. And the mozzarella? To die for! Similar to the making of Cracker Barrel cheeses, the mozzarella was made using only the highest quality ingredients resulting in a rich, full-flavored cheese that is like no other. You can really taste the difference. This experience has really fueled me to seek out the highest quality cheeses (like Cracker Barrel) to use in recipes at home.
Next stop was Queen Ann’s Ravioli. Our guide Pasquale has known the family at Queen Ann’s for years – 3 generations! I truly loved seeing the unique relationships created between the distributors and the shops who use the cheese to create delicious foods like this ravioli! You can definitely tell it uses award-winning cheese! The passion and authenticity of the cheese-making process was evident at every step of the way. This is the same passion that the makers of Cracker Barrel have for their cheeses as well.
As if I could eat one more thing, there was more! :) We headed to Staten Island to eat a true “New York Pie” at Nunzio’s Pizzeria. The owner showed me old, family photos of his grandparents running the pizzeria years prior. The pizza was so freshly made and the cheese was delicious (it’s easy to see why it’s award-winning)! Similar to Cracker Barrel cheeses, you can definitely recognize the premium quality of the rich, full-flavored cheese!
Next, I headed back into the city to Murray’s Cheese! They hold super neat classes on cheese making. They have a cheese bar for tasting and a unique assortment of goodies to take home. So if you are looking for a place to stop in, pick up some cheeses, and enjoy some tasting – then Murray’s is definitely it!
First up was Artisinal for Brunch. The Fromager there is so fabulous because he knows everything about every cheese .. ever. I was fascinated! His passion for the culture and artistry of cheese was evident throughout our discussion. It reminded me so much of the Cracker Barrel team who prides themselves on their authenticity and passion. It’s so refreshing to see brands truly passionate about their products. The fromager recommended a variety of cheeses from around the world. Best part? The mac & cheese. You must try it!
Next stop was Beecher’s were you can watch the cheese making process right from the big glass windows. And you can pick up cheeses to taste at the cheese bar! They also sell cute, DIY cheese-making kits.
So if you’re headed to NYC soon, I hope you enjoy a couple of these spots if you’re a cheese lover! And if you’re looking to whip up some cheese recipes at home, pick up Kraft Cracker Barrel cheeses that are rich and full in flavor. You can be assured that they are made with the same heritage and craftsmanship as the stops on my NYC tour.
Disclaimer: As part of my partnership with Kraft Cracker Barrel, the trip was provided for but all opinions are my own.