Despite pouring rain last Tuesday, a good crowd gathered at Olsson’s Fine Foods in Palmer Square for Sustainable Princeton’s Eco Hour. Eco Hours are held at shops and restaurants in Princeton so that people interested in sustainability can meet each other, socialize, sample delicious foods and drinks, and support our local businesses.
Olsson’s Fine Foods is located at 53 Palmer Square West (across from the Lindt chocolate store), and carries over 200 cheeses, local meats, olives, and other gourmet items. Owners Rudi and Jen Smit opened the store in June 2011, relocating from the Trenton Farmers market. Olsson’s is offering cheese education classes this fall (see their Palmer Square website for details.)
We tasted several different local and organic cheeses during the evening:
- A young organic raw milk cheddar from Birchwood Farms at Washington’s Crossing
- Two cheeses from from Cherry Grove Farm in Lawrenceville: a spicy Full Nettle Jack hard cheese (containing nettles, but without the sting!) and a creamy buttermilk Brie
- Three spreadable goat cheeses from Piping Goat Creamery in Lawrenceville. The lavender honey goat cheese spread was especially popular, described by one participant as “like tasting ice cream.”
- An organic mountain cheese from Nostrano di Cazassa in Italy
During the evening, we also learned something about how cheese is made. Rudi explained that the basic process essentially mimics what goes on in a young calf's stomach. Acid is added to milk to curdle it, and an enzyme (rennet) is used to clump the curds. Curds are then pressed into forms and left to mature."
If you were unable to join us, we recommend you stop by Olsson’s for a sample of one or more excellent cheeses, and to meet the friendly owners and staff. Olsson’s will keep a card on file of your favorites and is happy to cut any size piece from small to large.