As the holiday of Shavuot approaches, it’s always a good opportunity to check out what’s new in the world of kosher cheeses, to honor everyone’s favorite cheesecake-themed holiday. We can’t eat only cheesecake, right? (Don’t answer that.)
For those who love savory, softer cheeses, it might be worth checking out new offerings at Glatt Express, where Brooklyn and Long Branch-based Grandma’s Cheeses are available in the freezer section. These artisan, small-batch kosher cheeses feature freshly braided mozzarella in flavors such as pesto, truffle, olive, spicy olive, zaatar and “everything seed,” in addition to traditional round mozzarella and burrata. Burrata, a round cheese similar to mozzarella but softer and made with cream instead of milk, “is notoriously hard to find in kosher,” said Glatt Express’s Dani Secemski.
Florence Zeitouni Cohen started making her grandmother’s recipes for cheeses as a home business in Brooklyn, delivering door-to-door to friends and family. The effort grew one customer at a time, and now the OK-certified kosher cheeses have their own Instagram page. In addition to a summer cafe location in Long Branch, launched after five years of selling exclusively wholesale, the cheeses are available in multiple supermarkets in New York and New Jersey. While it might be unexpected to see cheese chilling out in the freezer section, Grandma’s Cheeses are “sold directly from the freezer to maximize freshness,” according to publicity materials.
“I like to get these cheeses in around the holiday because they are a higher-end product, and people have been asking for it,” said Secemski, noting that the cheeses range in price from $14 to $18. “But we also run promotions at this time of year. For every $100 you spend, you get a ready-to-bake, 12-inch cheese pizza,” he said.
I defrosted my Grandma’s Cheeses over a day in the refrigerator to minimize or mitigate any negative effect of defrosting, and the mozzarella and burrata were delicious as a topping for cauliflower (or regular) pizza or for eating on their own.
Secemski also noted that customers enjoy the full line of cheeses he carries from The Cheese Guy, which features exotic cheeses such as Ricotta Salata, Manchego, Torio, Queso de Cabra, Pecorino al Tartufo, Pecorino al Pepe Nero and French Emmenthal, as well as many other international cheeses, including Syrian cheese from Vintage Cheesecrafters, Haloumi, Feta, sliced Edam and cheese spreads from Tnuva, and imported Italian Pecorino Romano and Parmesan.
By Elizabeth Kratz