Take the Best Bites Challenge!

What is a “Best Bite” exactly? In the world of gourmet cheese, it refers to multiple ingredients assembled in a bite-sized serving that deliver the perfect combination of texture, flavor, balance, and excitement. Cheesemongers are on an unending and passionate quest to discover these and share them with customers, as the combinations bring all of the ingredients to a higher level by working together!  In other words, the whole (Bite) is greater than the sum of its parts.

Here is the quartet of beautiful and delicious “Best Bites” from our Cheesemongers. Curious to try one or more of them? You will find all of the ingredients featured this week in the Oliver’s Press Democrat ad.








Pennyroyal Farm Laychee Bite

– Created by Heather Schoneman, Cotati Gourmet Cheese Assistant Manager –


  • Rustic Bakery Sourdough Flatbread
  • Little Gem Lettuce
  • Pennyroyal Farm Laychee
  • Journeyman Bacon (crispy)
  • La La’s Blueberry Balsamic Jam

Tasting Notes: “Versatile any time of day, my ideal perfect bite is a great play on sweet and salty. Texturally exciting, the cheese is velvety smooth, counter-balanced by the crunch from the sourdough flatbread and crispy bacon.  The sweet and tangy jam plays perfectly with the rich umami of the bacon.”








Nicasio Valley Foggy Morning & Valley Ford Estero Gold Bite

– Created by Coleen Maloney, Montecito Gourmet Cheese Assistant Manager


  • 34 Degree Crisp
  • Nicasio Valley Cheese Co. Foggy Morning
  • Journeyman Sonoma Finocchiona Salami
  • Valley Ford Estero Gold Reserve
  • Lala’s Lemon Lavender Jam
  • Chiffonade of Basil

Tasting Notes: “My perfect bite is built on a 34 Degree Gluten Free Crisp, layered with Nicasio Valley’s fresh Foggy Morning fromage blanc, a thin slice of Journeyman Finocchiona Salami, a whisp of Valley Ford’s Estero Gold, and a dollop of Lala’s Lemon Lavender Jam. Finished with a chiffonade of Basil for a fresh lively burst, it engages the palate with a wide range of textures and flavors. Enjoy!”








Nicasio Valley Locarno Bite

– Created by Jamie Green, Stony Point Gourmet Cheese Assistant Manager –


  • Rustic Bakery Sourdough Flatbread
  • Nicasio Locarno, rind removed
  • Farmer’s Only Daughter Apricot Pepper Jelly
  • Thin wedge of Meyer lemon
  • Small piece of fried sage

Tasting Notes: “An elevated take on Brie with jam, this classic combination is hard to argue with, but I wanted to aim for something with broader, deeper flavors. To brighten the bite, I’ve added a thin slice of Meyer lemon, while a leaf of fried sage adds an herbaceous complexity, keeping the sweetness in check. The result is beautifully balanced, each component getting its opportunity to shine as the flavors dance on your palate.”







Valley Ford Highway 1 Bite

– Created by Showy Showalter, Windsor Gourmet Cheese Assistant Manager


  • Rustic Bakery Citrus Ginger Thyme Crisp
  • Valley Ford Highway One
  • Jeff’s Garden Mild Banana Pepper Rings
  • Sunridge Farms California Pistachios, chopped
  • Murcott Tangerine Zest, Microplaned

Tasting Notes: “Highway One is named after my favorite drive in the country, so I incorporated elements of the California Coast into my bite. The red and yellow poppies, the salt and tang of the sea air, the grassy pastures, the discovery of the unexpected. Enjoy!”

We hope these “Best Bites” will not only inspire you to try one or all of these, but also to think about creating one of your own. Of course, the Gourmet Cheese team at Oliver’s Market is always happy to assist you.

Side Note: You will find all of the ingredients for these delights in this week’s Press Democrat ad. All prices in effect from 4/27-5/3 at all four Oliver’s Market locations.

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