Whole Foods' 12 Days of Cheese Is an Incredible Deal on Amazing Cheese
Save nearly 40% on some seriously good cheese including one that was voted world's best in 2022.
Pamela is a freelance food and travel writer based in Astoria, Queens. While she writes about most things edible and potable (and accessories dedicated to those topics,) her real areas of expertise are cheese, chocolate, cooking and wine. She's a culinary school grad, certified sommelier, former bartender and fine dining captain with 10 years in the industry. When not sitting at the keys, she leads in-home cheese classes, wine tastings and cocktail demonstrations.
When does the alleged "first day of Christmas" begin exactly? Whole Foods proposes Dec. 13, when its yearly -- and legendary -- 12 Days of Cheese promotion begins, offering tremendous savings from its world-class cheese department. My true love would for sure understand that a gift of cheese is way more appreciated than all those infernal birds and noisy humans from the song lyrics. (Five golden rings always welcome.) True love or not, Whole Foods' 12 Days of Cheese, which runs from Dec. 13-24, is the absolute best gift for self-care this holiday season. (And should you take advantage of this deal, make sure you also read about how to best cut and store cheese to keep it fresh, too.)
How much you'll save with Whole Foods' 12 Days of Cheese
We've already pointed out that Whole Foods has some of the best prices for artisanal cheeses because of its tremendous buying power compared with specialty cheese retailers, with a cheese selection that is expertly curated by Cathy Strange, a highly credentialed cheese professional. On top of what are already favorable prices for a deep selection of exemplary cheeses, the 12 Days of Cheese Promotion offers a 30% discount on 12 cheeses for all 12 days of the promotion. Before 2021, there was only one cheese discounted per day during the 12 Days of Cheese promotion, until Whole Foods perhaps realized that "12 trips to Whole Foods" is on par with "12 drummers drumming" with respect to its ability to adversely affect our sanity during the holidays.
On top of the 30% discount on the 12 featured cheeses, Amazon Prime members save an additional 10% on all of the cheeses. You can use the Amazon Prime discount by synching your Prime account with the Whole Foods app to receive the additional discount in-store, or you can purchase Whole Foods groceries, including the 12 Days of Cheese cheeses, through Amazon for pickup or delivery in select markets.
The 12 featured cheeses range in price from $17 to about $30 per pound. (Prices sourced in New York City via Whole Foods Market on Amazon.) With an average price of about $24.50, even if you completely went for broke and decided to buy yourself a pound (or wheel) of each of the cheeses (cheese has staying power, especially if you cut and store it properly) that amounts to a savings of $88 for the lot, or $117 if you use your Amazon Prime discount.
In more realistic math, say you were hosting a gathering where you wanted to put together a cheese plate for say, 20 people, utilizing five of the cheeses. The common metric for portioning cheese for hosting suggests 1 to 1.5 ounces of each cheese per person. For 30 ounces, or about a pound and a half, for each of five cheeses at an average price of $24.50, your total cost would come to about $183.75 for party cheese. With the 12 Days of Cheese promotion, that total comes down to $128.63, or $110.25 using the Amazon Prime discount. With those extra dollars saved, you can probably splurge for a post-holiday massage. (Cheese and a massage? Now that's self-care.)
12 featured cheeses
This year's cheeses run the gamut of animal milks and styles, meaning that it's extremely easy to put together a diverse selection that can please anyone you might want to share your cheese with this season. The 12 cheeses are:
Take it from a cheese professional, every last one of these cheeses is a winner, and you can seriously do no wrong with a selection of any of them for your holiday celebrations or snacking needs this year. If you like talking points to go with your cheeses, however, there are several among them worth singling out:
Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
It's rare that cheese makes the national news, so when it does, the cheese community loses its collective curds. Such was the case recently when a state dinner hosted at the White House for the President of France included a cheese plate featuring domestic, American-made cheeses. California-based Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog was one of them. Let it be a testament to the quality of this cheese that the act of serving American cheese to a French politician did not result in a heightened national security threat. Beyond its ability to strengthen European relations, it's a stunner: a brilliant white, bloomy rind goat cheese with a racy stripe of vegetable ash, and an oozy creamline between rind and paste as it continues to ripen.
Rogue Creamery Organic Oregon Blue
Oregon's Rogue Creamery made a splash in 2019 when its Rogue River Blue took the top honor at the annual World Cheese Awards, the first American-made cheese to do so. (The French were not happy.) While Rogue River Blue is a limited-release cheese every year and was also recently featured on the same presidential cheese plate mentioned above, its sister blue from Rogue Creamery, Organic Oregon Blue, is every bit worth the same fuss, with its approachable, savory-sweet nature. Pro tip: to help convert those who are suspicious of blue cheese, try pairing it with something a little sweet, like jam or honey, to tease out its gentler notes.
Kaltbach Cave-Aged Le Gruyère AOP
Every year hundreds of cheese professionals converge for a blind taste of thousands of the world's cheeses at the World Cheese Awards. (Note to Santa: I would like this job.) Through aggregate scores and spirited debate, a Best Cheese is awarded yearly, and in 2022 that cheese was a cheese from Le Gruyère AOP. (AOP cheeses have name-protected designations in Europe, but may be made by more than one creamery.) "Gruyere" is considered a generic cheese term in the US and may be used in the United States by American creameries, and while I generally stand by the quality of American cheesemaking, Le Gruyère AOP has 1,000 years of cheesemaking tradition behind it, plus it's literally the best cheese in the world right now.
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