Several weeks ago my friend, Shanon, and I ventured north to the city of Longmont, Colorado, for a fabulous foodie experience.
We arrived at the Willow River Cheese Importers. Their red awnings and umbrellas mark a friendly welcome in this somewhat industrial neighborhood.
The shelves are filled with delightful treasures from Europe. Dishes and pottery, glassware; cookies, crackers and candies; herbs, oils and seasonings, cookbooks, travel books, and cards; linens, napkins, and other kitchen and dining accessories. The rooms and shelves are overloaded with everything a foodie could desire. Plus there are tons of nice treats for gift giving.
After looking all around the two rooms of the shop, we venture in to the coolers. We aren't talking any wimpy cheese cooler; the Cheese Importers have warehouse sized refrigerated rooms. In fact, you have to put on a parka to enter. We put on the lovely blue and gold parkas, that look a little like what prisoners wear when working on the side of the road. We ventured inside the massive cool room.
The cheese is displayed by type, with clear signs telling the country of origin and the taste qualities. There are even samples placed throughout so that you can try something new. Amongst the cheeses are speciality crackers, fruit pastes, tapanades, and other complimentary food items. It is fun to look for the cheese that costs the most (up to $40 per pound) or the one that looks the most strange. There are wonderful hand crafted cheeses from around the world. And, if you take a look, many of them have small, inexpensive pieces you can purchase to try something new at home.
Then, you get to the olive bar. "Les Olives de Provence" It is a glorious thing, for those who love olives. there are olives of all types and colors, as well as capers, caperberries, and cornichons.
We ended our lovely day by going out to lunch and looking in the few boutiques that are in downtown Longmont. What did we order? A gourmet cheese plate, of course.
If you are ever in Longmont, take the time to find the Cheese Importers. You won't be sorry you did.