Real California— and Italian—cheese

A cheese plate is only as interesting as the cheeses you put on it. I asked Brittany Miller, team leader of the specialty-foods department at Whole Foods Market, to suggest three underappreciated and really great cheeses.

1. “Definitely anything local. Our local cheeses are fabulous, and they’re from right here in our backyard. Shaft Blue Cheese
comes from a creamery in the foothills. Usually blue is aged three to six months, but they age theirs over a year. It’s full-flavored, creamy and decadent.”

2. “Anything from Fiscalini, an artisan creamery in the Modesto area. Their San Joaquin Gold
is like a cross between cheddar and parmesan. Anything you can get your hands on from them is just fabulous.”

3. “And then I’m going to pick a foreign cheese. Italian ubriaco prosecco
—the wheels are wiped down with prosecco grape must. It’s an unusual cheese, very fresh and very earthy at the same time, with a little bit of a sweetness from the grape must.”