Holiday Foodways and Traditions

Holiday Foodways and Traditions

by: Beth Rotto, Cheese Buyer

Our product lines become a little more diverse in November and December as a whole host of food traditions and customs are celebrated by families and friends in our corner of the globe. Does your festive meal include Lutefisk & Lefse or Chicken & Dumplings? Roast Turkey or Curried Lamb? Latkes or Kolaches? Pumpkin Pie or Chocolate Macadamia Pie? Do you hide a coin in the Christmas pudding or an almond in the Risengrøn? Do you munch on springerle or candy canes? Eggnog? Gløgg? Stilton? Stollen? What is exotic to one person is comfort food to another. And who doesn’t like to share their food  traditions with friends who haven’t tasted them?

We understand that food makes holiday gatherings special so we take time to make special holiday orders. We are pleased to offer an expanded selection of foods in all Co-op departments. We do our best to order plenty, and some imports must be ordered as early as the previous summer.  We urge you not to wait to pick up your traditional or favorite holiday foods when you see them on our shelves. Many specialty items cannot be reordered again before Christmas, so once they are gone, they are gone for the season. Here are some specialties to look for in the Co-op with a focus on the cheese case since that’s the department I order for.

Take time to relax. Enjoy your food. Be thankful.

A sampling of our

Classic European cheeses:

  • Dutch Midnight Moon (imported by Cypress Grove with their distinctive label)
  • English Sage Derby– distinctive green mottling makes a beautiful addition to a cheese plate
  • English Stilton– world-class blue cheese
  • English Cotswold– Double Gloucestershire cheese with onion and chive
  • French Le Roule– Soft cheese rolled into a log with a spiral filling of herbs and garlic.
  • French Le Roule Cranberry– festive and delicious
  • French Emmental– Swiss style cheese with well formed holes
  • Irish Kerrygold– rich and delisiou
  • Italian Parmigiano Reggiano– the original Parmesan cheese
  • Italian Tallegio– soft and sweet

Some of our

Domestic cheese specialties:

  • Belevitano Gold from Wisconsin
  • Boursin Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Cheese
  • Boursin Original Garlic Herb

Bucheron from Wisconsin

  • Fig Goat Cheese Log from Wisconsin
  • Horseradish Cheese Ball and Sharp Cheese and Nut Ball from Wisconsin
  • Humboldt Fog Grande from California
  • Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Wisconsin
  • Prairie Breeze from Iowa
  • Saint Pete Summit Winter Blue from Minnesota
  • San Rocco Brie rounds from Michigan

Yummy Nibbles for a Party:

  • Spanish dried fruit and nut cakes– Fig & Almond, Date & Almond, Apricot & Almond
  • Spanish Marcona Almonds– fried and salted
  • Italian Taralli crackers- Spicy Bloody Mary, Fennel, Onion and Red Pepper

Fit for You or for a Gift:

  • English Twinnings Teas
  • Italian Balsamic Vinegar Cruets and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cruets
  • Sicilian Partana Olive Oil in Tins


  • Belgian Chocolate Sticks
  • Columbian Cordillera Chocolate
  • French Candy Drops
  • German Chocolate Santas
  • Ida’s Truffles made in Winneshiek County
  • Swedish Mints
  • Swiss Chocolate
  • Chocolate Hearts, Toasting Cups and Ice Cream Cups for your favorite filling

Baked Goods:

  • German Dresden Stollen and Marzipan Stollen Fruit Cakes
  • Lefse from God Dag Lefse – LOCAL
  • Italian Panettone– smaller sizes this year
  • Julekake from Waving Grains Bakery right down the street in Decorah
  • Springerle by Lynn Staley from northeast Iowa

• Look for Raisin River Smoked Duck and Chicken Baguettes in the meat cooler, Organic Valley Eggnog in the dairy cooler, Clementines in the produce case, pistachios in the bulk department, and wines galore.