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UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
By Sarah Mote
December 04, 2015

#ShopLocalKC Spot: Set the Perfect Holiday Table with Treats from the Better Cheddar

Holidays and entertaining go together like cheese and crackers. And what better place to get some tips on holiday gatherings than the Better Cheddar?

Owner Ron Shalinsky gave us a tour of the Prairie Village location (there’s another shop on the Country Club Plaza) and pointed out some “must-haves” for this year’s perfectly appointed party.

Kicky cocktails

A festive cocktail with a dash of bitters, make that small batch artisanal bitters, a new line that adds just the right panache to a Manhattan, Old Fashioned or Singapore Sling. Flavors include orange, chocolate, celery and grapefruit, among, as you can see, many others.

Spiced up

Specially spiced jellies are great for an easy appetizer. Pour over cream cheese, add crackers and, voilà, a dining delicacy. The Better Cheddar stocks several kinds, including local merchant Forever. These compelling combinations of fruit and herbs are sure to make your holiday favorites list.

Sweets for the sweet

 For stocking stuffers, Ron recommends Spanish  Turrones. Think of a candy bar with finely ground  Spanish almonds mixed with honey, presented in  a brilliant gold wrapper. And for the chocoholic, beautiful French chocolate bars with delicate decorations: snowflakes, ornaments, gingerbread men.

“Of course, there has to be cheese.”

The Better Cheddar has been offering a gourmet array of fine cheeses for almost 30 years. The old standbys are there, along with several not-to-be-found-anywhere-else varieties. For example, Gouda with wild rice from Minnesota (I can personally vouch for this one!) or Flory’s Truckle (an English-style cheddar) made by an Amish family in Jamesport, Mo. Local cheese maker Green Dirt Farm in Weston also has a spot in the display case, along with cheeses from around the world.

The Better Cheddar has two locations: the original location on the Plaza and the Prairie Village shop. You can order on line at The Better Cheddar, but it’s way more fun to go browsing in the store. Ron and his staff will help you set the perfect holiday table.

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