A worker owned co-op
since 1971

February Newsletter

Cheese Board UPDATES


  • The bakery will be open on February 20th, President’s day, for normal business hours. That’s 7am-1pm, baked goods, coffee, and pre-cut cheese case only.
  • The bakery will be closed on Monday, March 13th for our annual retreat.

Mardi Gras is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday. It’s a wild party celebrated all over the world although we take our inspiration from New Orleans where it involves lots of costumes, parades and music. The cake was introduced to New Orleans in 1870 by the French and honors the 3 kings. The colors were created by the Krewe de Rex in 1872. Purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. The tradition of the baby originally symbolizes the baby Jesus but also luck and prosperity. The tradition is to hide the baby in the cake and whoever finds it is crowned king or queen for the evening, but also is responsible for providing next year’s cake. We have the baby on the outside so that the person who buys the cake can hide it if they choose to.


Our king cakes are a brioche dough filled with a lemony cream cheese and decorated with colorful sugar icing.


The king cake will be available on Fat Tuesday, February 28th starting at 12pm. Place your orders by Monday, February 27th at 8am. Available at the bakery until supplies last. $22 each.

We are in our third year of the the Adopt-an-Alp program. This program brings awareness to Swiss cheese-making traditions, transhumance in particular, and introduces consumers to some of the best, small-production, artisan cheeses in the world. Transhumance is the traditional practice of moving livestock to pasture for grazing. Livestock is lead from the valleys and lowlands where they graze during the winter months, to the highlands during the spring and summer. Herbs, grasses, flowers, and insects cover the mountainsides and imbue the milk with rich flavors and micro-nutrients. This practice is very important in maintaining the quality, flavor, and tradition of the alpine cheeses and without it, the world would be without these fantastic, flavorful fromages. The program is the brainchild of Caroline Hostettler of Quality Cheese, in conjunction with Mifroma and the Swiss Government Agency, SAV. We’ve teamed up with Adopt-an-Alp for the past three years to ensure demand for these spectacular cheeses and to support small producers using traditional cheese making methods that are threatened by industrial cheese making. This year we are carrying cheeses made in Alpkäseri Maran by Walter Niklaus and his five employees.



The dairy on Alp Maran public domain of the Citizens Union and the farmers of Chur, the oldest alpine city in all of Switzerland. A herd of 400 cows spend their summers grazing on Alps Maran, Carmenna, Praetschli and Sattel, at altitudes of 5,500+ feet. The milk is piped into the dairy where Niklaus and his team make Alpkäse, Grottino, Raclette, and Valser Käse.



This month’s Adopt-an-Alp cheese is Walserkase. Made with raw cow’s milk on Alp Maran, Walserkase is creamy and sweet with delicate yeast and onion flavors on the finish that linger in your mouth. It is a younger cheese, made in the summer of 2016, so the flavor is milky and fresh. It’s pliable but firm, a compliant melter, and great for flavorful mac-n-cheese.
In 2009 Eric and Mollie bought a farm. They had big dreams and little knowledge. By 2010 the dairy was up and running and in 2011, they released their first cheese. Today there are 8 people running the farm. It is all organic and powered with renewable energy. Prufrock is a small brick of washed-rind cow milk. Funky and fresh, it has the flavor of high-quality milk and artisan care. It won 1st place at American Cheese Society for American Farmstead Cheese in 2016.


Each year in June, some 140 shepherds and their flocks migrate to the Béarnaise mountain pastures of Aspe, Ossau or Barétous to make Ossau Iraty in small huts. They stay in these mountain meadows until about August 15th, making cheese at altitude. d’Estive which means “summer pasture” is an Ossau-Iraty designation made from raw milk that comes from three pastures only where sheep graze on flowers and stems and roots of licorice, thyme, and blue thistle. The cheese is top-notch in terms of flavor and quality- fatty and full-bodied with forward notes of grass and hay.
This is believed to be one of the oldest British Territorial cheeses being made today, having originated sometime in the 13th century. In 1939 there were over 200 producers of this cheese. Today Graham Kirkham is the only remaining producer of raw milk, farmstead Lancashire. The cheese is very bright, tangy, and milky; a direct result of the slower make process. Milk is combined from 2 days of milking and inoculated with starter culture that has been used for 60+ years! After the starter acidifies the milk, a small amount of rennet is added and the curd begins to coagulate. Cutting and ladling the curd is all done by hand in order to preserve the curds and create a creamy yet crumbly final product. Our wheel is a “Mature Lancashire” which has been aged for approximately 10 months.


The Cheese Board has partnered with Petaluma-based Double 8 Dairy to bring fresh buffalo mozzarella to Berkeley! For the past few years we have been serving Double 8‘s buffalo milk soft serve ice cream at the pizzeria. They were making ice cream until their water buffalo herd was big enough to produce cheese-making quantities of milk. They have finally hit that point and have been working with us to develop a tasty mozzarella for our pizzas that can stand up to the Italian competition. Look out for their buffalo mozzarella on our pizzas and purchase it at the cheese counter and in the pre-cut cheese case.




Its crowded. It’s a little chaotic. The line is long, the band is loud, and you suddenly find yourself at the register, needing to communicate, through all this cacophony, how much pizza you want to buy. Common vocabulary can only help this situation. And so we present a cheat sheet, or if you prefer, a glossary of terms that we hope will help you cut through the noise and get your pizza even faster!


Slice, not piece

In our world of aural bombardment, the word “piece” is often mistaken for “pizza.” Thus we prefer to use the word “slice” when we’re talking about pizza triangles, and “pie” when we’re talking about pizza circles.


For Here or To Go?

This is the question that pizza workers utter in their sleep. An Individual worker can ask it upwards of 300 times a day, and can sometimes do that multiple times a week. So when we don’t have to ask it, we are always grateful. Also, if you include the information in your order, we can repeat your order to the person preparing your pizza that much more quickly, and get the pizza in your hands pronto.


Light bakes, not half bakes –or– How many halves in a half of a half baked?

Because we sell our light bakes as both halves and wholes, when they are called “half bakes,” the result can be the sort of linguistic brain-twister referenced above. The term “light bakes” is an attempt to avoid such flumdugery*. “Par bakes” also works nicely.


One and One Is Not Two

This one falls under the category of extra credit.

If you are one person and you want two slices, those two slices will arrive on one plate, with one sliver (the bonus mini-slice you get with each order). If you are one person and you ask for two slices on two plates, you will likely receive “two and two for here,” which is two plates, each with two slices and a sliver. But wait, you only wanted two slices, one on each plate. We call that “one and one for here.”** Each slice will have a sliver, because we like you.

The trick here is that the number that is said aloud is always the number of slices per plate, and the amount of times that number is varied or repeated is the number of plates desired.


One and One = 1 slice, 1 slice
Two and One = 2 slices, 1 slice
Two and Two = 2 slices, 2 slices
Three and Two = 3 slices, 2 slices
Two, Two and One = 2 slices, 2 slices, 1 slice
One, One, One and One = 1 slice, 1 slice, 1 slice, 1 slice


This whole process can be repeated to go, where instead of separate plates, we have separate bags.

Crispy or “on the light side”?

Just as many people like their pizza dark as others like it light. Someone’s “burnt” is someone else’s “crispy.” The same is true on the flip side. Your “under-baked” is “on the light side” for someone else. Just let us know your preference, if any. We like to use the terms “crispy” or “on the light side.” Stating your preference may mean that you will wait a little longer until a pizza that meets your criteria emerges from the ovens.

We hope you have found some useful piece of information that will make you next visit a little bit better. Are there other pieces of pizza talk that confuse you? Let us know!


Thanks for reading, and see you in the pizza line!


*this is a word I made up. Its definition is “continued repetition between two or sometimes three people, of the same, or very nearly the same phrase, the purpose of which is to ensure that the correct amount of pizza is both delivered to the customer and charged for.”
**an example of the second, less repetitious definition of flumdugery.


Visit our website to learn about cheese wheel cakes and cheese platters for special occasions.

Gluten Free Friendly Pizza Information

Ordering Instructions:

If you would like a fully cooked gluten-free friendly* pizza, when the pizzeria is open, please let a worker know before you get in line so we can start it for you. This pizza takes 15-20 minutes to bake.


We cannot take phone orders for the gluten-free friendly pizza.


Gluten-free friendly partially baked pizzas are available starting at 9 a.m., at the bakery, while supplies last.


*This pizza is not 100% gluten-free. While the crust itself is gluten-free, the environment we work in is not, and these crusts will have direct or indirect contact with gluten sources. We cannot recommend this product for those with severe gluten allergies or for whom cross-contamination with gluten is of concern.


Ingredients: Water, rice flour, modified rice starch, potato starch, sugar, tapioca starch, potato flour, canola oil, olive oil, yeast, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, xanthan gum, cultured brown rice

Vegan Pizza Information

Ordering Instructions:

If you would like a fully cooked vegan friendly* pizza, when the pizzeria is open, please let a worker know before you get in line so we can start it for you. This pizza takes 15-20 minutes to bake.


We cannot take phone orders for the vegan pizza.


*Though many precautions are taken we cannot guarantee a vegan pizza to to be absolutely vegan. We make this pizza in house in an environment that has a lot of cheese and dairy products. We cannot recommend this product for those concerned about the possibility of non-vegan contamination.


The vegan cheese is made by NUMU Cheese. It is made with: water, coconut oil, potato starch, tapioca starch, soymilk powder, kappa carrageenan, calcium phosphate, vegetable color, salt, pea starch, natural flavor, lactic acid

Parbake Pizza Information

We have partially baked pizzas available at both the bakery and the pizzeria. You can finish them off in your oven at home to enjoy fresh, hot pizza at your convenience.  We have gluten-free friendly and vegan versions available as well, while supplies last.

HEATING INSTRUCTIONS: Heat oven to 400°F. When oven is fully heated, take the pizza out of the box and place it directly on the rack. Heat for 5-8 minutes. If the pizza comes with a sauce or salad on the side add it after the pizza is done. Enjoy!