Uncover Spectacular Cheese and Focus on “Local”
At last count, we offer more than 200 different cheeses at our cheese counter – that number grows nearly every week as we find some new, rare, farmhouse chevre from Loire Valley, or the newest raw milk creation from our friends at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont.
Once you’ve had a slice of Spring Brook Tarentaise from the fertile, organically controlled pastures of Vermont, it will be difficult to return to the supermarket dairy case.
We travel several times a year to find cheese – to farms, dairies, food shows, farmers markets and uncover spectacular cheese – items you will never see in a grocery store.
Cheese is seasonal and we buy from farms that allow their animals to graze in open pastures. Our aim is for artisanal, farmstead cheeses – that way we know where the milk came from – in some instances, we know the name of the cow or goats!
Our cheese board changes all the time, in the late spring we welcome back John Duncan’s chevre from York Hill, Maine, or Hooligan from Cato Corner Farms in Connecticut. Jeremy, the talented cheesemaker at Spring Brook Farm, will put aside a wheel or two of his select Tarentaise just for our customers.
Every few weeks, we order cheeses from overseas and watch the skies for their arrival, such as pecorino infused with black and white truffles from Piedmont, or the rare Navarre, a cow and sheep’s milk cheese rolled in Provence herbs from the Southwest corner of France.
Highest Quality Assortment of Cut-to-Order Cheese
Every slice of our cheese is hand cut for you. Each slice is wrapped in special cheese paper that will keep your cheese properly protected in your refrigerator. If you’re not getting your cheese freshly sliced for you, you’re not getting fresh cheese.
Cows produce more milk by volume than sheep or goats. In general, cow milk has a sweet yet clean flavor, and of the three milks, cow is most able to absorb and develop the intended flavor profile without asserting its own inherent traits.
Many goat cheeses are small, delicate and carefully made morsels, such as Crottin de Chavignol. In general, goat milk is tangy and herbaceous. These flavors are typically inherent in all goat cheeses – fresh or aged. Goat milk has an undeserved reputation for what is described as a pronounced “goaty flavor”- the result of mishandled milk or an unclean milking parlor rather than a characteristic flavor.
Many sheep milk cheeses are formed into wheels in the middle of the size spectrum, such as Abbay du Belloc and Pecorino. In general, sheep milk is sweet and nutty and has a distinct flavor characteristic often described as wooly. Sheep milk has a higher fat content than either cow or goat milk.
BLENDS & SPECIALTIES
Cheeses that are blended or heated milk blends from different animals fall into this category. For example, Stilchester is a Double Glouester (Pressed Uncooked) with lines of Blue Stilton (Blue). Common blending cheeses include Cheddar, Gruyère, and Gouda. Added herbs and other flavors make this family creative and pleasingly mild cheeses.
These cheeses can range from mild to very strong depending on the recipe used. The curd is cut finely and moisture is removed during long maturing times – often years as in good cheddars which are cloth bound and left to mature in caves or ripening rooms to develop character.
Soft white cheeses are high in moisture and are covered in a penicillin mould which acts as a coating and helps break down the curds, adding to the overall mature texture and flavor. These cheeses only mature for a few weeks and are usually luscious and creamy with subtle grassy flavors.
In traditional method, the blue penicillin mold is added to the milk early on in the cheese-making process. The air gets in and the blue mold grows in the nooks in the curds. Milk plays a large part as much as the individual recipe. A Jersey blue will taste very different from a Ewe’s blue.