A Visit With Brie at the Concord Cheese Shop
In the middle of a cool, drizzly day, three of us from Culture Magazine (Stephanie, Eilis and myself) took a little field trip to the Concord Cheese Shop in Concord, Massachusetts. Driving from our office in Somerville, it felt as if we were entering the countryside for a vacation, a nostalgic feel that continued into the shop itself.
Tiny, wooden and old-timey, the Concord Cheese Shop certainly gives that old-fashioned feeling. A large wine collection engulfs the back end of the store, packed with careful selections. Taste rules over brand in this shop, so count on finding many new and unique bottles. The shop’s sommelier also has a bit of an affinity for Rosé, so if you find yourself craving something light in February, stop by—they stock a variety of pink wines year-round.
Flanked by the wines is the cheese counter, where assortments of domestic and imported cheeses wait to be tasted. A knowledgeable, talkative staff sits behind the counter, one of whom is aptly named “Brie.” We joked about her name, while enjoying many samples, including a goat and sheep’s milk Chebris, and Grafton Village Cheese's Clothbound Cheddar.
"I don’t know if my parents named me after the cheese, but what’s even funnier is my brother’s name is Cam. Last Christmas, the owner of the shop gave my father a wheel of Camembrie as a joke—so not only do we share names with cheeses individually, but now there’s one of us together. I guess I was destined for this job." [Laughs]
We also heard the tale of a recent cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm. A mix-up in the cheesemaking process led to this “mistake” product, (humorously dubbed “Reconsider”) which turned out to be a massive hit for the Concord Cheese Shop.
As we were leaving, we were presented with little take-home packages of their famous Marinated Goat Buttons: chèvre marinated in oil, herbs and peppercorns. Earlier, the sommelier suggested we enjoy the cheese with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc…in fact, I think I’ll go do that right now! This dreary-weather day could use a little brightening up.