Last night I attended a casual mini trade show in Somerville MA. Gorgeous cheeses from around the world were out and available for sampling - including 6 I'd never tasted before. The crowd was small so you could actually talk to producers, and diverse, which made it interesting. Spain made a big showing, including a range of raw sheeps milk cheeses, and a lactic set goats milk from brand new Santa Gadea. Giovanni Guffanti Fiori brought a southern italian bell shaped 3 milk cheese covered in ash. Made with (I think he said) Maltese goat milk, this was a wild and wooly ride around a barnyard. I like it! but it is not for the faint of heart.
I was interested to read the recent listing in the WSJ of their top ten cheese shops. Somewhat surprisingly, every single one is located in Europe, which I can’t help feeling shows remarkable lack of imagination, let alone knowledge of some of the fantastic cheese stores also to be found in the US, many of which have been in operation for well over a decade. (Mental note here to compile a list of my own.)
Although I haven’t been to all the cheese shops in the WSJ (give me time!), I do know a few of them and worked for several years at one of them. So here’s my personal run-down of some of those mentioned. For Poncelet in Madrid, we wrote a piece about their store in the June 2009 issue of culture. You can read the article here http://culturecheesemag.com/poncelet_madrid
L’Amuse - Netherlands