Photographed by Mark Ferri; Styled by Leslie Orlandini
Small-format cheeses are truly unique. The distance between the rind and the center of the paste is shorter than usual, which makes a big difference when it comes to aging; producers can mix and match textures and flavors in ways that aren’t possible for larger cheeses. Plus, these mini wheels are adorable. Serve ’em up at your next shindig and cue the chorus of awwwws.
A comparative giant at 3 ounces, this traditional French cheese is sold in a ceramic crock to prevent the delicate, gooey paste from being smashed in transit. Warm it ever-so-slightly in the oven, then spoon out the milky, earthy paste onto crusty bread.
Landmark Creamery | Albany, Wis.
Petit Nuage is French for “little cloud.” Take a bite of this 1-ounce, whipped cream-esque sheep’s milk cheese, and you’ll see why. Tangy, salty flavors abound with notes of grass and herbs and a mild lingering sweetness.
Westfield Farm | Hubbardston, Mass.
The interior of this 1-ounce chèvre button is bone-white, while the exterior is coated in vibrant blue-green Penicillium roqueforti mold. Since the rind covers so much surface area of the cheese, the mold’s deep, sharp flavor is quite strong, bu the citrusy tang of the goat’s milk still shines.
Vermont Creamery | Websterville, Vt.
Meaning “jewel” in French, 2-ounce Bijou is Vermont Creamery’s smallest aged cheese. Geotrichum candidum, added to the goat’s milk during this cheese’s make process, give Bijou its delicate, wrinkled rind. Flavors are both bright and tangy as well as milky and nutty.
Shy Brothers Farm | Westport, Mass.
Named after the mother of the “shy brothers,” tiny Hannahbells are an American take on the French boutons de culotte. Each 2-ounce cow’s milk cheese is the size and shape of a thimble, and its texture is firm and dense. Flavors are mild and slightly yeasty, and some varieties are made with lavender, rosemary, and shallots.