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Cheese stores


Liza
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I made my way up to Fairway on Sunday morning in hopes of securing some American goat cheeses for the vertical tasting. They had all of two: Coach Farms and Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog. That, my fellow cheese lovers, is pathetic. No Laura Chenel. No Judy Schad. No other varieties from Purple Haze or Midnight Moon. ("Midnight Blue?")

At Murray's, I found Judy Schad's Old Kentucky Tomme, Purple Haze and Midnight Moon. Again, no Laura Chenel (a pioneer in American goat cheeses). And bewilderment when I asked for Capricious, voted Best in Show at the American Cheese Society conference. Let's start a petition. Let's stage a rally. Let's demand these terrific cheeses be available in NYC!

(Note: The Tribeca Grill has a new cheese offering and DOES have Laura Chenel's sublime goat cheese on offer. I propose a cheese tasting some time in the near future.)

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I recall an excellent cheese shop on 3rd Avenue near 9th street.

It's called "East Village Cheese Store" unsurprisingly enough. I've walked by many times, gone in a few times, but never bought cheese there. The look of the place puts me off, but if the cheese is excellent then I should give it a try.

Liza: I think a tasting devoted to cheese (and some drink of course) is a splendid idea.

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dstone, i think that you may be talking about ideal cheese. i get turned off by all their signs in the window (i think it reminds me of a key foods, not that i haven't ever shopped there, but i don't take to that in-your-face type of advertising on site), so i've never gone there. i've heard very mixed things about product there.

liza, ginger olsen & her partner at capricious make just enough cheese to support their family & don't have the staff to be able to make much more, even if they were interested in living the high life. that said, i think robert at murray's may be interested in procuring some, but he & others have slight reservations with regards to the consistency of their production. but i have some from time to time, and can get you more information about procuring some locally if you're interested.

in general i think consumers need to make their interest in domestic artisinal

(and farmhouse, especially) cheeses loud & clear by asking for them, over & over. i think it's important to support domestic cheesemakers to encourage their work. it's improving, and will only get better with more $$ and vocal support!

that said, my feelings with regards to artisinal's retail counter are improving. i bought some cheese there yesterday at the last minute before a party, and Tiff at the counter was pretty helpful. the counter was way understaffed, though; and i think there's no excuse for such a successful establishment to put such strain on its staff (& guests) like that (bar was also understaffed; i was sitting there for a bite). some stuff was pretty ripe, riper than usual. but no one had bothered to pull the portugese sheep's milk cheeses from the aging "cave", so i couldn't have any! :wacko::wacko::wacko:

i still prefer the service at murray's as well as product. but steve jenkins is great, if you can get him at the fairway counter. i like bierkraft in brooklyn as well.

has anyone posted about jordyn's blue cheeses he brought to the tasting?

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Yes, 'splain Tribeca Grill please, as it's not an obvious place for cheese tasting.

The cheese service, both at table and at the retail counter, in Artisanal can be woefully slow. It's the disadvantage of stocking so many varieties. But then it's the stock which makes the wait worthwhile. :wacko:

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Ah, sorry, I splain:

I was there recently and was impressed with the cheese list. But! I am completely willing to reconsider and have heard lovely things about Bar Demi... :biggrin:

So I shall leave it to the group to decide.

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have heard lovely things about Bar Demi... :biggrin:

So I shall leave it to the group to decide.

Great idea. Nesita, and a bucket 'o great cheeses and wines, what could be bad? And Liza, if you organize it, no one will be able to forget that you were there :laugh: Organize away, I say!

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Ah, sorry, I splain:

I was there recently and was impressed with the cheese list. But! I am completely willing to reconsider and have heard lovely things about Bar Demi... :biggrin:

So I shall leave it to the group to decide.

I'll follow Liza anywhere, especially if cheese is served.

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dstone, i think that you may be talking about ideal cheese.  i get turned off by all their signs in the window (i think it reminds me of a key foods, not that i haven't ever shopped there, but i don't take to that in-your-face type of advertising on site), so i've never gone there.  i've heard very mixed things about product there.

That could be the place. There were a lot of tacky, handwritten signs all over the place. I had a number of people vouch for the cheese. Can't say I'm qualified to review the freshness or selection, but I was happy with everything I bought there.

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i would love to have 15-17 cheeseheads over. only if everyone's nice & rowdy, though. like how wilfrid is when he visits. :laugh:

with a minimum of 15 people you could have the room to yourselves, no room charge. :unsure: tuesdays are best, although mondays are a possibility. with notice, i can order some harder to find cheeses (i.e. capricious). and there's certainly the option of pairing each cheese flight with a wine (or sparkler or beer, yes, beer) or two. we could do two or three flights of three cheeses/flight, with very minimal accompaniments, if any. no bread included. :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

i have to rush off to the wine school but will check in later to answer any questions. perhaps i need some feedback as per what quality of wine pours people want (i.e. grand cru riesling or alsatian pinot blanc) vis a vis a price point.

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I am surprised I haven't been banned yet, the way I bust the place up.

The idea is very welcome. I have to say I am running out of spare days between now and the holidays - not that it's all about me. Perhaps we should talk dates before we get all the details in place.

By the way, if it's first come first served, this is marking a place for one (Wilfrid sans non-cheese-appreciating Beloved).

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liza, ginger olsen & her partner at capricious make just enough cheese to support their family & don't have the staff to be able to make much more, even if they were interested in living the high life

in general i think consumers need to make their interest in domestic artisinal  (and farmhouse, especially) cheeses loud & clear by asking for them, over & over.  i think it's important to support domestic cheesemakers to encourage their work.  it's improving, and will only get better with more $$ and vocal support!

Interesting you should mention the limited production of so many artisanal chese makers.

The Tewksbury cheesemaker Artisanal Cheeses menions on his website that his stock of sheep milk cheese will be exhausted early in December. Then, it will be wait for next year. I may stop down on Gary's in Madison to secure a small stock tonight.

Jonathan White, at Bobolink farm, is currently selling cheese from Amish milk sources. His own (now pregnant) cows go on line in January, I believe.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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When in NY I shop Ideal Cheese on 1st Ave out of convenience (walking distance from both office and home), although it is a pretty poor substitute for Neal's Yard or Paxtons in London or Barthelmey in Paris. I've been down to Murray's a few times, but haven't been blown away enough to warrant the trip downtown.

Part of the reason is that cheese shops in the States don't have access to the best cheeses, due to regulations that Fat Guy has opined on ad nauseum on this site. I also suspect (and what the continued strong sales of processed cheese in the US confirm) that Americans simply have lost their taste for fine cheese (a product of WWII rationing), although the emergence of cheese boards in fine restaurants nationwide may reverse this trend. Finally, cheese shops in NY will not attain the heights of their European cousins so long as a dearth of artisain cheesemakers making unpasteurized cheeses persists.

All Hail The Stinky Bishop!

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The cheese shop over on Ninth Avenue in the forties does indeed have a pretty good selection. I used to use it when I lived up that way. Generally, I found the staff to be fairly unknowing about the stock.

Nice little place where they age the cheeses themselves with some care and attention is Lamazou on 3rd, around 27th or 28th. The selection is limited (not least by space), but they do make a point of having seasonal cheeses - very good vacherin - and the couple who run it are exceptionally nice.

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Nice little place where they age the cheeses themselves with some care and attention is Lavandou on 3rd, around 27th or 28th.  The selection is limited (not least by space), but they do make a point of having seasonal cheeses - very good vacherin - and the couple who run it are exceptionally nice.

"Lamazou" or something like that is closer I think. Read the Ed Levine newspaper clipping if it's still on the wall or in the window. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

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count me in for the 26th

By the way, I just recently discovered the Village Cheese Place on 3rd btwn 8/9th. They are an "odd lot" for cheese, so the results vary but good bargains are to be had. They had recently:

17 oz marscapone for 2.99

St Andre for 4.99#

Gouda with Mustard Seed 2.99# (One batch was fine, the next had mold on rind and I had to cut it away but the underlying cheese was fine)

Emmenthal for 4.99#

President Brie ROunds 1.3# for $2 (I know pedestrian at best but great for the people who want a cheap cheese board)

English Stilton for 2.99# - and pretty good too.

No tastings, but you could ask to smell or look for expiration dates.

The stuff in the front self serve cases is the cheapest and needs to be consumes asap. Altho they also have stuff like german and danish butter regularly which I haven't tried but someone on another board seems to like.

Overall, it's not the place to go for something specific, but rather when you need alot of cheese at a reasonable price and are willing to experiment.

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...

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What makes cheese shops in France superior to the ones we have here is the level of affinage compared to U.S. shops. When I was in Paris two weeks ago, having missed my lunch due to travel dificulties, I walked over to Barthelemy and bought some Bouchons de Chevre. I indicated that I was going to eat them "tout suite" and the ones they gave me were perfectly ready to eat. Not overripe or underripe, perfect. You just don't get that type of quality control in this country. Part of the reason is that the volume of cheese sold here, even in a place that sells lots of cheese, is insufficient to use up all the cheese they need to use to keep things at a high level. The other, and probably more important reason, is that cheese knowledge in general in this country is generally low compared to France and the U.K., especially competency in the tradition of affinage. The reason French cheese shops are so good is because they are ripening cheese in their own caves (at least when that applies.) The result can't be beat. Just go to a place like La Mere Richard in Lyon and ask for a small round of St. Marcellin to eat on the spot. They will poke and prod a good half dozen or more rounds until they find the right one for you. And if you said it's for eating two days later they would poke a different group of rounds. I can't think of a single cheese shop in this city (save for Murray's or if you were being helped by Steve Jenkins himself) where the staff has that type of competency.

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I agree. Within the constraints of the import regulations, quite a good range of cheeses can now be found in New York. But even a place like Artisanal will sell you cheese which is too old, dried out, over-aged. It's s shame.

Bux: silly mistake, which I have now corrected. The shop on 3rd is indeed Lamazou, and they do a little affinage on a small scale.

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