The shop usually stocks 150-200 different cheeses, which constitutes its first hoard. This diverse selection includes many local cheeses, as well as other artisan, small production and more unique cheeses. You'll likely to discover a number of new cheeses here, and you'll have the opportunity to taste any of them before you buy. They even have regular customers who are devotees of specific cheeses, asking for them by name. Such people are true cheese lovers.
During the holiday rush at the cheese shop, and despite working hard, long hours, Brie thrived, relishing her work. She found it to be far more enjoyment than drudgery. She stated that her college life was "punctuated by her cheese education." When she graduated from Ithaca College in 2010, she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life and continued to work at the cheese shop. As time passed, her passion for cheese grew and she found her happiness there. She finally concluded that cheese would be the focus of her future.
Brie led me through a tasting of some of what she believes will be the most exciting cheeses of 2014. Some other exciting cheeses are seasonal and weren't available for tasting when I was there, but if you stop by, you might find them. As I have mentioned before, good cheese is not cheap though at the cheese shop, Brie stated they won't sell any cheese for more than $39.99 per pound. They try to have a range of cheese prices, from inexpensive, value cheese to higher-end artisan ones. Their average customer purchases from 1/2 to 1 1/2 pounds of cheese on a visit.
Located in the above picture, on the left side, is the Napolean ($36.99/lb), a raw sheeps milk from the Pyrenees region of France. There is a mountain, called Le Nez de Napolean, which faces the farm and that is where the cheese gets its name. The top of the mountain allegedly resembles a profile of Napolean. This cheese is produced in a traditional Basque style, aged for 24 months, and is Brie's favorite sheep's milk cheese. It has an intriguing firmness, almost a fudgy texture, in your mouth, with a deep, nutty and savory flavor. It is an elegant cheese and Brie recommends pairing it with some honey.
Though I enjoyed all four of the cheeses, my personal favorite was the stunning Lamuse Aged Gouda ($28.99/lb), a raw cow's milk cheese. Gouda has been produced as far back as the 5th century and takes its name from a city in the Netherlands. This Gouda is aged for about two years, and at mid-range temperatures rather than the usual cool temperatures many others use. With a rich amber, almost orange, coloration, the aroma of this cheese will first impress you, with its complex and alluring melange of aromas. When you taste it, your mouth will be flooded with a harmonious blend of flavors, including butterscotch, nuts, caramel, and savory elements. You also get some crunch from protein crystals, enhancing the sensory experience. Though firm, it also seems to nearly melt in your mouth. Highly recommended!
I raved about this Spanish Vermouth, and learned that it has been a hot seller at the shop too. This is an interesting and delicious Vermouth and it is great to know that it is available here.
Go to the shop for the cheese, and pick up some excellent wines too!