The eponymous “Swiss cheese”, made in the Emmental region of western central Switzerland. Herdsmen traditionally take their cows up into the mountains during the warmer months, where the animals graze on lush, high-elevation grasses.
The milk from these months is luscious, grassy, and goes into making Emmental cheese. These enormous wheels are then cave-aged for up to 14 months, developing large, round eyes throughout the paste and a sweet, nutty flavor that’s reminiscent of rising bread dough. Delicious with fresh fruit, this is a great sandwich cheese that also melts beautifully. Pair with Swiss Gruyére for a traditional mountain Fondue.
Dolcelatte translates to ‘sweet milk,’ so it’s no surprise that this decadent, creamy blue cheese tastes like something halfway between breakfast and dessert.
Italy’s famous blue is named for the town of Gorgonzola in Lombardy, where it was first made in the middle ages. The mildness of Dolcelatte’s flavor is due in part to its creaminess; after being pierced to develop blue veining, the cheese melts back into itself, blocking most of the oxygen and developing only pale blue veins. While less pungent than most blues, the paste has a rich, full body with aromas of crushed grapes and fresh bread dough. Excellent melted on polenta, spread on crostini and drizzled with olive oil, or baked into a sweet & savory cheesecake.
A wise Frenchman once shared with us his recipe for the best fondue: Comté, Comté and more Comté! While this might be a bit excessive, it’s certainly true that Comté is one of the world’s best melting cheeses, with a silky, even texture and rich flavor that’s both full and sweetly unassuming at the same time.
Our wheels come from Essex St. Cheese Co., founded by Daphne Zepos and Jason Hinds to bring some of Europe’s finest cheeses into the US. This particular Comté is so versatile and exceptionally good that for a long while it was the only cheese being imported by their company. Each wheel is hand-selected for an especially refined flavor profile, which balances the aromas of grassy milk with rich hazelnuts and sweet onions. This is a cheese that can be as fancy as you want it to be, whether that means providing the perfect complement to a bottle of light red wine or bubbling atop a tuna melt.
A Californian original, created by mother and son dairy duo Cindy & Liam Callahan of Bellwether Farms. Cindy founded the farm in 1986, turning from a career in nursing, and her son Liam came on board soon after as head cheesemaker.
Carmody is inspired by the young cheese made around Milan, most of which in consumed locally and a rare find outside of Italy. Made to showcase the buttery, sweet flavors of Jersey cows milk, the cheese is mild and lactic in flavor with a yogurty tang reminiscent of fresh milk and a spring breeze. The texture is buttery and pliant with excellent meltability, making it a star in the kitchen. The subtle flavor makes this a great breakfast cheese, delicious drizzled with honey on a hearty raisin bread. Named for the Carmody River that runs adjacent to the Callahans’ property, a reminder of the connection between food, farmer and land.
A scrumptious, natural-rind cheddar made in the style of the English giants, like Montgomery’s and Quicke’s Cheddars. Aside from being utterly delicious in its own right, this cheese has an economic agenda to protect rural dairy farming in New England.
Made for the Cabot Co-Operative from the milk of a single herd of Holstein cows, this cheddar is then transferred to the Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, VT, where it is larded and bound in muslin to begin its 10-month stay in their cheese caves. The Cellars at Jasper Hill buy young, “green” cheese from small dairies in New England in order to age, market and distribute it across the country. They help keep these small dairies in business by providing a market for their specialty product, and help spread these great cheeses to areas that might otherwise never have the chance to taste them – a real treat for us on the west coast!
While Cabot is a large co-operative, this cheese shows their commitment also to small producers and their artisanal cheeses. Each wheel of Cabot Clothbound develops a natural rind under the cloth, which both protects the interior and allows the cheese to breathe, leading to more complex flavor development than you’ll find in cheddar sealed in plastic or wax. At 10-12 months old, Cabot Clothbound has a firm texture that shows the texture of the curds, with a pliant butteriness and slight crunch on the tongue. Sweeter than the English counterparts, with undertones of toasted caramel and high notes of grass and butter; an invaluable cheese on the plate or in the kitchen.
Champagne, anyone? Brillat Savarin is one of the single best accompaniments for sparkling wine, be it Champagne, Prosecco, or a California sparkling white.
This is a triple-crème cheese, with a dry volume butterfat content around 75%. Cakey at room temperature, the cheese melts into liquid on the tongue, where it begs for effervescent bubbles to cut the fat. Our Brillat Savarin usually arrives around 6-8 weeks old with a thin, edible, white bloomy rind. The paste is irresistibly soft and spreadable, like a sensual butter that can’t wait to get on the baguette. Mild, sweet and faintly tangy, this is a great pairing with fresh berries, toasted hazelnuts and dried dates.
A superb aged gouda. The Beemster co-operative has been making and aging cheese for over a century in the Beemster municipality of the Netherlands. The Beemster polder is 20 feet below sea-level, with an incredibly nutrient-rich earth and grasses that sustain the cows for most of the year.
The co-op also works with Caring Dairy, a program that provides resources for farmers to maintain sustainability via appropriate energy use, healthy animals and a good economic return. Aged for a minimum of 26 months, Beemster X.O. is a hard, dense cheese with intense flavors of butterscotch, smoky caramel and toasted almonds. The texture is firm but maintains a butteriness that’s irresistible, as well as the signature crunch that’s found in a well-aged cheese. For a new twist on a classic dessert, try shaving Beemster X.O. over a bowl of vanilla ice cream or a slice of apple pie. Planning a hike or picnic? Forget the trail mix and pack some aged gouda, fresh apples and a bar of dark chocolate.
Wensleydale may be the butt of a few jokes around the cheese counter – Wallace & Gromit fans can barely contain themselves – but it’s earned its place as a delicious, satisfying cheese.
Traditionally, a hearty country cheese meant to preserve milk into a nutritious, mobile food that would satiate quickly after hours of physical labor, this is still a product with minimal guile and subtle assertions. Each wheel is bound in cloth to mature with a natural rind, which leads to a slightly creamier, earthier layer under the rind and a smoother overall flavor than wheels aged in plastic or wax.
Our wheels are selected and aged by Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, committed to preserving the farmstead cheese traditions of the UK. Wensleydale is lactic and yogurty in flavor with a slightly dry, brittle texture that breaks on the tongue irresistibly. The finish is long and buttery, leaving you craving another bite and a crisp, juicy apple.
California’s first and only traditional blue cheese! Made in Point Reyes, CA by the Giacomini family with raw cow’s milk from their own herd of Holsteins. The California fog and ocean breezes keep the cows cool and the grasses lush, a formula for some really great milk.
A long-time dairy family, the Giacominis started making cheese in 2000. They decided on blue cheese for its appeal both in the kitchen and for its role as part of a cheese course. The result? A sumptuous cheese that’s both big and balanced. Each wheel is aged a minimum of six months, giving the cheese time to develop its signature creamy-crumbly texture and intense flavor. Bright, tangy and acidic, this is a great blue cheese to pair with fresh fruit, a crisp white wine, or something sweeter for dessert.
Names for the town of Gruyéres, Switzerland, a lion among mountain cheeses. Traditionally made at high altitudes with rich, grass-fed milk.
Alpine farmers pool their milk supplies to make these enormous 80-pound wheels which are then cave-aged. Our Antique Gruyére is aged a minimum of 12 months, allowing the flavor to concentrate and the texture to become firm with slight crunch from the crystallizing calcium lactate. At this age, the flavors are deeply sweet and nutty, with an earthy edge that becomes more prominent and aromatic the warmer the cheese becomes.
Gruyére can be quite stinky when melted, although the flavor remains buttery and smooth. A traditional ingredient in Fondue, potato gratin, or a traditional French jambon and cornichon sandwich. A superb eating cheese, Gruyére rounds out a cheese plate and pairs beautifully with fresh apples –universally appropriate!
"The King" is a coveted title claimed by a handful of cheeses and their fans – Stilton, Beaufort, Comte – but even these must tip their hat to Parmigiano Reggiano.
Italy’s most famous cheese is also one of its oldest traditions, with a recipe that’s centuries old and highly regulated for quality and consistency. Even among Reggianos, ours is well ahead of the pack. For 5 generations the producing family has hand-selected wheels of Reggiano direct from the producers and matured the cheese in their own vaults with great care. Aged for a minimum of two summers, the complexity of the grass-fed milk concentrates into deep, nutty and sweet flavors in the end product. Our Reggiano retains a springiness at 24 months that’s rare in a cheese aged so long. This moisture gives these wheels a slightly softer paste than most of the same age, still achieving the high peaks of flavor that we look for without becoming over-dry and waxy.
Perhaps the most versatile and satisfying cheese we’ve ever met. Our favorite way to enjoy Reggiano is next to a glass of rich, complex, earthy red wine like Barolo or Barbaresco; these wines benefit from the nuttiness and low acidity of the cheese and together they truly sing for one another. Although in the U.S. most Reggiano is used for cooking, it is a fantastic table cheese that's low-fuss and delicious - great for cheese plates or a snack for a long hike. In the kitchen, try it grated over roasted asparagus or fresh pasta tossed with your favorite olive oil. Simply the best.
Real, true, old-fashioned English Cheddar, made in Somerset by cheesemakers Jamie Montgomery and Steve Bridges, then aged by the masters at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London.
Made from the milk of grass-fed Friesian-Holstein cows; a rich, fresh & flavorful milk for cheesemaking. These 50-pound drums are larded and bound in muslin rather than aging in wax or plastic, allowing the cheese to breathe during affinage and develop a natural rind. The result is a drier, curdier texture than most cheddars with a truly complex flavor that ranges from tangy and lactic to grassy and earthy, with faintly sweet undertones.
This is a cheese that deserves some attention, making a great single-cheese course paired with an English ale or hard cider. Excellent with chutney or mustard and hearty bread, or eaten with fresh apples for a snack.