Back when I was in high school and college, I worked in a high end cheese shop called The Village Cheese Shop in Wyckoff and Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. On Saturday mornings I’d arrive at the shop early to bake the individual loaves of pepperoni and cheese breads that had people lining up to buy them, hot from the oven and wrapped in brown paper. The aroma was intoxicating, but the cheeses were the stars of our little shop. And since those days behind the cheese counter, I’ve been on the hunt for a particular type of double cream Gouda – which I happened to find here in this incredible shop in Carmel.
The Cheese Shop in Carmel is worthy of spending a few hours browsing, tasting, learning and buying. Cheese Eating Oeneophile CEO Kent is an expert in all things tasty and will gladly make recommendations to suit your palate. And the staff members are diehard cheese lovers – just ask and you might hear stories of how they grew up in the shop. Cheese is in their veins!
In addition to the extensive wine selection, the international offering of cheeses is varied and carefully curated, with a balance of textures available. If you love a cheese and don’t find it here, just ask and they’ll do their best to special order it for you.
Here are a few cheeses to take home with you:
- DiStefano Burrata alla Panna – a whole milk fresh mozzarella filled with Italian cream and stracciatella. Incredibly creamy, perfectly crafted, silky mouth feel. Pure white. Fabulous with aged balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. Hand-crafted in America from a family recipe. Tastes exactly like it does made fresh it Italy. A gem.
- Morbier – an interesting semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with a line of volcanic ash running through the center. Slightly ivory in color, mild in flavor with a sharp note of aftertaste. Historically, the cheese was made with curds from the evening milking, spread with ash and topped with curds from the morning milking.
- Shropshire Blue – a golden-toned British blue cheese made from cow’s milk. Sharp, tangy and soft. Excellent when paired with fresh-sliced nectarines.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano – The classic hard Italian cow’s milk cheese used by chefs worldwide. A staple in my kitchen for its salty, aromatic qualities. Made exclusively in Parma, Italy (just a few miles from where I lived). Don’t discard the rinds – simmer in soups for added flavor.
- Boerenkaas – The cheese flavor I’ve hunted for to satisfy my memories! (My cheese was Roomkaas – which literally means “cream cheese” in Dutch) A cow’s milk young Gouda double cream cheese that is exceptionally smooth and flavorful. Not too tangy, not too mild. Just perfect. Enjoy with slices of warm bread.
Corner of Ocean and Junipero downstairs in Carmel Plaza
Carmel by the Sea, CA 93921