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Best cheese shops in Boston area?

k
kpfoley Aug 4, 2002 09:37 AM

Hi All,

What are the best cheese shops in the Boston area?

Thanks,
Kevin

  1. c
    C. Simon Aug 4, 2002 09:50 AM

    Well, certainly the place to start is Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge. I am told that it is one of the best cheese shops in the world, and on my many visits there, I have seen to reason to disagree.

    Their south end branch, South End Formaggio, is also good.

    Wasik's in Wellesley is the next best in the area.

    Also worthwhile are the cheese shops at most Bread and Circus's in the area, particularly those in Cambridge.

    But keep it simple. You won't need anything other than Formaggio Kitchen.

    3 Replies
    1. re: C. Simon
      k
      kpfoley Aug 4, 2002 10:57 AM

      Yes, from their website it sounds pretty impressive:

      http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/kitch...

      Thanks!

      1. re: kpfoley
        c
        C. Simon Aug 4, 2002 11:12 AM

        Their strength is the research and attention to detail that goes into purchasing. Before they stock a product, they seem to confirm that they have thoroughly educated themselves on whether or not it is premium. Because of all that attention to detail, and because of the great lengths they go to ship the best products from around the world, prices are not low. But . . . the great thing abotu cheese is that you don't need a lot of it.

        1. re: C. Simon
          d
          dchow Aug 5, 2002 12:48 AM

          it's true -- the purchasers at formaggio deal directly with the sellers in their respective countries. you can get cheeses that are handmade by a little 90-year-old woman living at the top of a mountain or other cheeses that are only available two weeks out of the year. their stock changes often, so your taste buds will always be challenged when you go to formaggio. it's an awesome store that also sells european yogurts, butters, waters, etc.

    2. e
      E Aug 4, 2002 01:05 PM

      If you are closer to Wellesley than to Cambridge, go to Wasik's. They are experts and will never sell you bad cheese. They might not sell you what you are looking for if it is not ripened properly (they do this on premises), but they will sell you something similar or better. I don't believe that there is any point in ranking fantastic cheese shops.

      1. s
        Steve Aug 5, 2002 10:28 AM

        there is a great little cheese and wine shop in Lower Mills near Central Ave in Milton (very near the Dorchester line). Can get the name if you live in that area.

        1. d
          David Pearlman Aug 5, 2002 11:25 AM

          It's not a cheese shop, but some of the best cheese you'll find is at Salumeria Italiana in the North End, which is one of my favorite places in the world for that and other reasons. They have about twenty cheeses or so, mostly Italian, but they've got some Spanish Manchego and a few other non-Italian things. I particularly like their Taleggio and Crucolo, and both the aged and fresh Asiago. It's one of the few places you can get real buffalo mozzarella as well as cow's milk mozzarella.

          1. h
            Helen Rennie Aug 5, 2002 04:34 PM

            Wine and Cheese Cask in somerville is also excellent. When we lived in somerville, we shopped there all the time, but now that we are in belmont, we go to Fresh Pond Bread & Circus. They have a really amazing selection and very friendly experienced staff.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Helen Rennie
              g
              galleygirl Aug 5, 2002 04:47 PM

              They are also an amazingly knowledgable wine shop, source of the first Zinfandel, a Shuletz-Oles(sp?) that did, indeed, rock my world!

              1. re: Helen Rennie
                j
                Jon Reuter Aug 5, 2002 05:36 PM

                Although the Wine and Cheese Cask doesn't have the depth of Formaggio Kitchen, it is a great cheese shop and my favorite wine shop in the Boston Metro area (though I've probably not been to them all). When in doubt ask Steve to help you out. He knows his wine.

                Jon

                1. re: Helen Rennie
                  w
                  Wine&Cheese Lover Mar 13, 2005 05:34 PM

                  No! Actually -- stay away from the Wine & Cheese Cask on Washington St. in Somerville/Cambridge (right across from Dali). They have *the* worst customer service I've ever encountered in my 15 years of living in the area. And there cheese selection is actually really small (compared to a few years ago). I went in there w/ friends on a Sunday about 10 mins before closing time. Out of the 4 employees standing around, only one offered to help me locate the bottles of wine and cheeses we were looking for. We were in the store for <5 mins., at which point they very loudly and deliberately voiced comments such as...

                  ** "You're the only customers in the store" <-- a response to my "excuse me - do you work here?"

                  ** "I'm closing down this register; turn off the lights, too; I don't care who's in here"

                  ** And then, my favorite, AS my friends and I are paying for our goods at the register (keep in mind, we've been in the store for <5 mins. at this point, and it's not even 6pm which is when they're supposedly closing)... the guy standing guard at the front door complains loudly over us to his other co-workers: "people always come running in here. "oh, please! can i just grab one thing?" and I'm like "No! Go to Davis Sq."

                  ** And my all time favorite: they fucking turned off the LIGHTS.

                  And then there are general observations: they carry off years of good labels. they have a tiny selection of cheese -- they've downsized it since a while ago.

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