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Cheese Shops in Connecticut

What do people have to say about where to buy cheese in CT?

Avoiding Whole Foods and Stop & Shop, and aside from Say Cheese in Simsbury, which I've heard about but haven't been to, by far the best cheese I've seen in CT is at Son of the Moon, on South Main St in Middletown.

They stock 100+ different kinds of cheese and other raw-milk dairy products, some of it local (i.e. New England) and a lot imported. The cheese-lady there sold me a rather-fantastic Norwegian cheese last week really unlike anything I've ever seen or tasted... called "Gjetost" and made out of caramelized (!) whey. It's extremely bizarre to eat a cheese that tastes like toffee... let me assure you.

Any other suggestions?

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  1. Frommage in Old Saybrook is great. Has a vast selection.

    Bishops in Guilford. Aside from being an orchard, they have a terrific cheese selection. I tried a cheese called pleasant cow last week and it was out of this world. Mild, creamy. Almost like a soft manchengo.

    1. There is a cheese shop in West Hartford Center, I forget the new name of it. It used to be owned by the same people as Say Cheese in Simsbury, but was sold a couple years ago. I went to Say Cheese a month ago and there was a sign on the door that said "closed until further notice". I was very sorry to see that. I hope they will open up again.

      I will have to check out some of the other shops listed here.

      2 Replies
      1. re: NE_Elaine

        The off shoot of Say Cheese in West Hartford closed over a year ago. Sadly the original owner Say Cheese in Simsbury closed this fall but has reopened in a new location by new owners. The new shop is a cheese shop. Mostly cheese, some coffee and few other gourmet items. Cheese is it!

        1. re: jimn01

          I stopped in to the new Say Cheese before Christmas to get my daughter some Humbolt Fog (which she loves). It is located downstairs and was cold and damp; like being in a basement. Cheese was ridiculoulsy overpriced. The HF was $8 more a pound than Wild Raspberry and $6 a lb more than Whole Foods and the same stuff. Many of the cheese selections I saw could be purchased at any Stop & Shop. Not a shop I'll return to.

      2. Try The Wild Raspberry in Cromwell. It is a gourmet gift shop with the cheeses in the back. They used to have an almost exclusively cheese store in West Hartford, but the competition from Whole Foods was too much for them. Jill, the Cheese Monger is now in Cromwell. She is so knowledgable, enthusiastic, and fun that trying cheese with her is just a great experience.

        They do wine and cheese tastings every month and they are only $20 if you reserve early. It sounds like you might be fairly close since you shop in Middletown, so I would definitely give it a try.

        http://thewildraspberry.com/

        4 Replies
        1. re: joaniebaby

          I second Wild Raspberry - the cheese selection is excellent - lots of artisan stuff from the NE & a good selection of imported cheeses. They'll let you try anything & are always ready with a good recommendation. Like joaniebaby said Jill and Josh are really knowledgable - it's a family run operation with mom, son & daughter in law -usually one of them are in there. The wine & cheese classes are also a lot of fun.

          I'm not really into all of the gift stuff, but I think that probably makes the overall store more viable & the cheese really is top notch!

          While you're there you could also check out Fils deli in the same plaza - it's polish with great kielbasa & perogies..

          1. re: ctbrit

            I agree....Jill is another great and honest chheese monger. I trustthem 100%

          2. re: joaniebaby

            Oh, I've been to the Wild Rasberry, and Son of the Moon in Middletown is FAR superior... with a significantly better selection, and a much more pleasant store.

            I'm going to try to get down to the places recc'd in New London and North Haven when I get a chance...

            1. re: politico

              Is that the small shop front near the Wesleyan Potters? We went in there on a whim a couple of months ago & I didn't feel very comfortable - it felt small & a lot of stuff seemed to be in the back, didn't feel like I could browse for long. I really like the service & cheese I get at Wild Raspberry but everyone has different perspectives - that's what makes chowhound interesting!

          3. Brie and Blue - Bank Street, New London. Small but quality selections of cheeses - also has kitchen - you can order salads, bruchettas - www.brieandblue.com

            Great wine shop next door - they do free wine and cheese tastings on Friday night.

            1. IMHO one of the best cheese shops around is Liuzzi's Cheese on State Street in North Haven. Lou the head cheesemonger is extremely knowledgable. Aside from great house made Mozz., Ricotta, Buratta and Basket cheeses, their selection of Domestic and Imported cheese's is very large and ever changing. Wonderful ripe Italian and French cheeses, ready to eat with crusty bread and a pear.

              9 Replies
              1. re: chefstu

                I have not been to The Son of the Moon or Wild Raspberries but I go to Liuzzis several times a month. Domenic and family do a great job. Their store made cheese is excellent and the selection of imported and domestic cheeses is great. The store also has a huge selection of italian imports, great olives, deli meats, etc.

                Saddly, with the economy the way it is, even a place like this has had to cut back slightly on some of the more expensive imported cheeses. Still a great selection, but the very top shelf selections are a tiny bit slim these days.

                Worth the trip though!

                1. re: gardencub

                  First off...it's the staff that does a great job, not Domenic. Domenic and his family make absolutely the greatest domestic fresh mozz and ricotta. Second, they don't sell the top end cheese any more because the Lou and Chris are not there any more. You can't have people with no passion or knowledge selling a blue chees that cost $30/lb. Brooklyn Vinny can't do it and neither can anyone else in that place. When you lose key people in your business, don't blame the economy, look at what's going on within.

                  1. re: spork5150

                    well, I respectifully disagree. Domenic and his family are doing a good job, and good news, Lou has been back for a few weeks. I bought cheese there from him yesterday.

                    1. re: gardencub

                      of course..it's the holiday. Why would you not bring in your "A" team at the biggest time of the year. And it wasn't a shot at the family. They've built a business literally from their own sweat and blood that is unmatched by anyone else in this state although others seem to try and duplicate it. The father, uncle and now the sons put every once of energy into that cheese. The finished product, no matter which one you get, is easy to say one of the best on the east coast and far superior than the operation in the midwest who is considered to be the best in this country. You get a newby on the block like Caseus that some pitch as the "Temple of New Haven cheese". I mean, come on. What I am commenting on is that one person is not responsible for the entire operation. They surrounded themselves with very talented and passionate people. Louie would have to be the top one and Leo, although he is not there anymore, would have to be another one. That is what I am speaking of.

                      1. re: spork5150

                        Lou is at Liuzzi's on Monday and Tuesday's. He has been training Robert to take over for him.
                        Robert is very nice with good taste in cheese and steadily learning from Lou.

                        1. re: chefstu

                          Good to hear. I would still rather make the trip to Darien. Teaching someone 2 days a week doesn't amount to 25 years of knowledge.

                          1. re: spork5150

                            While it is great to work with someone with that kind of knowledge, not all of us have the time or money to drive two hours to get cheese. Knowing that someone is spending the time and money to train a new cheese guy is good news for all of us.

                          2. re: chefstu

                            One of the best memories of Lou is the time he threw an arrogant sales guy out. I believe the guy was from Beaver Brook Farms and on his way out the door his last words were, "We don't need you to sell our cheese." Lou could sell ice to eskimos. Great guy to talk to about everything and anything.