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Where do you buy cheese in central New Jersey?

We'll be moving to central New Jersey (Princeton area) and want to know where we can find good cheese. We are moving from LA, where we are blessed with a couple wonderfu cheese stores that know how to age, store, and sell a very wide variety of cheese. I probably won't have that to look forward to (just head up to NYC to Murrays for that, I suppose), but I'm guessing there must be some good cheese for sale in the princeton/trenton area. And bonus points for local raw milk cheeses...

thanks

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  1. There's a Wegmans in Princeton that you should check out. My local Wegmans has a decent cheese shop. I can get Humboldt Fog and Purple Haze there for example.

    1. the wegmans will have a decent selection as will the whole foods(probably better). i would check out local farmer's markets. i do know of a few further east, wine concierge(decent european selection) in allenhurst?deal? the "cheese shop" in ocean, nice selection.
      most famous probably bobolink dairy
      cowsoutside.com
      none of these are in princeton, but the 2 shops are not that far, certainly closer than nyc. however, murray's is awesome!, as is artisanal and many more in the city. artisanal will fed ex a nice selction to you as well. as a fellow cali transplant(san diego), be ready for a different food scene.

      1. Bon Appetite is a gourmet shop in Princeton - I'm not a cheese afficionado, but they seem to take their small cheese section very seriously. Bobolink Dairy in (I think) Vernon, which is a ways away, makes its own cheeses, which many people seem to like.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Heatherb

          I think the OP will be quite pleased with the cheeses at Bon Appetit in the Princeton Shopping Center. While the selection is not huge, the quality is excellent and the personnel really know their cheeses.

          http://www.bonappetitfinefoods.com

          In the same shopping center is McAffrey's, a supermarket that has a very good cheese department.

          http://www.mccaffreys.com

          I agree that Wegman's usually has a good (and large) selection of cheeses but I find too many old cheeses there - and I don't mean aged!

          There are two excellent cheese shops in Doylestown, PA. You should check them out once you're settled in your new abode.

          1. re: ambrose

            Another high recommendation, along with ambrose, for Bon Appetit!

            The owner is onsite daily and is a 4th generation purveyor of cheeses and fine foods. He's also earned the title of Taste-Fromage, awarded by the French Association to those individuals demonstrating expertise in cheese.

            They usually stock 200+ varieties. We especially like their fresh mozzarella that they get daily from a producer in Brooklyn. Great this time of year with sliced Jersey tomatoes and a splash of fresh olive oil!

            They also have raw milk cheeses - from both cow and sheep that are produced by small farms in NJ & VT.

            1. re: Foody4life

              Oh good. I mentioned it because I got my boyfriend his grano padano there and found the folks behind the counter very enthusiastic and informative. Boyfriend really liked the cheese, but he also doesn't mind Velveeta. I had a good experience there. It's a very friendly atmosphere. But I'm not a cheese expert.

              1. re: Heatherb

                Toasted cheese with Velveeta = heaven!! :)

          2. re: Heatherb

            Agreed. The cheese counter at Bon Appetit is the best in the area.

            1. re: Heatherb

              where is Bon Appetit? I was at McCaffrey's this weekend and I thought I recalled it was in the same shopping plaza but I didn't see it. Is there more than one McCaffrey's in the area? I was on Princeton-Highstown Rd.

              1. re: mbw1024

                It's in the mall that's off to the side. It has an entrance facing Harrison Street and it's very close the end of the mall nearest McCaffrey's. The signs outside the stores are not that visible.

                1. re: mbw1024

                  There is more than one McCaffrey's. Bon Appetit is in the Princeton Shopping Center, out on Harrison St. I think you were in a different shopping center.

              2. Chef MD, did you mean 'the cheese shop' in Ocean Grove, not in Ocean??

                3 Replies
                1. re: OGguy

                  Although I've never been, I understand that Sickles Market in Little Silver has an excellent selection of cheeses. However, like ChefMD I buy cheese at Wegmans.

                  1. re: bgut1

                    sickels DOES have a pretty great cheese selection... more importantly, unlike Wegmans, Whole Foods, Delicious Orchards, Sickels can boast pretty great service/knowledge as well, and at last check you can count on not only asking questions but getting answers and tastings to boot, at least, that was the case the last time I was there about 2 months ago and for several years prior

                  2. re: OGguy

                    probably so...... i get a little confused, too many "ocean this, ocean that"...sorry.

                  3. Bon Apetit has one of the best selections of high-quality cheeses from all over the world in all of NJ. I am pretty sure they loose money on the cheese department, becasue of the high import prices and spoilage...they make their money on catering, prepeared foods, and the expensive oils and such tey sell....gourmet cheese is just not profitable usual due to spoilage.

                    Wegman's is fine, but does not compare to Bon Apetit. Heck, you buy a $25 piece of Humboldt Fog, and they wrap it in plastic wrap. A cheese aficionado would gasp if a shop wrapper their cheese in plastic wrap.,

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: frackit

                      Your last paragraph would describe the type of cheese person that I am. I'm not looking for pre-cut pieces or plastic wrap -- I'm looking for stores that offer samples before you buy, cut each piece to order from the larger wheel of cheese, and know how to properly handle cheese. Given those expectations, places like Whole Foods don't always fit the bill, at least in Los Angeles. Would Bon Appetit meet these expectations?

                      1. re: glutton

                        Absolument!

                        I thought I would pass on the web link for one of the Doylestown shops that I like for cheese. Doylestown is an easy drive from Princeton so, as I mentioned above, you should go there once you're established.

                        http://www.coteandco.com/

                        Sorry, I can't remember the name of the other cheese shop in Doylestown. Perhaps someone else can help.

                        1. re: glutton

                          Bon Appetit is your place.

                          The owner, Michel Lemmerling is what I would describe as passionate and finicky (in the most flattering way) about his cheese! Most cheeses are cut to order off the wheel then wrapped with great care in waxed paper. Samples are provided and his depth of knowledge about the world of cheese is second to none (at least in Princeton)!!