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Cheese

We want to send a fabulous cheese gift platter to a friend in the South. It has to be kosher to a very high standard. Can be cholov stam but should not contain any cheese with tablet K or crown K or any other non mainstream certification. Advice please!

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  1. Does Pomegranate ship? They are the only place I know in New York that really tried to have a wide variety of kosher cheeses you would not find anywhere elese.

    2 Replies
      1. re: EllieS

        This doesn't answer the OP, but in response to what EllieS said about Pomegranate's selection of cheeses . . . I just saw a wide selection of kosher cheeses at the Fairway in Queens. I do not like cheese at all, so I can't really report on what they had (didn't plan to buy any, so I was looking just out of curiosity), but I could tell it was a much larger selection than the local places.

      2. (Edited because I checked the website has changed since I was last there and now the selection is just...meh.)

        1. Kosher Marketplace has a decent retail selection of packaged cheeses. I don't know if they would cut and put them on a platter. But if you're talking about sending a basket of higher end packaged cheeses I imagine they could do something.

          1. I had really good cheese from this company recently http://harmonyspecialty.com/products....
            They have some Star-K certified products, and even some cholov yisroel. Prices are very good. You have to call them in advance to see what kosher varieties they have available for shipping. The cheese comes in blocks, but they can package everything very nicely.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mamaleh

              They have Star-K, which is all cholov Yisroel, and they are producing, but might not have some Star-D products, which are not cholov yisroel. I wanted some of their aged cheddar to try, which was star-D, but they didn't have any, nor an Asiago. I bought an assortment of cheese from them in 1 lb. blocks, all star-K. By far the best was the Havarti, which did not actually taste like Havarti, but rather like a good medium cheddar with additional wild notes, but without quite the Cheddar texture- a very fine cheese, worth buying by the 40 lb. block, repackging and distributing, which was my original intention if I found many varieities I liked . The Mozzarella was good, but nothing special- there's a lot of good Moz around. The cheddar had the proper texture, just had so little age on it that it was positively innocuous. Still, no worse than any other mild cheddar on the market, and better texture than most. Pepper Jack was good in terms of flavor, with some kick to it, but texture was so-so, a little bit more plastic than I like for jack. The Parmesan had the proper texture, but no age on it, and consequently no flavor. I can highly recommend the Havarti, could possibly recommend the cheddar and parmesan with far more age on them, but not in their present condition. The pepper jack if only for melting, but not for eating straight, as there's better on the market, at least as far as texture. The Havarti was worth the price of admission, though. Too bad it's the only one I can wholeheartedly recommend.

              1. re: ganeden

                I liked the Cheddar too. I also thought it was very good value. Funny you should mention the aging. I just placed an order for more Havarti and they warned me it was not aged enough yet.

                1. re: mamaleh

                  They must be making this stuff in micro-quantities. At that rate, it might be worthwhile just to contract to do a run or 2, age it at their place under their control, then pick up such small quantities in a pickup truck. I was thinking of semi-loads, but they must be making well under that type of quantity.

            2. I second the Pomegranate suggestion, if they will ship. In addition to the good cheese selection, they make very nice platters. If they will ship,the one suggestion I have is to specify some of the nicer cheeses you are specifically interested. I find they often use the nice-but-more-standard sliced cheeses, but if you ask, they will put bleu cheese, brie, Camembert, etc in the mix as well.

              1. What about a selection from 5 Spoke. They do not sell directly, but I've seen a wide selection of its cheeses around NYC.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Kosher_Fiend

                  5 Spoke just lost their certification from the Kof-K

                  1. re: EllieS

                    Do you know if they are switching certification or if they are dropping all kosher certification? All I can find is the Kof-K alert that Kof-K is no longer certifying 5 Spoke.

                    1. re: EllieS

                      what a bummer. our favorite cheese...

                      1. re: noya

                        They switched to TabletK. Very disappointed since this is not a broadly accepted hechsher. Indeed, I have noticed a lot of cheeses with this certification. I loved their cheese and am sorry I can no longer buy it.

                        1. re: mrogovin

                          A lot of cheeses have it because tablet-k holds that cheese with vegetarian rennet isn't "cheese" and therefore does not require a Jew to put in the rennet. (Note: this post isn't an attempt to praise or condemn said practices; it's just to explain the reason for the switch).

                          1. re: mrogovin

                            definitely a disappointment--we don't use tabletK. Do companies know that this hechsher isn't accepted by many?

                            1. re: noya

                              Noya, they're aware but it's a logistics issue. These are companies that make great cheeses and happen to be kosher, not companies setting out to make kosher cheese. A lot of the companies are located far from established Jewish communities. In the case of Cabot, having a mashgiach add the rennet to every batch of cheese would mean forcing one Jew to live by himself hours from the closest Jewish community. It's just not practical for a company that operates year round. For the limited OU Pesach run the mashgiach can stay in a hotel for a week, but you can't do that year round.

                              I thought 5 Spoke was in Port Chester, so it makes the decision harder to understand. But it's possible that they relocated their operations or as their volume increased they ran into issues with the mashgiach.

                        2. re: EllieS

                          I saw some Kof-K 5 Spoke last weekend at Fairway in Plainview and was tempted to buy it, but didn't know to what extent Kof-K had pulled its certification (if previously supervised products with a hecksher were still good).

                      2. Thanks everyone. I actually went to Zabars. They ship directly from the store so I can select the cheese I want and they will ship overnight on ice anywhere in the country. Expensive but probably the best choice for me