Shopping for Cheese Online
Part of the Cheese For Dummies Cheat Sheet
You can purchase cheese in many places, especially if you live in a large city: specialty cheese shops, grocery stores with cheese shops or counters, and public and farmers’ markets. Online cheese retailers are another option. If you live in a rural area, are physically unable to visit retail shops, dislike dealing with crowds, or are in search of an esoteric cheese, shopping online is a good choice.
Check out the following cheese retailers. Their sites are easy-to-understand and navigate and have comprehensive information. They’re also trustworthy — not just in terms of security, but with regard to the quality of their products and their knowledge of how to correctly pack and ship a cheese:
Artisanal (New York City): Artisanal Bistro is a cheese-centric eatery with a modest, but well-curated retail selection of cheeses. Artisanal Premium Cheese Center offers a curriculum of cheese education classes (note that this location doesn’t have a retail outlet).
Beechers Handmade Cheese (Seattle): Located in Seattle’s touristy but historic Pike Place Market, you’ll find a small selection of domestic cheeses in this café/retail shop/cheese factory — and you can watch cheese being made through the windows. A second location is now open in New York’s Flatiron District.
Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco and Washington DC): Cowgirl Creamery is an excellent example of the European model (cheeses stacked on counters), with a careful selection of the best artisanal domestic and import cheeses, as well as housemade product.
DiBruno Bros (Philadelphia): Bustling and well-stocked with specialty foods, Di Bruno’s four retail locations have excellent cheese selections and the mongers know what they’re doing.
Formaggio Kitchen (Boston): This shop has an exhaustive array of artisan cheeses, handwritten signs, and highly educated mongers as well as lots of specialty foods. The original location is in Cambridge, with a second store in the South End.
Fromagination (Madison, Wisconsin): Foundedin 2007 by Ken Monteleone, this shop is located in the heart of Madison's Capital Square. With a strong focus on Wisconsin and Midwest cheeses and accompaniments, Fromagination curates a rotating selection of cheeses and food-related items.
Murray’s Cheese Shop (New York City): Murray’s is the quintessential cheese shop, with wedges, wheels, and dry goods piled high in all directions. The original shop (now over 60 years old) is in Greenwich Village, where they also offer educational classes. A second location is in Grand Central Station, and the company has also collaborated with Kroger supermarkets and set up Murrays Cheese counters in several states.
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine (Chicago): With three Chicago-based locations, Pastoral offers a great selection of both domestic and imported cheeses as well as a carefully curated wine department and accompaniments for cheese.
Zingerman’s (Ann Arbor, Michigan): Fun and delicious are the key words here (just check out Zingerman’s site and catalogue and you’ll see what we mean). The shop has a fabulous deli with an assortment of cheeses, including those from its own creamery, as well as a separate bakehouse and Roadhouse eatery, and a well-stocked mail order business.
Ordering online from a retailer closest to you is best, because you can save money on shipping cost and time.