BEST CHEESE SELECTION - 2007
Premier Cheese Market
Premier Cheese Market has got $17-a-pound washed-rind this and $12-a-pound artisanal that. A terrific selection, in fact: a well-balanced mix that acknowledges that the upper Midwest, like the Chablis region, has a certain desirable terroir and that not all of us fear pungency. But, you know what else they have? Perfectly serviceable—nay, downright admirable—$5- and $6-a-pound Swiss, provolone, and cheddar, in big deli blocks for slicing. Because cheese doesn't always go on a marble cheese plate. Sometimes it goes on your sandwich or your omelet. The knowledgeable staff can help you navigate both sides of their display case, proudly showing off smart little pyramids of French Valencay covered in gray ash, and wedges of Black River blue, the pride of Wisconsin. On a recent visit, these bright young women even talked a foolhardy customer into a small round of affidelice, a tauntingly, temptingly stinky cow's milk cheese so soft you serve it with a spoon. So temptingly stinky, in fact, that we opened it half a dozen times, intending to let it warm up and then devour it, before admitting defeat and putting it out in the snow bank to avoid the smell. It is an established fact, after all, that every great cheese shop should stock something that even a bold taster won't touch.