Calling all cheese lovers! Whether you’re celebrating National Cheese Day or putting together the perfect cheese platter, here’s where to shop.
By Liz Susman Karp, with additional reporting by Lindsey Smith
Enhancing the area’s foodie scene includes a number of specialty shops that offer a wide variety of cheeses from all over, along with knowledgeable service and a passion for the product.
Each store has its own personality and ethos, but all have a personal touch, with cheesemongers aiming to engage and educate the customer – a very different experience from buying plastic-wrapped cheese in a supermarket. .
Dante’s Italian charcuterie
429 Central Ave, White Plains; 914.946.3609
Be careful not to bump into the three-foot logs of Auricchio’s provolone, neatly marked with age, arrival date and expected cutting dates, that hang from the ceiling as you walk through this Italian deli outside. old, open for more than 60 years. With around 60 options in the case at any one time, cheese is the heart of the shop, says owner Anthony Perrotta.
Seventy-five percent of the selection is Italian, with the rest coming from France, Ireland and local farms; the tender and milky mozzarella is homemade. The buffalo milk gouda and wine-aged pecorino are rave reviews from customers. Perrotta also uses many cheeses for the shop’s 33 varieties of homemade pasta, including 17 flavors of ravioli, and other Italian specialties, such as fresh sandwiches, stuffed peppers and catering and cheese platters.
Order: Hard to choose one, Perrotta opts for Holy Cow, one of the newest cheeses that has quickly become extremely popular.
Dobbs & Bishop fine cheese
107 Pondfield Road, Bronxville; 914.361.1770
This October marks the 13th anniversary of Dobbs & Bishop. Spouses, owners and self-proclaimed foodies Kevin McNeill and Ruth Walter, deeply disappointed by the bland cheese offerings at their local grocery store, decided to open a cheese shop soon after moving to Bronxville.
A blackboard on the wall lists the more than 100 cheeses usually available, organized by type, including a “stinky” category. “As best we can, we go with whole milk cheeses and small producers, like Cato Corner, a cheese farm in Connecticut, to be a little different,” says McNeill. Besides American cheeses, expect imports from Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Holland and the United Kingdom.
Sandwiches of the day; gourmet products, including olives, nuts, crackers and jams; and “orphan cheeses”, which offer customers the opportunity to try small, inexpensive amounts of popular cheeses, are available. Memberships to cheese clubs of the month, gift baskets and cheese platters are popular during the holidays. Cheese towers decorated with flowers are a specialty of the store.
Order: Délices de Bourgogne, a triple cream Brie from France. “People are going absolutely crazy about it. It’s like ice cream for adults,” says McNeill.
Mint Premium Foods
19 Main Street, Tarrytown; 914.703.6511
Twenty-three years ago, a self-proclaimed midlife crisis prompted Hassan Jarane, then a professional photographer, to share his passion for food by opening Mint Premium Foods. Today, Jarane and his wife, Alberta, claim ownership of the oldest cheese factory in the county and have seen customer palates evolve over the years from demanding Havarti to demanding more varied and sophisticated cheeses.
Also a charming restaurant with an eclectic decor worthy of its varied menu with global influences, the counter features 40 to 50 cheeses and a dozen varieties of charcuterie. Barrels of plump olives, baguettes and all sorts of imported mustards, oils, vinegars, dried figs, quince jelly and pasta are on display right from the entrance. “We pride ourselves on having a balanced selection,” says Jarane of his cheeses, 99% of which are imported from France, Holland, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Order: Although customers frequently request truffle cheeses, Jarane consumes up to 20 wheels of English cheddar with caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar each week. “Even people who don’t eat cheese come for it,” he says.
Related: The couple behind Mint Premium Foods is building a vibrant legacy
Second mouse cheese
357 Manville Road, Pleasantville; 914.579.2909
Ivy Ronquillo opened the cheese shop of her dreams in April 2019, named after an old business adage: the first mouse catches the trap and the second mouse catches the cheese. A skilled cheesemaker, Ronquillo learned as Terrance Brennan’s right-hand man at Artisanal and while working at Murray’s Cheese and Greenwich Cheese Company. Of the varieties in her case, expect half to be raw milk cheeses, as they tend to be tastier and more traditional.
And while Ronquillo doesn’t overlook the fact that European producers set the standard for cheese making, it stocks 60% domestic cheeses, all produced in small batches, with an emphasis on local and American creameries that Ronquillo does everything possible to support. A tavern license allows Second Mouse to offer sangria, local wine, cider, and beer to accompany a cheese plate or grilled cheese. Shelves are stocked with artisan crackers, condiments and more, and the store stays open until 8 p.m. some nights to cater to the Jacob Burns crowd or for private parties (think book clubs or the mother’s night).
A Cheese 101 class is held monthly, along with wine and cheese tastings.
Order: Reypennaer XO Reserve, a three-year-old Gouda with “a crystalline texture, a lovely deep peach color and a butterscotch quality, so it serves as the perfect dessert dish or dinner cheese that I don’t crave. TO DO . We can’t keep it in stock,” says Ronquillo.