The Cheeses of Washington Heights---And A Fun New Quiz!
And in my first act as a relatively stable New Yorker, I went to my local market and for some reason noticed, for the very first time, just how much very groovy cheese we have available here. So much that I had to take notes. I mean, we have all the usuals—Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Monterey Jack—and the usual outliers—Muenster, Gorgonzola, Edam. We even have cheeses that I’ve heard about all the time but have never actually seen: Fontina, Roquefort, and Stilton.
But that’s just the iceberg’s tip. Here’s a list of all the cheeses I can walk two blocks to get. Thank god I’m lactose-intolerant, or I’d immediately develop a new expensive habit.
To make it interesting, I’ve also added into this list the names of four European rappers and hip-hop groups. (One each of Dutch, French, Italian and Swiss, if you care.) Can you tell which is which?
Bucherondin de chevre
Ronkari sheep cheese
onetik blue de basque
Etorki le fromage basque
tomme des pyrenees
tomme de savoie
Irish Swiss/Kerry gold
italian pecorino romano
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: This is a great neighborhood.
Before I get e-mail I should mention: No, for some reason I saw no Parmesan and no Bel Paese. (And my capitalization skills are spotty, when it comes to cheese. The labels in the store were all lowercase; that seems to be their house style.) On the other hand, there was not only tons of variations on goat cheese, but the deli counter also had Fat-Free and Low-Fat versions of biggies like Swiss and Cheddar. So maybe the explanation is that Parmesan and Bel Paese aren't health-food-store-friendly. Or maybe it's just the neighborhood: for some reason there's so much demand for Romano that they actually had two huge wheels the size of tree stumps on tables in the aisle.
I'll post the answers in a few days.