Learning About Cheese From A Cheesemonger

September 8, 2008 18 Comments

Learning About Cheese From A Cheesemonger

What Would You Like To Know About Cheese?

If you love cheese and want to learn more about how to buy it, store it, cook with it, or just enjoy it with a glass of wine, I’m working on an interview with a professional cheesemonger who I think will have some interesting responses.

There is already a lot of information at my All About Cheese page including a link to my Cheese Guide but I want to know what questions you would like to ask a professional cheesemonger.

What Is A Cheesemonger?

A simple definition is anyone who sells cheese but I think it should include someone with a vast knowledge on the subject. I know someone with this kind of knowledge plus an incredible enthusiasm for all things cheese.

My friend Cheeseman Jack has a stand at our local Farmer’s Market in Ardmore, PA as well as the famous Philadelphia Reading Terminal Market.

I Need Your Help

What would you like to learn more about cheese?

Questions about buying, storing, pairing, cooking or just eating are welcome. I will compile your questions and include as many as I can in my Novice2Pro Interview with Jack.

This is a great opportunity for all of you who enjoy cheeses from around the world to learn more about them.

Look forward to reading your questions.


Buying cheese online

Online Sources: Cheese

Convenience - Selections - Quality - Gift Giving - Corporate Events

I strongly urge you to find a good cheese shop near you so you can get to know your cheesemongers and they get to know you. However, if you don't have a good local cheese shop or they don't have some of the cheeses I recommend, here are some online sources for you. Be careful to buy the best product you can afford so you don't end up with an inferior product. The links below are affiliate links.
Di Bruno Bros Gourmet Cheeses & Meats
Di Bruno Brothers is close to home to me. They have been in Philadelphia since 1939 and prided themselves on bringing amazing food to the city of Philadelphia and drawing food lovers together in their ‘home.’ They also have a store just outside of Philly where I get most of my cheese and cured meats. If you can't find a particular cheese in your market, most likely Di Bruno Bros. will.

In 2002, a group of classically trained and talented Chefs found themselves as Executive Chefs in kitchens across the country. While creating their menus and gourmet specials it became obvious that certain quality products they had found in specific regions of the country and around the world were not always available to them. They quickly began to realize the value of getting the best, freshest and origin specific gourmet products to their kitchens and more importantly, to their customers. That need and passion for the freshest and finest gourmet products evolved into For the Gourmet.




Last modified on Sun 22 December 2019 11:53 am

Filed in: Cheese Primer

Comments (18)

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  1. Denise says:

    I would love to know how to store cheese and how long I can store it and use it.

  2. Jane Cooke says:

    Can cheese be mailed without loss of flavor? I live in Hawaii and Cheesemongers are hard to comeby.

  3. Grace Hudel says:

    I recently found out I’m allergic to casein. Is there any cheese out there that I can still have? I miss my cheese!

  4. Bobby Harr says:

    I grow hot peppers of many varieties. I know about stuffing some milder chilies with Montery jack Cheese. I would like to know what chesses to pair with some of the hotter Peppers, such as Habañeros.

  5. leeann says:

    I prefer buying Feta in brine, should I change it after a few days, it gets cloudy from cutting pieces off, but i think that’s okay.

  6. Bill Overton says:

    Can you really eat the mold on Brie? I’m always afraid to eat it, but I have a friend who knows a lot about food, who says it’s okay to eat.

    Bill, check out my post for Moldy Brie Cheese for some suggestions. RG

  7. Naomi says:

    I love cheese and try out different ones all the time, and collect recipes for cooking with cheese, I however want to try my hand at making cheese, where can I get some basic instructions? My husband keeps jersey cows I want to use some of the cream from the milk to make a few cheeses for our home use.

  8. Helil says:

    I don’t know if that’s too much to ask, but I wonder if you have a way of telling in advance which cheese would melt, which wouldn’t, when you heat it? And why there is this difference among cheeses?

  9. Rebecca says:

    I always have problems storing my cheese. If I store it without a bag or plastic around it, it dries up and gets too hard. If I store it in plastic, it gets stinkier and overly moist. What’s the best solution for cheese storage?

  10. Ginger says:

    This may seem like a silly question but, what is the difference between moldy, old cheese and aged , fine cheese? Could I get aged cheese by just letting it sit in my fridge?

  11. Lynette says:

    I read somewhere on your blog that it is generally not advisable to eat the ends of cheeses, or the rinds perhaps. However I once read that Italian cooks often keep their old rinds and dried up remnants of parmesan and such type cheeses and add them to their soups. I have started doing this and it really does add another depth to minestrone type soups. An added bonus is that after long cooking, that cheese is wonderful. I envision sort of family duels over who will get to it first, Kind of like what used to happen with the “parson’s nose”. Does your cheese-monger friend know of this practice?

  12. RG says:

    I’m not sure where I said that but I’m guessing there might be some rinds that are not good to eat or very tasty but I save all my Parmesan and pecorino rinds for adding to my homemade tomato sauce. I will ask Jack, the cheesemonger what his thoughts are on this. RG

  13. darlene says:

    love cheese but have not tried them all …all cheddar,mozza, velveta,and 1st time goat cheese …yummy >>> storage i would like more info..on. what about cheese and diabetics ? i have wrapped cheese in parchment paper and then put the cheese in my lock and lock container and the cheese has lasted over a month thanks …

  14. joel says:

    sometimes i notice the “veins” in blue cheese have some crystals or graininess, what causes this, specifically?

  15. Jessy says:

    What’s the main difference, if any, between Brie cheese and Camembert? Is it just a question of what region it’s made in? Also, if one doesn’t prefer eating a Brie rind, is there an easy way to cut it off? I’ve tried a few different ways, and I lose way too much cheese.

    • Hi Jessy, this reply is from my friend Cheeseman Jack –
      “Both cheeses are soft-ripened, full fat, fleury mold products. Region is one difference; size and the resulting moisture content would be the other. Depending on the “Brie”, Meaux, Melun, Coulommiers, or average fair double-creme (which is of course fattier and thus milder, Camembert should be slightly less flavorful and drier.

      Rind can be removed with a cheese plane. White mold rinds are safe to eat. The rind is essential to the cheese. Think in terms of bananas, pineapples, melons etc. There is a commercial rind-less, pre-sliced brie out there in some supermarkets. Convenient. However I find that ice cubes are cheaper.”

  16. Nancy says:

    What is the tool that professional cheese supertasters use when they extract a sample from the center of a wheel of cheese? It takes a cylindrical sample — you punch it in, turn the tool, and pull it out again. Thank you!!

  17. Hi Nancy, it’s called a sonde. – RG

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