The world of cheese, like wine or single-malt Scotch, can be truly intimidating. Sure, you’d like to order the Moses Sleeper “pasteurized cow bloomy-rind cheese” because it has a cool name, but what the hell is it going to taste like when it gets to the table?
To help you navigate your next encounter with curds, we asked Anne Saxelby—one of NYC’s premier cheese experts—to give us the rundown on all things cheese. Anne set up her tiny Saxelby Cheese stall in the ancient Essex Street Market back in 2006, selling cheese sourced from small farms in the Northeast. Before that, she worked at the famed Murray’s in the West Village and traveled throughout Europe tasting pecorinos, gorgonzolas—the works. The endearing cheesemonger now supplies cheeses to some of NYC’s best restaurants and shops, including Gramercy Tavern and Épicerie Boulud.
In our guide, Anne explains the flavor characteristics of the five main types of cheeses: fresh cheese, bloomy-rind cheese, washed-rind cheese, natural-rind cheese, and blue cheese. Then, she delves into important questions like: “What should I eat my cheeses with?” “When should I not eat cheese rind?” and “Is imported cheese better than domestic cheese?” After reading our ultimate guide to everything cheese, you will be able to confidently order off the cheese menu at restaurants, determine the types of cheeses you prefer, and impress dates with cheese trivia like, “Blue cheese needs oxygen to grow.” (Trust us, that’s a sexy thing to say.)
If you’d like to get any of the following cheeses shipped straight to your door, you can order from the Saxelby online store.