I’m a bit of a cheese fancier you see and, since moving to the US, I’ve been on the lookout for mature cheddar. British supermarkets offer a huge selection of cheddars, ranging from mild to medium and from vintage white to extra, extra mature!
I’ve scoured Whole Foods, VONS, Target, Gelson’s, Bristol Farms and Trader Joe’s. They all sell “sharp” cheddar cheese, which tastes of nothing and only occasionally stock a strong Somerset or Canadian cheddar. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not looking for anything special or rare. In fact, these supermarkets do carry your stinky roquefort, stilton, and brie but not the pedestrian (but essential) mature cheddar cheese that I’m accustomed to.
A while ago we were driving along the picturesque PCH and we stopped at a cute cafe for lunch. I ordered some chips (fries) and a grilled cheese sandwich. To my horror, the sandwich had been filled with this horrible emulsified plastic cheese that should be reserved for hamburgers. I know it sounds dramatic, but I took one bite and couldn’t eat the rest.
Returning from our trip and craving a cheese and pickle sandwich, I came across Andrew’s Cheese Shop on Montana Avenue. I was drawn to this place for two reasons: Andrew is my dad’s name and their tagline “This Place Stinks” made me laugh. I sampled a couple of cheeses and picked a tangy seven-year-old cheddar called Old Quebec. A pound sounded like a nice round amount however, I’d been enjoying my sampling so much I’d failed to look at the price. I had a bit a fright when the cashier said: “That will be $29.12 please!” When I got home I called my dad to tell him I’d just bought the most expensive piece of cheese in my life. I wanted to know if he had tried it. He hadn’t, but he did a quick google and we realised the price was due to the long aging process to create the flavour. Fair enough.
I am now an Andrew’s Cheese Shop frequenter and recommend it to other cheese fanciers. The staff are very knowledgeable, they have a huge selection of cheese and their cheese crisps (an assortment of leftover cheeses melted and turned into crunchy snacks) are delicious.
I recently noticed that they offer Cheese 101 courses and a monthly “Fancy Smancy Grilled Cheese and Beer Night,” which consists of six courses (a salad, four beer-and-grilled-cheese pairings, followed by a beer float). Have you tried one of Andrew’s cheese evenings? I would love to know what you think if you have. Most important, do you know of any cheese stores in LA I should visit? DTLA Cheese sounds pretty good and I’m thinking of heading there next.
Andrew’s Cheese Shop Details:
Address: 728 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Yum. I want some cheese now please. Watering mouth. Please.
Eating a crumpet with melted cheese on it as I type this!
Omg! I had exactly the same experience with the awful plastic cheese! It should most definitely be reserved just for hamburgers. But anyway, great post! I live in the LA area too and will definitely be checking out Andrews cheese shop! x
Hey Jemima, thank you for stopping by. I really don’t understand the plastic cheese, it tastes of nothing! I personally don’t think it should even be used in burgers! I hope you like Andrew’s Cheese Store, I am sure you will if you agree about the plastic cheese 🙂
Haha even though I am Swiss I am not a great fan of cheese 😉 But maybe it’s just the Swiss cheese I don’t like.. 🙂
Have a great day!
xx, Carmen – http://www.carmitive.com
Perhaps! I’m not a huge fan of swiss cheese either, but to be fair I have only really tried Gruyere and Emmentaler. I feel I need to try some others and hope you find some you like to 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!
Hey there! Thank you so much for your last comment on my blog. I love yours and I definetly thinnk we should stay in touch 🙂 as I eat a plant based diet I am not into cheese at all… but I love my vegan version of mac and cheese 😉
conscious lifestyle of mine
Hey! More than welcome, I enjoyed your piece about alternative sunscreens! Definitely up for keeping in touch, I am thinking of going to a plant based diet eventually and will no doubt be clicking on the “food” category of your blog often. I need to try more vegan cheeses and you’ve just reminded me to do so 🙂 xx
wow that Mini Macaroni Cheese is making me hungry!!! love more cheese with cheese 😛
Haha me too! I’ll take some cheese with that cheese please!
Omg! My favorite! So delicious. yum yum yum 😀
Yum, yum, yum for sure!
OMG WE ARE SOUL MATES. Lol I love the title of this post, btw. I love eating & learning about cheeses, too! I just had an awesome cheese board at one of my favorite places in the area, and my waiter was so knowledgable!! I learned a lot about cheese just from him telling us about what was in front of us. Alright, when I come to Cali take me here! 😉
Ahahah! Your first line made me LOL. I’m so pleased you liked the title, I kinda borrowed it from the store but it’s so catchy I don’t think they’d mind. Your waiter sounds fabulous! I wonder if it was part of his training to learn all that info or if he is a fellow cheese fancier too…
English Stilton………..can’t beat it.
Bleurgh! Not my favourite! Love J