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I used to lament the fact that I moved upstate and no longer had places like http://stinkybklyn.com/ to spend far too much money indulging my love of cheese and all its accoutrements. Sure we have supermarkets with large cheese selections and the odd fancy food store but there were few, if any, places where you can walk into the shop and be greeted by an owner who is unabashedly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about cheese. A place where you can feel comfortable saying that stinky cheeses overwhelm you and your tastes tend towards mild cheeses like cheddar, gouda, goat and brie and then have the owner, or perhaps his lovely and equally knowledgeable wife, suggest and offer generous tastes of cheeses that surprise and delight you and introduce you to new cheeses you likely would not have otherwise known existed. Luckily, so luckily, Albany now has one of those places, http://thecheesetraveler.com/ .

Eric Paul and his wife Alifair Skebe have created a lovely little shop where one can purchase not only beautiful, carefully selected cheeses but all the lovely little bits that go along with it and make eating cheese an experience. There is artisan bread from a local bakery, chocolates from Mast Brothers in Brooklyn, jams, chutneys and all manner of pickled items, Marcona almonds, a huge selection of crackers, including my all time favorite cracker, http://www.potterscrackers.com/wi/the-crackers/ (can one become addicted to a cracker? I’m afraid I may have a problem with the caramelized onion cracker) and pretty much anything you could think of that you’d like to enhance your cheese board.

But that’s not it! There are freezer cases full of local, organic meats, eggs, dairy products, charcuterie, natural sodas, artisan tonic water and a huge selection of bitters for all your cocktail mixing pleasures.

And the best part is you can go down there and have some of their fabulous cheese on the fantastic local bread they are sourcing spread with hand churned Normandy butter. I tried one of their sandwiches tonight and it was truly everything you could want in a grown up grilled cheese. Comte cheese, caramelized onions and chutney on good bread with sweet cream butter, what more could you ask for? Other than more grilled cheese, please…

Location: 540 Delaware Avenue in Albany, NY 12209. Click here for directions.

Contact: (518) 443-0440
thecheesetraveler@earthlink.net

Store hours: 11am-7pm Tuesday – Friday; 10-5pm Saturday & Sunday; closed Mondays

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