I have momentous news, we finally have a proper cheese shop in Pasadena. This is music to my ears and a joy to my taste buds.
The Cheese Store of Pasadena officially opened it's doors on October 10, 2010. Founded by husband and wife team, Louis and Natalia Pastis, it is a very welcome addition to our neighborhood.
It is light, airy, smells lovely and has a wonderful selection of cheeses from the rare and exotic to the basics. A knowledgeable staff, of which special mention must be made, rounds out this perfect shop.
They offer more than ample samples of whatever strikes your fancy and generously offer up tastes of what everyone else is trying as well, so you have a mini cheese tasting while you try and decide what you want to take home. The key word here is try.
I chose a mixture of my favorite washed rind cheeses, which I will discuss in a future posting and a lovely English cheddar, chevre and a few US cheeses.
Epoisses- This is one the finest cheeses in the world. It is a washed rind cheese from the Bourgogne region of France, washing with marc, which is a local spirit distilled from the grape pomace or what's left over after the grapes have been pressed. Historically a favorite of Louis 14th and Napoleon.
"Stinking Bishop" - Another washed rind cheese from the UK, with a lovely flavor, soft creamy interior and distinctive aroma.
Sainte- Maure Chevre - Very subtle goats milk cheese from France, with a delicate grassy flavor.
Isle of Mull Cheddar - One of my favorites which reflects tastes of the stormy island where it's born. Pure and robust cheddar taste and aroma.
"Devil's Gulch"- From Cowgirl Creamery - a very brie/camembert type cheese, hand made and finished with sweet and spicy red pepper flakes. Similar in taste to their fabulous Mt Tam, Devil's Gulch is robust yet a soft interior. Very unique.
Lastly, I also bought a fantastic washed rind cheese from Connecticut aptly named "Hooligan" from Cato Corner Farms and is was stunning. Named by Saveur and Slow Food as a top American cheese. Very good indeed!
They are located at:
The Cheese Store of Pasadena
140 South Lake Avenue
They are within The Commons arcade, just down from Williams Sonoma on the back side.
You must give this shop a visit, and sample their wonderful cheeses.
Kudos to Louis and Natalia for adding a much needed culinary gem to Pasadena.