28 April 2008

Fromage goes to Brooklyn: A Dispatch from the Field

While traveling it is often difficult to purchase and maintain high quality cheese samples, especially since I prefer to travel light without all variety of fromage accoutrement. Clearly restaurants and friends' refrigerators are the primary source of cheese forage. The latter because they are free and the former because the potential for excellence exists. Anyhow I was pleased to find JakeWalk in Carroll gardens last Saturday night and then surprised to find a review of it in the Times on Sunday seemingly written by a high school intern. The review although positive is, in fact, so egregiously base that I suggest you only view the photograph associated with the article. The real point is the wide variety of excellent chesses on hand for $4 each. I was especially pleased to see them representing Fiscalini Farms on the east coast. This is a cheese maker I've been meaning to address for a while. I often get these cheeses from a local shop in San Diego and have seen them at a few restaurants in California. At JakeWalk I had the San Joaquin Gold: a mild, Fontina-esque cheese. I think the best part about this and another one of my favorites, the Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar (also from FF) is the subtle grassy taste that really compliments the other flavors (nutty, creamy, etc) . FF suggests melting or grating on salad, but I think the San Joaquin Gold really stands well on its own. Although subdued, I think the high quality production process comes through in the finished product. If you come I across it, I suggest you give it a spin. And if you're in Brooklyn, try it at JakeWalk. They've got good wine, good cheese, good service, and good ambiance. Just don't forget "Cotton dresses and flats for women; corduroy and denim for men." Otherwise you won't get in.


  1. Thanks, Goudacris. The pleasure of new cheeses and new cheese shops is truly something to live for.

    I appreciate the write-up on Brooklyn cheese selections, transplanted West Coast cheeses, and the like. You have added to my future fromage trials. Interesting: the description for the Fiscalini Farms 'San Joaquin Gold' sounds quite similar to the descriptions and tastes of a smooth manchego, in combinatin to the Fontina flavor. On the website, they describe it as having the aroma of 'toasted nuts' and 'browned butter'. Sounds really incredibly. I cannot really pin down the taste of what a buttery Fontina-esque flavor would be, in my mental mouth right now. And so, those will have to be an additional series of fromages to experiment with.


    When I am next in Brooklyn, I would also like to check out the mother store of JakeWalk, which I have heard about through a friend cheesemonger who works there. It is called Stinky Brooklyn. (http://www.stinkybklyn.com/)

  2. greetings, fromageophiles!

    i’ve visited the ff website and i have to say i’m most intrigued by their offer to “discover our gold”. a distinctly original cheese bred in the “almost a desert” climate of the san joaquin delta? winner of several much-coveted World Cheese Awards? a nutty, buttery amalgamate of fontina-esque goodness? what is there to say but: hmmmm. like ricky, i’m having difficulty imagining such a fromage, but my curiosity is piqued.

    consider this a pre-comment-comment to declare my intention of finding the SJG and tasting it, hopefully discovering the gold with the suggested off-dry sherry. until then, mes amis…