Are You Cultured?

In life, everyone has those things that they crave that other people just don’t understand (like Nutella on brussel sprouts, for example, or consumption of paste). However, I think that cheese is that one universal thing that everyone loves. Perhaps because it’s so versatile: grated on pasta, melted in between bread, crumbled on a salad, stacked with watermelon – the possibilities for queso are quite endless, and can somehow relate to almost any tastebud. And although Miami has its fair share of cheese shoppes (Kork, Bistro 555 to name a couple), Fort Lauderdale-ians have been deprived (aside from Whole Foods) of a gourmet cheese counter where they can indulge in fine varieties of fromage. Until…Cheese Culture. We sat in Dolphins traffic to make the trek to Ft. Laud for a media event the shop was hosting. (Let me just say, if we didn’t like the shop, I wouldn’t be wasting my precious time that I could be studying corporate tax to write this post, so these opinions are truly ours). Opened by a husband and wife (Susan & Mitchell), after Susan had an out-of-body experience at an Atlanta cheese shop. She knew she needed to open one she could call her own, so she quit her job, cashed in her 401-K, and got to work. Now that’s what I call passion. The way the shop was set up reminded me of Charlie Bucket going to his neighborhood candy store. Except, age Charlie about 12 years and give him more of an affinity for cheese than chocolate. There were jars of honey, dried figs and dates, cheeseย accoutrements EVERYWHERE. Call me Veruca Salt, but I wanted it all and I wanted it NOW. However, because of limited funds, I had to settle for bringing home $8 worth of Beehive Barely Buzzed (which I’ve been enjoying with a drizzle of coffee honey). The shop boasts 90+ cheeses, craft beers (Shipyard Pumpkin is in stock for all of you who stalk out pumpkin brews this time of the year, I know I do) and wine. You can enjoy your cheese on a lovely cheese board with accompaniments such as proscuttio, speck, or chorizo, or on one of their 3 paninis or bistro sandwiches. Order up a cheeseboard or a ‘With Cherries on Top,’ and park your butt in a chair right on Las Olas Blvd. Cheese…it’s what’s for dinner. -Stefanie
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