Best of 2000: Best Cheese

Whole Foods Market
711 University Avenue, Hillcrest
(619) 294-2800
8825 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla
(858) 642-6700

"Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese," croons Wallace to Gromit in Nick Parks's A Grand Day Out. But upon arriving, he finds the lunar surface to be "like no cheese I've ever tasted," not even Wensleydale. Moon cheese is about the only sort Wallace couldn't find at the cheese counter of Whole Foods Market. He might try some Colson Bassett Stilton ($13.99/lb.), some Gorgonzola Dolce Cadematari ($11.99/lb.), or even 21-month-old Zanetti Parmesan Reggiano Uri ($15.99/lb.). Cheese clerk Matt gives an enthusiastic tour of the counter. "We strive to provide very high-end cheeses. Most of our cheeses come from Europe...France or Italy, places like that. My favorite is the Fleur de Marquis [$20.99/lb.]. It's a sheeps' milk cheese. They actually mix rosemary in with the grain they feed the sheep. Then after they've made the cheese, they coat it with rosemary and age it." The rosemary flavor is pervasive yet subtle, and the texture creamy. If you want something a little more traditional, try some old English Cheddar, Montgomery Cheddar Neal's Yard ($14.99/lb.).

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