Tour Formaggio Kitchen

Along with our other travelogues, we figured we would include a short virtual tour of our home - because for us, this is where it all comes together. First and foremost, we're a cheese shop. At any given time you might find two or three hundred different cheeses in our cases and on what we call our "Cheese Wall". Each morning our cheesemongers come in two hours before the doors open to build the wall. Each cheese is cleaned and rewrapped, carefully positioned according to country of origin, and signed. It takes many months to master the skills involved in building a proper wall, not the least of which is knowing each cheese by sight.
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A Visit from This Old House
Perhaps the best way to start your tour is to watch this short video and follow along as Kevin O'Connor walks through our store with Ihsan.

This tour was taken when TOH was working on "The Cambridge House" after their crews started coming by for their morning coffee, lunch and their afternoon snacks.

Some twenty years ago, Formaggio Kitchen was just that, a small store consisting of the cheese wall and a few refrigerated cases, but over the years we've been forced to grow as we found more and more exceptional products during our travels. Many years ago, after visiting some of the natural caves in Europe where cheeses are aged, it occurred to Ihsan that the problem with cheeses in America is not that they arrive in poor shape, but that once here they are mishandled, cut too soon, and stored improperly. Why not, he decided, build a cave here, that duplicates the conditions found in those ancient caves of England and France, and store entire wheels until they are perfectly ripe and ready for the knife?

So we did just that, and it has been a huge success. In the basement of our Cambridge store there is a small wooden door bearing a plaque that reads: Cave.

Behind that door is a room, built against the naturally damp foundation, where the temperature is always 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity always hovers around 90%, and the walls are lined with shelf upon shelf of wheels of pecorino, mimolette, stilton and cheddars. Huge wheels of gruyere rest beside brebis from the high Pyrenees. It is truly something to see and we enjoy showing it off. Stop by the Cambridge store someday, and if it is not too busy, we'll give you a tour.

Welcome to the Cave When Formaggio Kitchen opened, it was one of three small stores situated side by side, but has since expanded, absorbing first the bakery next door and then the produce store beside the bakery. With the increase in available floor space, we were able to search for more unusual food products to fill the shelves. Some of the more spectacular finds were candies, Cuba-Venchi and Maglio chocolates, and L'Atelier de Doucers caramels, and condiments: Miguel Gorry's Cerise Noir, Confiture de Raphael jams, and the mostardas of Dario Cecchini and A. Fieschi. We reserve our shelf space for rare and wonderful products, and when (as often happens) a product we've found becomes popular and available through other retail outlets, we turn the shelf over to a more recent find.

When you visit our store, even if you visit regularly, you can be certain to discover something new, something delicious and surprising. White fig molasses from Campagna, wild black cherry jam from the Pyrenees, hand-harvested wild fennel pollen from Tuscany--these are a small example of the types of products we seek out.

Today, Formaggio Kitchen is more than just the premier cheese store in the country featuring world-class breads, produce, chocolates, coffees and teas. Our selection of olive oils is second to none.

We are nothing if not serious about food. Visit us in Cambridge, at 244 Huron Avenue, or South End Formaggio in Boston's South End at 268 Shawmut Avenue, or in New York's Lower East Side where you'll find the latest addition  to our family: Formaggio Essex Market at 120 Essex Street between Rivington and Delancy.

If you are planning an event, call us at 617-354-4750 and speak to our Catering Department. If you've been travelling and found some wonderful, unusual product you would like to see us carry, just let us know.

Have fun here. We take great pains to offer you the very best food products available anywhere, so experiment and try new things. We look forward to hearing from you soon.