Top Colorado Cheese Shops

November 15, 2011 11:40 AM

The Truffle Cheese Shop (credit: Young Kim)

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The Truffle Cheese Shop (credit: Young Kim)

The word “cheese” covers a broad spectrum of dairy products – hard cheeses, soft cheeses, aged cheeses, fresh cheeses, mild cheeses, sharp cheeses, imported cheese, domestic cheeses, cheeses manufactured in large plants, small-batch artisanal cheeses and farmstead cheeses made on the very same farms where the cows, sheep or goats are raised. A visit to a specialty store is like a trip around cheese world, with a knowledgeable owner or salesperson acting as your guide. Here are a few guaranteed to enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of the real deal.
cheese importers warehouse Top Colorado Cheese Shops


Cheese Importers Warehouse

33 S. Pratt Pkwy.
Longmont, CO 80501
(303) 772-9599

Every day is Cheese Day in the 7,000-square-foot Cheese Importers Warehouse, a real warehouse, founded in 1976 when unusual cheeses were – well — unusual in Colorado. Catering to both commercial and retail customers, Cheese Importers Warehouse stocks a fantastic assortment of imported and domestic cheeses, many natural or organic. Bring a sweater or jacket, step into the cooler and stroll “the street of cheese” full of cheese wheels and wedges. There are big cuts and little cuts, mild and sharp, aged and mellow, from Wisconsin cheddar to the noble Parmigiano-Reggiano of Italy to some fairly exotic varietities. In addition to cheeses, breads and gourmet foods, it launched Market Europa, an Old World-inspired retail store carrying cheeses and other specialty foods at retail, as well as housewares, linens and gift items.

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Marczyk's Fine Foods (credit: Alex Ruiz)

Marczyk Fine Foods

770 East 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 894-9499

Marczyk’s isn’t a cheese shop per se, but rather a gourmet grocer and freshmarket that happens to have the first (and perhaps only) walk-in cheese cave, where cheeses are kept “alive” in the cool and humid pristine white-tiled room. Be sure to take a peek. In the display case are sheep, goat and cow cheeses from Colorado and California, imports from Italy, England, France, and Holland and other specialty cheeses from many lands. They make fresh mozzarella in-house twice a day. And because it is a grocery, you can pick up bread, crackers, fruit and more, as well as a bottle of wine from adjacent Marczyk Fine Wines.

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St. Kilian’s Cheese Shop

3211 Lowell Blvd.
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 447-0374

The Highlands neighborhood is now full of wonderful specialty shops, and St. Kilian’s was one of the first. They concentrate on French, Spanish and Italian cheeses, lovingly displayed in a refrigerated glass case at the entrance to the small, narrow store. Plus you’ll find some Goudas from Holland, interesting Swiss cheeses, some cheddar from the British Isles, and a few Colorado and other domestic brands. Not surprising, the store has a bit of a bias toward Irish farmhouse cheeses, offered when available, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. Bread, a bit of salumi and a wall of shelves stocked with tins, jars and packages of imported specialty foods round out St. Kilian’s delicious offerings.

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The Truffle Cheese Shop (credit: Young Kim)

The Truffle Cheese Shop

2906 E. Sixth Ave.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 322-7363

The Truffle Cheese Shop specializes in hand-made, small-batch cheeses, as well as charcuterie and other specialty foods. It stocks an enormous assortment of first-rate, hard-to-find varieties. Because the owners seek out cheese from family farms and small producers, they also pay attention to seasonality. From late spring though early fall, animals graze on green grasses and herbs. That in turn makes their milk richer and more flavorful, and so are the cheese made from it. Customers are invited to taste any of the cheeses and they’ll cut to order any that you want to take home. The Truffle also periodically stages cheese tastings and mozzarella-making classes. If you visit ask to have your name added to their newsletter for the 411 on their newest products.

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