A Tale of Four Vermont Cheeses

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After several weeks on the road, I am currently touring the U.S., any novelty that might once have been associated with eating out twice daily has well and truly worn off.

Have just spent fourty-eight fruitful hours in Chicago where Google helped me discover Pastoral, an attractive shop located near my hotel, specialising in artisanal wines, cheeses and bread (they also sell online).

Pastoral is very much in the same vein (no pun intended) as Terrence Brennan's Artisanal and Murrays' Cheese Shop in NY or the Cowgirl Creamery Artisan Cheese and Cheese Plus in San Francisco. It also reminded me of Alon's an exceptional bakery with an excellent cheesemonger in Atlanta.

I like to eat local wherever I am, admittedly not always fruitful, so selected four U.S. cheeses: Bayley Hazen Blue, Blythedale Camembert, Bijou Goat's Cheese and Graton Select Cheddar. All four, I later discovered, hail from Vermont. Three of the four were described to me as being modeled on European counterparts: Stilton, Camembert and Crottins de Chavignol. As for the fourth Vermont has long established itself as a producer of excellent cheddar.

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