The Cheese Iron: A European-Style Cheese Shop with New England Charm


Artisanal cheese. A loaf of warm, crusty bread. Add a wonderful bottle of wine and you have the ultimate triumvirate for entertaining. One stop at The Cheese Iron in Scarborough, Maine, and all this can be yours. Step into the shop and a wonderland of delights beckons from every corner. The on-site cheese cave demonstrates the care and attention devoted to each perfectly aged cheese. Here, a cheese iron (hence the store name) is used to sample cheeses during each stage of maturation without disrupting the process. The Cheese Iron carries on the tradition of European-style cheese shops, but the friendliness is strictly New England.

There's no need to be overwhelmed by the number of choices you see before you. Co-owners Jill Dutton and her husband Vince Maniaci (The Keepers of All Cheese Knowledge) will be happy to help you out. Just tell them what's going on. A picnic? Throwing a cheese and wine party? Not sure which cheese will complement your recipe? Have no fear. Vince will offer you samples and set you up with the perfect cheese. My homemade lasagna would never be the same without their fresh, luscious ricotta. During my latest stop there, Vince brought out the big guns: Creamy, salty Valbreso French feta, still in the plastic container of brine, just like my grandma used to get for us from the Greek market in town. How could I resist? It was exactly what my orzo salad needed! 

If hearty, heavenly sandwiches are what you're looking for, you'll find that here, too, along with an extensive wine selection, a one-of-a-kind charcuterie department, and specialty food goodies galore. If all that isn't enough, they'll also cater your special event as well! If you don't have any parties or celebrations coming up, make one up as an excuse to get yourself over here!

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Gina CrisciComment