The only time that stinky is sexy is when cheese is involved. Even the simple, local supermarket varieties of aged cheddar and smoked gouda can have mind-blowing effects when satisfying a 3 a.m. craving. The life-changing kind, however, that you finally uncover and say to yourself, “I could’ve been eating this all along?!”—yes fellow stinky cheese lover, I’m referencing Époisses—is available at one of the best Brooklyn cheese shops around, Stinky Brooklyn.
This Cobble Hill cheese lover’s paradise and specialty foods shop carries a few other cheeses that fit the bill—imported from France, stinky and oh-so runny—but Époisses is the epitome of French stinky and runny cheeses. If it were one of your college friends, Époisses would be the one most likely to get white-girl wasted and dance all over the place, while letting everything hang out. When I say everything, I mean all of its bold zest. About 200 years worth of unforgettable flavor, culture and incredible cheese-making tradition is packaged in a wooden, round and too small if you ask me box.
I knew that my beloved Époisses was hiding in the crowd of delicious-smelling cheeses in Stinky Brooklyn’s display case as soon as I walked in and smelled SB’s gourmet stink. It was the pleasantly pungent smell of grilled cheese, possibly Emmental or gruyere and sausages. Talk about a savory, mouth-watering, I’m finally where I belong aroma!
The gourmet grilled cheese smell was a nice distraction from my cheese mission: to find a perfect parmesan cheese for a holiday lasagna. After many tastings, the cheesemonger at the counter helped me choose the house parm—an aged parmesan cheese with an almost grassy undercurrent. It was unique, sharp and really satisfying to the palate. It was actually, the first parmesan cheese that I’d tried that day.
After choosing the right parmesan cheese—I know because my family raved about it—I wanted a secret stash of stinky cheese for me and me alone. I wondered about a Pierre- Robert triple creme cheese that I haven’t tasted in years. But when I asked instead for Époisses‘ basic description without saying its name, the cheesemonger said “We got you” with so much confidence that I knew I’d be taking home my lost love.