Everyone knows somebody with a sweet tooth so strong that she just can’t pass up a piece of candy, cake, or a cookie. I, however, have a much lesser known – but equally powerful – weakness: a cheese tooth. I would pass up a dessert bar for a savory cheese plate any day. Lucky for me then that we have some great local resources for amazing cheeses produced both near and far. If you consider yourself a cheese connoisseur, you like a ripe triple crème at a picnic, or you require a stinky blue with your evening glass of wine, here are four shops that can deliver the goods.
1. Milk & Honey
Sure, we islanders tend to moan and groan about heading over a bridge, but some things are worth it, and the selection of cheeses at Milk & Honey Bazaar in Tiverton (pictured at top) is without a doubt one of them. Whether you’re looking for Grès de Vosges from France or Point Reyes Blue from California, the folks at Milk & Honey always have a broad selection, delicious samples, and the knowledge to help you make the right choice.
2. Simmons Farm
Simmons Farm goat and cheddar cheeses are the only kinds made here on the island, but that’s not the only reason we love them – they’re also some of the most delicious we’ve tasted anywhere. Goat cheese lovers will enjoy the tantalizing tang of their original version, plus flavored varieties including candied ginger, herbs de provence, and sun-dried tomato. Find them at the Aquidneck Growers’ Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays or at their farm stand in Middletown. (Check online for hours, which change seasonally.)
3. Le Petit Gourmet
A little slice of Europe on Bellevue Avenue, Le Petit Gourmet is Newport proper’s only brick and mortar shop dedicated to cheese and the delicacies that compliment it. On offer are popular varieties such as Rhode Island’s own Narragansett Creamery and Vermont’s Plymouth Cheddar, as well as an excellent selection of harder to find cheeses such as Piccolo truffle and Truffle Tremor for the more sophisticated palette.
4. Sweet Berry Farm
Middletown’s Sweet Berry Farm may be best known for fresh picked fruit and prepared foods, but they also have a significant selection of cheeses. Pick up some Great Hill Blue from just over the Massachusetts border, enjoy some Fontina D’Aosta from Italy, or dive into an English Cotswald. Pair your selection with the farm’s own seasonal fresh fruits and fresh baked breads for the perfect cheese plate.