Monday, December 18, 2006

S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G: Caputo Cheese Market

Cheese snuggle

If you love cheese, you really must try this. Caputo Cheese Market is a wonderland of stinky, soft, bleu, herbed, crumbled CHEESE! Nearly 2/3 of this family-owned and operated market is devoted to any kind of cheese you could possibly imagine. The staff is very knowledgeable and attentive. In fact, if you would like to sample a variety, they will crack open the shrink-wrap (on most cheeses) and cut you off a piece. If you like it but want a smaller portion, they'll downsize it for you. But, if you've got many mice to feed, you can easily purchase one of those impressive wheels or giant wedges. The aisles are littered with chef-recommended recipes so you don't need to walk in with a game plan. However, it is a good idea to have something in mind because it's easy to get carried away by the sheer abundance of taste and beauty.

Spanish Sheep Cheese w/Rosemary

Ukraine Marble Cheese

blah, blah, blah, blah...Cheese!...blah, blah, blah

Caputo's also consists of a small grocery with canned goods, pastas, Italian mineral water, and bagged spices. If that weren't enough, there is also a bakery and deli where the staff present fresh cannoli, seafood, sandwiches, and cut-to-order deli meats. To complete your antipasto plate, Caputo's also hosts a small village of an olive bar.

For under $20, I left Caputo's with a gorgeous White Stilton w/blueberries, a small portion of Bleu Cheese w/pear bits (Quezo Azul con Pera), and another variety which I can't yet reveal. (I picked it up for Santa and he hates it when his stocking stuffers aren't a surprise on Christmas morning). Porcelain scored a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano that looks as if it was lifted straight from a shoot in Food & Wine magazine. Formica sampled a beer cheese that made her turn up her nose (thank goodness for samples!) but soon found an Ireland Cheddar w/Guinness that rocked it.

Caputo Cheese Market (and much, much more) is open 7 days a week. They're located a bit outside of the city but it's well worth the trip. If you don't get out there in time to stock your holiday cheese plate, you should definitely get out there in the new year. Why not start 2007 with a healthy slice of CHEESE FUDGE? Seriously. It's cheese that tastes like fudge. It's even got the nuts!

Fudge? Cheese? Fudge?

Caputo Cheese Market
1931 N. 15th Ave.
Melrose Park, IL 60160
Phone: 708-450-0074, ext. 217


Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm, mountains of cheese. Delicious.

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