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    5 Raw Cheeses You’ll Melt For: Andrew Steiner’s Top Picks

    We caught up with Andrew Steiner, former Maitre d’Fromage of LA’s famed Patina and owner of his own namesake store on Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue.

    Without a doubt, there’ll have been cheers city-wide when Andrew opened his retail location in 2008.  The cheese plate-obsessed had enjoyed his work with the famed cheese cart at Patina and could now access and recreate the experience for dinner parties at home. We thought our health-conscious TCM readers might enjoy getting in on the act, so we requested from Andrew his five best picks for raw cheeses.

    Pop by Andrew’s before your next get-together and let his knowledgeable staff help you with pairings that your guests will skip dessert for!

    The Cheese: Ascutney Mountain Tomme
    Source: Hartland, VT
    Flavor Profile: Similar to an older Comte. Very buttery, crystalline, onion, straight up Alpine flavors of grass, brown butter, nuts and sweetness.
    Best Use: This is definitely a winter cheese. Just butter up a baguette and throw a slice on. Ascutney is in my top five American cheeses I’ve ever tasted.

    The Cheese: Andeerer Traum
    Source: Andeer, Southeast Switzerland
    Flavor Profile: Also Alpine in style; amazing flavors of cocoa, hay, and flowers. Second place overall, 2010 World Cheese Cup.
    Best Use: Serve with any extremely acidic white wine like Chasselas, dry Riesling, or Albariňo.

    The Cheese: Winnimere
    Source: Greensboro, Vermont
    Flavor Profile: Gooey, gritty, smelly, runny, sexy, wrapped in spruce bark.
    Best Use: Baked with potatoes, this cheese will melt your brain.

    The Cheese: Kirkham’s Lancashire
    Source: Lancashire, England via Neal’s Yard Dairy
    Flavor Profile: Butter crumble and lemon curd. Prototypical English iron ore minerality.
    Best Use: After dinner with a spicy wine like a Barbera or Sangiovese.

    The Cheese: Roqufort L’Aigle Noir
    Source: Auvergne, France
    Flavor Profile: Simply the best. Not cheap but you don’t need much. Grassy, smooth, rich, nutty, sheepy, complex, salty, powerful. This is magical cheese.
    Best Use: Drizzle a touch of honey on your baguette or enjoy some Sauternes to balance the salt out of this one. Not too much, though – this is a strong cheese with delicate flavors and lots of nuance.

    Check out Andrew’s Cheese Shop at

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