“You will never taste cheese like this anywhere in the world”.
I had no idea that I had world famous cheese right in my backyard.
The clerk at the Faribault Cheese Cave Shop was uber informative…to tell you the truth, most of his information about awards, cheese, age, etc went right over my head, but it did show me that everyone involved with this small town company is passionate about what they do.
What did stick was the important bits about their unique cheese making process. Their cheese is aged in sandstone caves that go miles under the hills outside of Faribault, MN. Before being used to age their world famous blue cheese, the caves had been used to house beer and barley for a German beer making operation between the 1850’s and 1919 (when it closed due to prohibition). Not long after, Felix Frederiksen came along looking for Sandstone caves to age cheese in and the rest was cheese history!
A bit of a geology lesson – St Peter Sandstone is a rare rock. It was created from the beach sand from the retreat of the last glacier (the glacier retreated and deposited the sand in a St. peter Sandstone is a very porous stone and it absorbed the dust and flavors of the beer over the years, which it now imparts to all of the cheese that is aged in the caves. This was the first blue cheese made in the US. Incidentally, the caves are roughly on the same latitude as Roquefort, France, another famous cheese making region of the world. the company has also started aging cheddar and gouda in the caves, and because they have been used to make both beer and blue cheese, both of these flavors come through in their cheese.
The result of this partnership between man and nature? The Gouda that I tried almost made my knees weak for a moment, it was so good.
The cheddar was unlike any other cheddar that I had ever tasted. Cheddar sometimes gets relegated to be the “vanilla” of the cheese world…the standard cheese with mass appeal that everyone likes but no one “loves”. Well, I loved this cheddar.
Is the only cheese you eat the bland cheddar from the grocery store? Would you like to get started in the world of gourmet cheese but don’t know where to start? The folks at the Faribault Cheese Cave will set you on the right path! They are knowledgeable (and best of all, they are cheese lovers themselves!)
The store serves up tasting plates of cheese and wine pairings with other delicacies (nuts and chocolate, nom nom!). They serve amazing soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch. In addition to cheese, you can also purchase almost any accompaniment/accessory that you can think of going with cheese. Cheese plate for your next gathering? Excuse for a girls night out? What else do you need? GO!