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The Fairfield Cheese Company

Laura Downey, Laura Werlin, Chris Palumbo

I recently had the opportunity to do a book signing at the Fairfield Cheese Company in Fairfield, Connecticut. Co-owner Laura Downey contacted me a few months ago to ask if I’d consider doing a book signing at her shop. Given that I live on the other side of the country, I told her I’d be happy to do so… someday. Sure enough, “someday” came a lot sooner than I was expecting, and off I went. All I can say is that anyone living within 100 miles of Fairfield, Connecticut, should make a beeline to the Fairfield Cheese Company.

Laura and her co-owner Chris Palumbo have done a remarkable job of curating a stellar selection of cheeses from the United States and Europe including hard-to-get small farm Vermont and New York cheeses among others. Their selection of cheese go-withs is equally stellar. I fell in love with a wintertime-only pan forte from Sienna that was much softer than the taffy-like dried fruit and nut confection usually is. I’ve never seen nor tasted this particular one before, and had I not been suitcase-challenged already, I would have bought an entire “wheel” of the stuff (it’s round and is displayed on a cake plate. Hence, the wheel). The crackers, the loaves of bread baked just down the street, the holiday panettone, the chutneys – you name it – all are decidedly not the run-of-the-mill products you can find almost anywhere these days. That’s why I used the word “curate.” Walking into the Fairfield Cheese Company is like walking into a cheese lover’s museum, except that you’re encouraged to touch, taste, and buy with abandon. What a treasure.

American Cheese Corner Archives