Average cheese lovers would typically buy their cheese from high-end grocery stores that have shelves stacked with the world’s most popular packaged cheese. Perhaps, it’ll help you to know what you want, as the support staff at these places couldn’t tell a Gruyère from a Feta without staring hard at the packaging for what seems like forever.
Even though food stores like Le Marche, Sugar & Spice, M:EAT by Blanco and Modern Bazaar stock a wide variety of products for cheese lovers, there isn’t the same delight to be found in packaged cheese. Let’s be honest, packaged mozzarella has nothing on a ball of fresh Mozzarella di Bufala Campana (Buffalo Mozzarella) with a drizzle of olive oil.
Thankfully, Delhi seems to be moving beyond blocks and slices of processed cheese. Specialised stores have cropped up in the city over the last few years that sell packaged and indigenously produced cheese.
Jor Bagh’s Steakhouse has been selling cheese to patrons since 1963. Steakhouse sells everything from cold cuts to cheese to frozen berries. “I’ve been buying cheese from here for almost a decade and have always had a pleasant experience. The owner (Kuldip Shenker) is always happy to help pick the right thing for the occasion and knows quite a bit about cheese,” says Amrita Gupta, a corporate lawyer and wine and cheese-lover.
Passion Cheese in Select CityWalk mall in Saket, a speciality cheese store, opened last year and retails products from Poshtik Milk Products Ltd, Hisar. Though the selection is small and disappointingly full of a wide variety of flavoured processed cheese, it offers value for money. The recently opened Cheese Chaplin in Lado Sarai sells a sharp in-house cheddar and a soft, mild Bocconcini that is well worth the trip.
“The fact that consumers in India are still discovering the delights of cheese cannot be refuted. In addition, specialised cheese stores are still carving their niche, traversing their cheese-making and selling learning curves,” points out Shenker of Steakhouse.
It seems like Delhi’s cheese education certainly seems to have kicked off. And it is a pretty decent start.