Having sent much of my life in the “dairy states”, California, Wisconsin and living most of my life in the “land of milk and honey”, I grew up with one true food weakness, cheese! Therefore I dedicate my first post on this blog to that wonderful food which is ‘milk preserved in time’. I have found the ultimate cheese destination in my backyard, in Jerusalem’s shuk Mahaneh Yehuda, Basher Fromagerie.
According to a local news article about Basher’s twin brother owners, Eli and David; their father owned a shuk stall over 50 years ago and one of the twins who developed a passion for French cheese requested the stall be turned into a store based nearly exclusively on cheese. Ultimately his father handed over the shop to his sons and it is now ISrael’s most famous cheese outlet. I asked the owner myself if it was true that he could taste what the cow/goat/sheep/ had eaten that day in the flaovr of the cheese. He answered, “but of course! It is my profession!”
I have heard that the Jerusalem stall, remodeled last year, now contains an average of 800 different cheeses, it is reported the owner travels to France monthly in his purcahses. In his pursuit of perfection he has established a store paralleled with any French fromagerie. Part of the novel experience of a visit to this store is the free passing out of samples of cheese off the knife of the cutter, gooey bries included.
Basher has branches now in Tel Aviv and I just spotted a new wine and cheese bar with their monacker on Agrippas St., Jerusalem, now open from 6p.m.