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by Jojo Frey June 30, 2014

Hot summers in New York City can be dreadful. When one suggests leaving our cool and wooded corner of Connecticut for a warehouse in the middle of Long Island City on a sweltering day in June, it’s hard to expect much enthusiasm. However, when said warehouse is hosting the Cheesemonger’s Invitational, dairy lovers like myself hop in the car and fly down I‐678 to be first in line. The thought of perfectly crafted cheese bites, all‐you‐can‐drink Six Point beer, and raclette lured me in…


Six Point BeerImagine standing in line waiting for the doors to open, anticipating the mounds of aged gouda and soft‐ripened chèvre. I was practically salivating, hoping that everything I dreamed of would be true. The doors opened. Instantly, I was hit with the pungent smell that can only be described as parfum de fromage. In I went.

On that Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at Larkin Cold Storage in Long Island City for the 5th Annual Cheesemonger’s Invitational. Spearheaded by Adam Moscowitz, local cheese importer and self‐proclaimed Raw Milk Rockstar, the event brings together over 50 cheesemongers from around the country to compete and showcase their monger skills, from wrapping wars to cutting the perfect quarter pound slice.

The competition is surprisingly entertaining. But, as an attendee, the true excitement of the event lies in the tasting. Not only does one get to try a vast variety of cheeses, one also gets to sample over fifty “perfect bites”, meticulously created by the attending cheesemongers. My favorite bite, made by Noah Pardo of Essex Street Cheese Co., was a piece of Manchego 1605 combined with speculoos and siracha sitting atop a Ritz cracker. I’m already counting down the days until June 2015…

Cheesemongers Invitational Cheese at Cheesemongers Invitational Cheesemongers wrapping contest

Jojo Frey
Jojo Frey


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