A long-time staple at the Farmers Market Cooperative of East Liberty, cheesemonger Wheel and Wedge recently opened a new retail location at the Engine House 25 Wines tasting room, in Lawrenceville.
The new space offers cheeses and meats from right here in Pennsylvania — such as Strip Distict’s Parma Sausage — and as far away as Sheboygan, Wis., Greensboro, Vt., and Kansas City. Patrons can sample a cheese board or charcuterie, or buy cheeses, meats and accoutrements such as crackers, mustard and pickles to make their own at home.
“I view it like the craft-beer movement 10 or 15 years ago. That’s how domestic cheese is going,” says owner Alix Hoylman. “A lot of these creameries are really young and new, and they’re doing really exciting things. My goal for the whole business is to introduce people to new cheeses they’ve never had before.”
Current varieties on offer include St. Malachi, a firm cheese from the Farm at Doe Run, in Coatesville, Pa.; it is made from raw cow’s milk and offers caramel and butterscotch notes. Another Pennsylvania variety, Tuffet, from Green Dirt Farm, in Weston, is a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese with herbal notes.
“A lot of it has to do with seasonality, but I’m always looking for ways to incorporate new cheeses,” says Hoylman. “The last brand-new creamery I brought in came from a trip to Kansas City. They specialize in sheep’s-milk cheese, which is always something I’m looking for because it’s a more complex cheese.”
Hoylman also currently does beer-and-cheese-pairing classes at breweries around the city, and soon she’ll be hosting wine-and-cheese classes at Wheel and Wedge’s new location.