Taste Dublin – Episode 2: The Best Cheese Shop In Town
Where is the best cheese shop in town, you ask? Well, let me tell you all about it.
That’s an easy question to answer. To me, the best cheese shop in town is and has been Sheridan’s for quite some years now.
If you know me or follow me on social media, you will know I’m a cheese nuts. I love the stuff. Harch cheese, blue cheese, raw milk cheese, you name it, I love it. I know it’s “just a food” but to me it’s so much more. Eating cheese is an event in and of itself. I will meet with friends to eat cheese. Cheese is very often a dessert replacement.
I’ve visited cheese farms in the Burren (see my Saint Tola farm post) and I’ve even booked myself on a cheese making course in Kilkenny which you will read about in due time.
I like to explore other countries through their cheeses and as you know, when I can, I like to support local shops, so instead of going for a supermarket cheese counter I will normally go for independent cheese mongers.
We have a few cheese shops in Dublin and truly, they all hold a piece of my heart, but there’s only ever one that can be the best cheese shop.
Now the funny thing is that I’m declaring the Sheridan’s in Cornelscour as the best cheese shop in Dublin after just the one visit. It’s a snap, but well informed decision and here’s why.
First, it is huge. It is a concession stand which you can find in the Dunnes stores. When I’m saying it’s huge, I mean it’s the largest cheese counter I’ve ever seen in Ireland.
I was there on the invitation of Kevin Sheridan who has very kindly given me the opportunity to learn to open a whole wheel of parmesan at one of his outlets. This is one of my food bucket list items so I was absolutely over the moon with that offer. I don’t think I’ve ever said yes to anything quite so fast before.
I got there aroudn 11 on a Friday morning and was welcome by Anne Marie, Avril and Eoin. Eoin was the cheese teacher for this particular session. He gave me a talk on parmesan and what to do as well as what to expect. He was patient and encouraging and incredibly enthusiastic. He has opened tens of wheels and still his face was full of delights when the wheel gave in to me and cracked open.
The smell, guys, I’m not sure how to describe it. It was sweet and salty and nearly nutty and mushroomy. I got to taste a bit that fell off. Just to make sure it was ok like. And it was glorious. I have never tasted parmesan like that before. Yes it’s expensive but by cheesus, a little of this cheese will go a long way.
After we opened the wheel, Avril gave me a tour of the cheeses that are in season and selling well at the moment. She even managed to introduce me to a French cheese I’d never heard of. It’s called Cat’s Tooth and it is a glorious product.
She explained the ethos of the house. These are quite simple really. Sheridan’s sell cheese from all over Europe. They want their staff to taste and be experts and train them up to a high standard. One of their rules is that you do not rush your customers. This pleases me as buying cheese is not something I do fast and rashly. I love chatting to the cheese monger and learning something new.
So between the quality of the cheese and of the staff and the simply huge counter space, there is nowhere else I’d rather shop for cheese in Dublin. It is indeed, the best cheese shop in the city.
Some fun facts about parmesan:
- A wheel weighs 40 kgs
- It is left alone for about 2 years
- Each wheel, has a metal crown which you can see below. It is from the house of the Affineur. I got to take mine home for opening the wheel.
- Sheridans sell a full wheel in one to two weeks.
- The retail value of a wheel is about €1,400.00
- In Italy, banks will let you borrow money against parmesan wheels.