Cheese Shop Visit: Wedge on Franklin Ave.
Friday afternoon was a rainy and chilly one, perfect for popping into Crown Height’s newest cheese shop, Wedge. Tucked into a snug space next door to Little Zelda — and owned by Kate Blumm and Michael de Zayas, the couple behind that “Coffee & Comestibles” destination — Wedge brings cheese, breads, charcuterie, provisions, sandwiches, cheese classes and more to a section of Franklin Avenue that is fast becoming a destination for dining and stocking up on your culinary essentials.
The cheese counter is helmed by Lilith Spencer, who earned her monger’s badges at Brooklyn Larder and has had previous cheesemaking experience, including attending classes at VIAC (I was also surprised to learn that she had, like yours truly, attended Hampshire College, in Massachusetts, and that her Div 3 — Hampshire slang for Senior Thesis — looked at the intersection of cheese and music, through musical composition).
The space is a jewel box of a space, narrow and bright, with white brick walls and beautiful, wedge-inspired tilework at the front of the shop. Shelves are stocked with a well-curated selection of provisions, preserves, cheese gear, books and more. The cheese case is compact but well-selected, and will grow in the months to come as they settle in and expand (they’d been open all of two weeks when I stopped in). In addition to a broad cross section of classics — Challerhocker, Puits d’Astiers from Rodolphe Le Meunier, Le Jeune Autize, Lou Bergier Pichin, Cabot Clothbound — Lilith had also sought out some more under-the-radar cheeses, including a blue bloomy rind called Timpanogos Peak, and Strawberry peak, a washed rind, both from Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery in Utah; a center-ashed tomme, called Headwater Tomme, from Kokoborrego Cheese Co. in Ohio; multiple cheeses from Edgwick Farm, in Cornwall NY (you can read about my cheesemaking and farm visit day); and Margie, the newest cheese from another friend-of-the-blog, Sprout Creek Farm.
Charcuterie will be supplied by Smoking Goose in Indianapolis; the bread is supplied by Bien Cuit, yogurts by Argyle Cheese Farmers, and you can even get a bouquet of edible flowers from the vase in the front window. The sandwich menu will be changing daily; you can check their Facebook page for the day’s selection.
Wedge will also be offering classes; some recent subjects have included “Pairing Demystified”, “You Are What Ewe Eat: On the Importance of Pasture”, and a jam and cheese pairing session.
Residents of Crown Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods who are in need of a cheese fix should definitely check out Wedge. And if you want to see Lilith’s skills head-to-head with other mongers, she’ll be competing in the Cheesemonger Invitational, June 29th (it should be noted that when I requested a quarter pound of the Headwater Tomme, the scale clocked in at exactly .25, so she’ll definitely be holding her own in the "In The Cut" battle round).
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