A private tour through the cheese caves of Crown Heights
When I hear the phrase “cheese cave,” my wand wanders to some kind of dank dungeon in rural France, or perhaps to a quaint Vermont farmhouse, with a stone basement. But Crown Heights, Brooklyn? Or anywhere in Brooklyn for that matter? Definitely not what I would have expected! Very cool nonetheless. Brooklyn Magazine has the inside scoop.
Thirty feet below Bergen Street in Crown Heights, there is a network of tunnels. Inside those tunnels are 26,000 pounds of cheese, gradually aging. The caves themselves are home to Crown Finish Caves, owned by Benton Brown and Susan Boyle, and they have been off limits to the public since the onset of the pandemic.
But lovers of artisanal cheese can now sample their fine art of affinage, or cheese aging, above ground every Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m.
Down there, “the cheese is alive and always growing, so we need to keep the conditions as clean as possible,” says Brown.
Up here on the ground, the results are palatable, occasionally pungent and always pleasing.
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