As someone that tries to keep up with Capital District food, how could I not go poke around the Cheese Traveler during the soft opening last week? I didn't take any pictures of the store since there were just 3 of us: me, Eric the proprietor and a woman putting up some painting tape for what looked like a future stripe on the wall. All the internet stories about Eric are true. If you have the time and desire, I believe he would tell you everything about everything in the store for as long as you wanted. Alas, I didn't have that kind of time.
One of the first things that caught my eye was the basket of Olympic Provisions products. I had heard of them before and they have an excellent reputation. They are one of the brands discussed in the last issue of Lucky Peach. Eric kindly gave me a description of the various types and offered samples. I tasted the sopressata and was sold. I'm a sucker for sopressata. Heading back to the cheeses, I picked out the Robinson Family Swiss made in Hardwick, MA. The price tag sticker description says "An award winning farmhouse cheese handmade from a herd of 40 grass fed cows. Made from certified organic raw cows milk." My daughter Allison is a sucker for Swiss and I thought this might broaden her horizons. She really enjoyed the cheese.
I was slightly disappoint in the sopressata. The piece I had in the store was better than what I brought home. In the store, it tasted like the sopressata I tried to make but couldn't. At home, I thought mine was better. So did Allison and Casey. Salami is a fickle beast. I've never made the same one twice.
The Cheese Traveler store looks very promising. I will have to go back and try some of the meats they are offering too. I suspect the place will be packed just before Thanksgiving.