Last week I got to visit Fiore di Nonno and witness some superb cheese making. Usually, the mozzarella stork delivers my cheese to the nearest supermarket and I pretend that the “fresh” label is a guarantee, rather than just an intention. Turns out, there is much better mozzarella and it's local. At Fiore di Nonno, owner Lourdes Smith likes the fact that her cheese doesn’t have to travel very far to reach its customers. It’s not only fresh (and delicious), but it’s also made by hand in small batches with curd from a Massachusetts dairy farm. Lourdes's attention to quality is impressive and no doubt stems from her exposure to the handcrafted cheese at her grandfather’s store, Fiore’s of Hoboken, a store passed down from his father, who emigrated from Italy in 1908. Tradition and cheese, what a perfect pair.
You can find Fiore di Nonno cheese at places like Kickass Cupcakes, Diesel Cafe and Oleana. And be impressed because it gets delivered to those eateries by Metro Pedal Power. Yep, bike messengers, even in the winter, even on the day I visited, when another kind storm had covered the city in a metric butt-load of wintery mix. In the summer, when we all love life again and praise the Caprese salad, the Fiore di Nonno kitchen averages 1200 pounds of cheese per week. Then you can also find it, like I did, at local farmers markets or as a CSA add-on.