Reading Market-aged cheeseEran Wajswol blasted into a hill on his Central Jersey farm to create the perfect aging cave for his Valley Shepherd cheeses. The situation isn't quite as ideal in the sweltering, dry basement of the Reading Terminal Market, where Valley Shepherd has been aging its market-made cheeses in a humidity-controlled walk-in fridge. So believe Wajswol's admonition that his just-released Reading Cheddar and Boxcar Blue are still "prototypes," many months, if not years, away from perfection. Even so, they're already impressive. The raw-milk cheddar, pressed in antique molds, is mild at four-plus months, but has a wonderful, clothbound earthiness that should be a knockout in a tarter, older age. Boxcar Blue could also use more pungency and deeper veining, but already has a wonderful, Stilton-like, fudgy allure. "We're all engineers and cheesemakers," says Wajswol. "We'll figure this out."
- Craig LaBan