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Artisanal aged cheese is literally underground in Crown Heights

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo
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New Yorkers have a knack for finding space in a seemingly space-less city: Underwest Donuts nestle into a carwash on West Side Highway, The Garret took over the teeny tiny attic above a Five Guys burger shop, and now there’s a cheese cellar below a former brewery in Crown Heights.

Situated inside old lagering tunnels beneath Bergen Street, Crown Finish Caves is home to some 22,000 units of wash-rind and blue-veined cheeses aged anywhere from three to six months on wood-plank shelves. The temperature-controlled cave from creators Benton Brown and Susan Boyle has transformed three forgotten tunnels into a solar-powered green-roofed compound producing top-notch cheeses.

The first wheels are now seeing daylight, including cheeses by Anne Saxelby, who carries Parish Hill Creamery’s Vermont Herdsman, along with a raw cow’s-milk gorgonzola that has been hanging out in the Brooklyn caves for months. Even Whole Foods has begun selling the subterranean city cheeses: a wash-rind cheese coined Crown Dutchess made with raw cow’s milk from Chaseholm Farm Creamery that’s been aged for over two months below ground. Pick up a quarter pound of this Brooklyn-aged cheese for $6.25 at any Whole Foods NYC locations and marvel at the latest in Brooklyn-bred artisanal eats. Crown Finish Caves, 925 Bergen St at Franklin Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn (crownfinishcaves.com)

Written by Ashley Cox

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