By Wini Moranville
Of course, cheese is the main draw at The Cheese Shop of Des Moines (followed closely by charcuterie and pâté), but the staff’s handpicked food finds can be standouts too. A few recent discoveries:
1. Effie’s Oatcakes: The English would call these “biscuits”; with their lightly sweet, buttery-good, slightly salty flavor, they’re a little like a cross between a cracker and a cookie. I find them just right for midmorning coffee or afternoon tea, or to accompany cheeses you’re serving after the main course ($5.99).
2. Vollereaux Brut Reserve Champagne: One of my favorite moments last winter was hosting a young Fulbright scholar from the Champagne region of France and seeing her eyes light up when I brought out this bottle, which she loved. I love this classic fine dry bubbly too, and at this price, you can keep a bottle chilled in the fridge for any time you have a guest worth celebrating ($32).
3. Zzang! Original Candy Bar: You may have outgrown your taste for Snickers or Baby Ruth, but this handcrafted candy bar takes the treat to an artisan level, with brown-sugar caramel, Virginia peanuts and a rich coating of dark Colombian chocolate ($3.99 each).
The Cheese Shop is at 833 42nd St.; 528-8181.