Food & Drink » Mouthful

Artisan Cheese

STAR PROVISIONS The cheese shop at this gourmet market attached to Bacchanalia offers the most varied, interesting selections to be found in Atlanta. The cheese is treated with the respect it deserves and is cut to order. The selection is ever-changing, but favorites include the funky, seductive French Epoisses de Berthaut, so creamy it can be eaten with a spoon when ripe, and Sally Jackson's supple, tangy, raw sheep's milk cheese made in Washington state.

1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-365-0410.

BARRELMAN The wine and cheese shop next door to Eno in Midtown has a small but succinct selection of artisan cheeses with slightly lower prices than Star Provisions. The staff cuts cheese to order and offers excellent suggestions for pairings with vino. The store carries an excellent selection of Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses.

800 Peachtree St. 404-228-8815.

YOUR DEKALB FARMERS MARKET One needs to be a knowledgeable consumer to buy here. Everyone's favorite food emporium offers a strange amalgam of truly great cheese next to low-quality, mass-produced selections. And often, there's no one around who knows cheese and can help you make a selection. The upside is that prices are quite low, so if you buy a cheese you hate, at least you didn't pay through the nose for it.

3000 E. Ponce de Leon. 404-377-6400.

WHOLE FOODS Bringing better dairy to the masses, the cheese counter at this semi-health-food chain is a jumbled assortment of pre-cut cheeses manned (usually) by an enthusiastic staff. A favorite here is the Old Chatham Hudson Valley Camembert, a buttery cow and sheep's milk blend that is two steps silkier than your average brie. Also be on the lookout for Neal's Yard Montgomery cheddar.

650 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-853-1681; 5930 Roswell Road, 404-236-0810, and other locations.

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