In a Small Brooklyn Store,
A Trove of 100 Cheeses
Tuller Premium Food, 199 Court Street (Bergen Street), in Cobble Hill, Brook-
lyn, is a tiny shop, so it chooses its cheeses carefully — and there are gems
among the 100 on display. They include Borough Market Stilton ($11.99 a
pound); Cheddar and Cheshire from England ($11.99 a pound); Pleasant Ridge
Reserve, a Gruyere-style Wisconsin cheese ($16.99 apound); and the Old
Chatham Sheepherding Company's creamy new blue cheese, Ewe's Blue ($18.99
a pound). The store, owned by Robert Tuller, below, also sells Magnolia
Bakery's ice creams ($3.99 a pint), rustic pastas from Italy and prepared foods,
including excellent marinated roasted beets, parsnip puree and potatoes roasted in
chicken drippings, all $5.99 a pound.
Salad Vinegar, Sippin' Vinegar
Connoisseurs of vinegar taste it by first
dipping a piece of white bread into it, or
sometimes a sugar cube. But not Erwin
Gegenbauer, above, of Vienna, who makes
vinegars from fruit, vegetables, wine and
even beer. At the Fancy Food Show in the
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center three
weeks ago, he offered samples by the
droplet from a pipette. "Take it under your
tongue," he said. "It's the only way to get all
the flavor." Mr. Gegenbauer's vinegars have
uncommon depth. He ferments fruits,
like raspberries and tomatoes, into a wine
that becomes vinegar, and then ages them up
to seven years. He makes what he calls
drinking vinegars, to serve as digestifs, from
sweet wines. His unusual beer vinegar does
wonders for potato salad and is $30 at Dean
& DeLuca; other vinegars are $20 to $50 for
8.6 ounces.
Also carrying the vinegars
are Tuller Premium Food In Brooklyn,

Bedford Gourmet in Bedford, N.Y., and
Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Mich. They are
also available from
One Spoonful And
You're in Bilbao

Miguel & Valentino ice creams from Spain
offer rich rewards for those with an
adventurous palate. Some flavors are tangy
edged like Roquefort cheese with walnuts,
Greek yogurt with caramelized pineapple and
fresh cheese with raspberries. Tamer choices
are Spanish clementine, mellow pear and
dulce de leche. The ice creams, in 17-ounce
tubs, cost $8.99 at Gourmet Garage stores and
$7.99 at Tuller Premium Food, 199 Court
Street (Bergen Street), Brooklyn.

Eric Asimov

International Delicacies, by the Square Inch
Tuller in the papers
t's just a guess, but Tuller Premium Food, a
tiny takeout shop in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn,
may offer the most flavor per square inch in
New York. It is crammed with delicious things,
including dulce de leche ice cream from Spain;
dense, rustic rolls from Pain d'Avignon in Long
Island City; chocolate bark from Jacques
Torres's new shop in Dumbo; and, most
obviously, more than 100 cheeses, many of
them difficult-to-find artisanal varieties.   It is
hard not to be outdone by these imports, but
Tuller's kitchen tries to hold its own, turning out
an attractive selection of high-end main courses
and sides. Vegetables are superb, like sugar snap
peas ($8 a pound) that live up to their name,
snappy and delicious; delicate, lightly herbed
haricots verts ($9 a pound) that just barely go
crunch in the mouth; and sweet, juicy
marinated beets ($7 a pound).
These vegetables are prepared with such a light
touch that it is surprising to find some meat
dishes suffering from heavy-handedness.
Chickens ($4.49 a pound) smell wonderful
roasting on a spit; the dark meat is juicy, but
the plump breasts are too dry. Roast loin of
pork stuffed with apricots ($15 a pound) is
well flavored, and a fillet of beef ($23 a pound)
is buttery, but both were packaged with
domineering sprigs of rosemary.
Rosemary is a kinder partner for an eggy
quichelike vegetable frittata ($5 a slice),
while a hefty, satisfying "cowboy pie" ($12)
would bow to no mere herb. This blend of
ground pork and beef with peas, carrots and
onions under a lid of mashed potatoes is as
proletarian as Tuller gets.
For me, a trip to Tuller is incomplete without
snuffing through the cheese selection, which
always includes luscious small-production
surprises, most recently a disk of St. Marcellin
($5). Peel away the moldy green rind and the
oozy cheese tastes almost like a basket of fruit,
which, come to think of it, makes it a perfect
Tuller Premium Food, 199 Court Street, Cobble
Hill, Brooklyn; (718) 222-9933.