The Cheeseboard Collective, Berkeley

The Cheeseboard Collective, Berkeley

I am quite surprised that it took me a whole year to get around a post about the Cheeseboard. The reason is shameful- I don’t really care for cheese. Usually people stare at me in horror when I say this, but cheese is one of those foods that lives me lukewarm: I’ll eat it (and love it!) as an ingredient, but I usually don’t look for it as a stand-alone food, making my fridge always only privy to mozzarella, ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano. Nevertheless, if you like- and LOVE cheese, the Cheeseboard is the place where to be.

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The Cheeseboard Collective is somewhat the most quintessential Berkeley store. Its cooperative nature makes it a business school case on Organizational Behavior (I swear!), and the entire way the place is run is quite original. From their website:

We are a collective of about 30 members. Everyone who works at the Cheese Board is a member of the collective with equal decision making power. There is no boss, manager, or non-owner worker. Everyone makes the same hourly wage.

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You need to pick up a playing card at the entrance and wait for your turn, often over 20 minutes if you happen during the weekend. Nevertheless, when your turn is up you can ask to taste any and everything in the refrigerated counter, getting a real preview of what you’re about to buy. This makes the Cheeseboard not only unique, but also a heck of a fun shopping stop! Me, I am simple- I will pick up REAL ricotta (the cow variety is my favorite, but they also have sheep ricotta), crescenza, and mozzarella di bufala DOP. A more sophisticated cheese lover can enjoy the most extensive selection of gorgonzola available in the Bay Area along with pecorino, robiola and mascarpone. They also have hard to find Italian cheeses like Raschera, Castelmagno and Caciocavallo!

The Gorgonzola Selection at the Cheeseboard Collective

The Cheeseboard Collective
1504 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94709
510-549-3183

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3 Responses to “The Cheeseboard Collective, Berkeley”

  1. I used to live right up the street from the Cheeseboard (dangerously close) and I made a lot of stops there. What do you think about their pizza?

  2. I actually like it- not very “Italian”, but it doesn’t pretend to be, either. What’s not to like about a pizza made daily with fresh ingredients?? :)

  3. [...] of Italian ricotta in the store-bought products available here. When I am desperate I head to the Cheeseboard or the Cowgirl Creamery to get the real flavor, or I follow Rosetta’s instructions. Rosetta [...]

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