Of course, you would rather be somewhere in the middle, but it is quite clear that food can be much more than just… food. What good is in food that is filling but not exciting? Food can be a profession, an inspiration, a culture, and some people would call it an art. Among many types of food culture the cheese culture is definitely the noblest and most diverse.
Eli Basher in his shop in Jerusalem, Mahane Yehuda Market
Nobody really knows how many types of cheese there are in the world. Estimates vary from 500 to 1000, when every type is divided into countless sub-types according to the geographic region, the length of the aging process and many other factors. Is there any other food product that can surprise and excite us during our whole life?
The cheese culture is almost as ancient as the human culture itself. The first cheese, most probably, was made around 10.000 years ago somewhere in our region, the Middle East, but for millennia this food had been known almost exclusively in Europe. The people that laid the foundations of the cheese culture as we know it were Romans, and the reason for that is simple yet surprising: Romans appreciated any food that combines longevity with high nutritional value, because this is exactly what their army needed to successfully fight far from home without depending on local resources. Yes, the pasta too had been invented for the legionnaires.
The second floor of Jerusalem branch shop: drink a glass of wine with some gourmet cheese
Do you remember those distant times when there were three brands of local beer in your supermarket? And the embarrassingly poor assortment of imported wines? And the choice you've had to make between Telma mayonnaise ans Osem mayonnaise? In most of its aspects the food culture in Israel have gone a long way indeed. But the cheese culture is still in its infancy, and what can be bought even in the best supermarkets is just not that! In most of the deli shops the situation is far from ideal too. Yet, there are a small number of exclusive venues where you can find both quality and selection, and Basher is among them.
Basher Fromagerie is the chain of stores where you can find fine and rare cheeses imported from small European dairies. Basher is the shrine and the academy for cheese, a place that must be visited by any self-respecting connoisseur. So, what kind of Gruyere do you prefer – Gruyere Alpage or Gruyere Premiere Cru?
Tasting cheese is an important part of the Fromagerie experience at Basher's shop