The Cheese Iron
You’d think in a state with dairy farms aplenty that fine cheese mongers would be everywhere. Not so, at least until 2006, when, much to the delight of food-lovers from York to Damariscotta, self-proclaimed fromage fanatic Vincent Maniaci and Jill Dutton opened this European-style gourmet shop in a new barn-style building 15 minutes south of Portland. A great one-stop shop for picnics, parties, and car-ride snacking, it does a brisk business selling a wide range of cheeses, including some local labels like Liberty Fields Farm’s aged cow milk Saco Bay Mist & Dusk, and other goodies: house-made pâté, salty oatcakes, wholesome panini to go, Pink Lady apples, and sweets like chocolate palets laced with chipotle. The store also sells gift baskets and housewares and holds regular hands-on cheese classes. You can even watch the ripening in process in the store’s glass-enclosed cheese cave.