Farmstead Cheeses, the eighteen-month-old stand in the Alameda Marketplace, is altogether too well ventilated to smell like a ripe Epoisses. That's a good thing, we suppose. But lean a little closer to its open-air cases, a cityscape of tightly packed wedges and domes, and you'll start to get a scent of the heavenly funk trapped underneath all that plastic wrap. Owners Jeff Diamond and Carol Huntington have put together a small but smart collection of cheeses from all over the world: Ireland, France, Italy, California, Vermont -- whatever smells best. For a closer whiff of the wares -- as well as a rare chance to get a formal lesson in cheese tasting -- sign up for one of Diamond's cheese-and-wine-pairing classes.
1504 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 510-549-3183