Dairy Princess

Carolyn Stromberg is choosy about cheese

For Carolyn Stromberg, cheese isn't just an indulgence; it's a way of life.

After stints working at Cowgirl Creamery and Cheesetique, then as the maître fromager for Old Hickory Steakhouse, Stromberg now teaches cheese novices how to get the most from their dairy.

Through her new company, Cheese Course–which also builds cheese programs for restaurants–Stromberg offers private themed parties with wine pairings. She'll guide tasters through excellent local cheeses or explain what to serve with the strongest, most pungent varieties.

Stromberg is always hunting for new products. So she happily shared her favorite sources for interesting dairy:

Arrowine Stromberg hits this Arlington wineshop for unique cheeses. Her top picks come from Rolf Beeler, a Swiss dairy aficionado who collects rare cheeses from small producers, and traditional British finds from Neals Yards Dairy.

Cork Market Though its selection is small, this gourmet market is one of Stromberg's favorites for its impeccable selection, including Le Gruyère's signature Gruyère and Sofia, a mellow, versatile ashed goat cheese from Indiana.

La Fromagerie This tiny Old Town shop has a vast selection of domestic artisanal cheeses. Cheesemonger Sebastien Tavel stocks some 80 varieties, including the supple Nancy's Camembert and small-production cow's-milk cheese from Georgia's Sweet Grass Dairy.