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Norbert Wabnig on Caviar, Truffles and The Good Life

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<a href="http://elizabethdanielsphotography.com">Elizabeth Daniels 1/20</a>
Elizabeth Daniels 1/20

Whether rich and famous or just plain rich, a lot of whales like to call the 90210 home, at least part-time. Their secret spot for European specialties, expensive condiments and priceless champagne is none other than Norbert Wabnig's Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. His is the first, and arguably the best, cheese store in the land, especially for those looking for caviar, truffles, wine and all of life's delicious pleasures.

The holiday season is over. Are people still splurging?
Truffles are still in season, so we're selling a lot of those... Oddly enough, I've been reordering quite a bit of caviar. Not exactly sure why. And mostly the rare, $175 an ounce Golden Imperial Osetra.


Champagne is still strong and so is the Jamón Ibérico de Bellota.
The type of procsuitto from spain. Also we have some Vacherin du Haut-Doubs, a soft-ripened washed-rind cheese. The French make it, and so do the Swiss. All in all, it seems as though people are still in the festive spirt.

What truffles are in season? Where are they from? How much are they going for?
The whites are almost gone, the Italian ones. The whites are $6,200/lb, which is about the same as last year. They sort of start a little bit lower and then go up as the season goes on. It also depends on size. The larger ones tend to be more expensive by the ounce than the smaller ones. The larger the truffle, the more intense the flavor.

Meanwhile, black truffles are in full swing. They're from the Périgord in France, and from Italy too. Black just came in yesterday, they're going for $2,000/lb. They'll be in season for only another three weeks.

What caviar are you offering right now?
We always have the Sevruga, for around $60 an ounce, the Osetra, for $120 an ounce -- though, if you buy more, the price drops a bit -- and then Golden Osetra Imperial, for $175 an ounce. We can also get the American, which is about $39 an ounce, but there's not a lot of demand for it.

Tell me about some of the most exclusive cheeses at the shop.
We still have the Hook's 15-year old cheddar. That goes for about $75 per lb. The 12-year old is $50 per pound.

And then, there are the truffle cheeses, which vary in price quite a lot. The Moliterno, a sheeps milk cheese, is interesting. Though it uses Northern Italian truffles, it's likely made in Sardinia. In any case, it has rivers of truffle punched into it.

What is the most popular Champagne currently on offer?
The Henriot, which goes for about $45 to $48. Right at that price range, where it's not terribly expensive, but very tasty and drinkable, most of our clients get four or five bottles at a time.

Is there anything else your best guests like to get?
For the real cheese fanactic, we have cheese cabinets. These are for the homeowners with a real cellar. If you have a wine cellar, this is the place to keep your cheese. At $125 each, most people buy a couple at a time. The benefit of keeping your cheese there is that it will prevent the cheese from drying out as it would in the fridge. The cheese is allowed to mature in a more even fashion. It's always ready to eat, you don't have to take it out of the fridge two hours before or anything.

I've heard something about a private dining option at the store?
We do have that option, yes. We encourage those who may be interested to call us for details: 310-278-2855.
·All Whale Week 2013 Coverage [~ELA~]

The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills

419 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210