© Jen Murphy
Blue Marble ice cream at Rubiner's.
During a recent weekend in the Berkshires, I stopped in the cool little town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, to stock up on snacks for the ride home and spent nearly an hour wandering around Rubiner’s Cheesemongers & Grocers. Located in an old bank on Main Street, this super-artisanal store is beyond forward-thinking when it comes to what it offers shoppers.
Here, five top reasons to drop in:
1. An insane selection of more than 130 artisan cheeses that ripen in the back cave (formerly the bank vault).
2. Out-of-this-world artisanal foods that include Rancho Gordo Beans, Mast Brothers Chocolates, French salted caramels and house-made country pâté.
3. Rubiner’s works with famed fishmonger Rod Browne Mitchell and Browne Trading Company to run something similar to a CSA for fish. Locals who sign up get an e-mail every Monday night listing the week’s catch. They place an order by 4 p.m. Wednesday and can pick up or (for a small fee) get home-delivery of the same superfresh seafood that goes to chefs like Eric Ripert and Thomas Keller.
4. Farmer’s Discount: Anyone who makes their primary living through farming or the production of artisan foods gets a 20-percent discount.
5. In the summer, Brooklyn’s awesome Blue Marble ice cream sets up shop out front, serving cups and cones of their decadent flavors like Stick o Butter Pecan. Even more delicious, though, are the homemade ice cream sandwiches that are sold inside. Blue Marble’s café au lait sandwiched between two chocolate sugar cookies was perfection.