Best of Boston

2001 Best Cheese Shop

Bread & Citrus (Fresh Pond)

No, it’s not a charmingly quaint boutique. But, hey, you’re there to buy cheese, not a hat. Above all, you want absolute ripeness, informed service, and a carefully chosen selection. That’s what you get here: an extensive traditional selection (world-wide, small-batch artisinal cheeses, with flavor profiles that are all over the map) and a staff (including cheesemonger Edward Humble) as dedicated to educating consumers as they are to selling. You’ll also find family favorites like cheddar or pepper jack, all preservative-free and kept in topnotch condition. Then there are the condiments, plucked from every corner of the globe: pickled onions from Croatia, semidried tomatoes from Australia, and fig cakes from Spain.

200 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, 617-491-0040,