Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile takes macaroni and cheese high-class - The Buffalo News

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Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile takes macaroni and cheese high-class

In June, Williamsville welcomed cheesemonger Jill Forster and her Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, offering her curated selection of cheeses from around the world.

There’s more on her shelves – charcuterie, bread, salts, seasonings – and Forster has assembled a menu of sandwiches, like asparagus grilled cheese. But one of the standout offerings at the new shop (78 E. Spring St., Williamsville, 634-2830) and the original Elmwood Village location (423 Elmwood Ave., 882-3068) is the adult macaroni and cheese.

Call it “adult” because it’s too flavorful to expend on fans of Kraft dinner. Besides, it’s $6.99 for a pint serving.

Nickel City mac and cheese starts with a traditional béchamel of butter and flour, cooked into a roux and fortified with heavy cream. The cook shreds the cheese in a food processor, then slowly melts it in.

It’s always a cheddar base, like a 2-year-old Australian cheddar that’s “got a nice zip to it,” said Forster. She might use Cabot cloth-bound cheddar from Vermont, or Redwood Hill goat cheddar, but “we’re equal opportunity,” she said. “We’ll use anything.”

Washed-rind French cheeses might make their way into the daily batch, or even blue cheeses, the mold strained out after it’s melted.

When the sauce is ready, it’s mixed with pasta, lately cavatappi, curvy corkscrew pasta. “We find that catches the most sauce,” she said.

The most adventurous style is a “nacho cheese” version that has salsa incorporated into the cheese mix. Garnished with cilantro, scallions and crispy tortilla chips, it goes for $7.99.

What you get is a straight shot of fine cheeses and pasta that will redefine your mac and cheese cravings. “We do use really good cheese,” said Forster. “We are a cheese shop, and everything we can’t sell goes in there.”


Foodie Find: Lobster on the Lawn. Lobster rolls, lawn games and more at church fundraiser from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at St. James Episcopal Church (405 E. Main St., Batavia). Tickets are $15 at church office, or call (585) 343-6802.

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