It's really rather odd. Ten years ago, finding a restaurant in America serving a selection of fine cheeses was about as easy as finding good Chinese food in Italy. Except at a few old-line French restaurants serving a rudimentary plate of Brie, Camembert and Roquefort-and rarely in very good condition-American restaurateurs saw little profit in appealing to guests who either opted for dessert over cheese or never even thought of the idea of cheese after the main course. In Pictures: America’s cheesiest restaurants
But that has changed radically all over the country. Increasingly, well-traveled Americans are becoming familiar with cheeses as disparate as Spanish goat's cheese, Italian burrata, English Caerphilly and American cheeses with names like Drunken Hooligan, Constant Bliss, Maytag Blue and Wabash Cannonball.
And their first taste of such cheeses may well have been at a restaurant in the U.S.
Indeed, it has become almost requisite that a new restaurant opening anywhere in the U.S. have a selection of fine cheeses, often with a focus on those from the region.