Most cheese lovers are familiar with the term “cheesemonger” but many likely don’t know what it actually means (though they no doubt know it sounds cool).
A cheesemonger is simply someone intensively involved in the selling of cheese and also can be known as a cheese steward (though that title does not sound as cool and probably should never be used). “Monger” simply refers to someone who deals in a specific product – and hence knows a lot about it.
A fromager (another name with a nice ring to it) is often mistaken for a cheesemonger, but this French term means cheesemaker, and mongers aren’t makers. Cheesemongers do not make cheese themselves. They keep close contacts among local farmers and larger cheese suppliers – which typically provides the monger with the best cheeses in their area and makes them a sort of cheese guru in their culinary communities. Cheesemongers are passionate and can teach their customers what cheeses pair well with what foods and beverages, as well.
Modern cheesemongers often are responsible for every aspect of the inventory of a gourmet cheese section or shop.