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JM ate the ham and cheese sandwich.
Nichole ate the hummus and eggplant sandwich, the cornichons (and JM’s), and a Gail Ambrosius truffle.
The bill was $18, or $9/person.
JM gave Fromagination an A-; Nichole gave Fromagination an A (see our grading rubric).
Here’s the key thing for getting your hot little hands on Fromagination’s sandwiches: go early. When we arrived at 9am on a busy market Saturday, they were already nearly out of one of three kinds (and if there were four, well, that speaks for itself). Also allow yourself enough time and indulgence to explore some of the complementary wares, billed as “perfect companions,” from olives and crackers, to boards and knives, to chocolates and exotic gummi candy. They really do have everything you need to enjoy your cheese experience.
The sandwiches are exceptional. Hefty (Nichole’s clocked in at ¾ lb.) and aromatic, they come swathed in a classy paper band with stone ground mustard/mayo on the side. The tiny cornichons, about as big as barn cats compared to these draft-horse-sized sandwiches, will please any fan of sweet-ish pickles while still retaining a sour zing and adorable tiny crunch.
Nichole was afraid the bread-to-filling ratio on her sandwich would overwhelm the vegetables, but that wasn’t the case. These ingredients held their own. Lightly marinated mushrooms, coarse hummus, salty olives, earthy white cheese, mild roasted red peppers, oregano and rosemary balanced the tender focaccia (made in-house, we think). The only real complaint one could have is that this ensemble cast didn’t really allow the cheese to shine.
JM’s smoked Nueske ham and fontina cheese sandwich was very good as well, if dry without the supplied mustard. The cheese was the perfect choice here, singing out in its simple combination with the ham and just enough lettuce to add a wonderful crunch. We added only a ripe pear to our meal and were both stuffed.
Fromagination was a great help at New Year’s when we tried our first fondue, recommending a classic combination of Emmentaler and Gruyere and supplying us with both. It only seems logical that Madison, Wisconsin's foofiest metropolis, would add its own foofy twist on the cheese shop; we can say that these curds are worth the trip out of your way.