While I wish more than anything that I could stay in this golden phase of my life, a phase that consists almost entirely of late nights, papers on Salinger and Nietzsche, coffee, and cheese, I’m afraid all of it is a week from being over. You see, I’m graduating from UC Davis this quarter, and, sadly, leaving my internship at culture with this final blog post.
So, considering the fact that this post might be the last legitimate excuse I’ll have to order an entire cheese plate for myself, I asked Will if I could try doing it on my own. No cheesemongers, no explanations—just an interaction between myself and a pretty perfect plate of cheese.
Bear with me. There will be puns.
I’m still thinking about the Saint Marcellin from last time.
With that being said, I’m beginning to realize how awesomely I scored with this blog series. I mean, how perfect is it, really? Honest, I’m not an undercover cheese connoisseur and the “discover my inner cheesemonger” blog pitch wasn’t born out of a coy strategy to scamper all over town and taste a bunch of brilliant cheeses—even though that’s essentially what I get to do…I guess all I’m trying to say is that I am very, very lucky.
Anyway, with all of that being said, I’m visited my third location back in Davis, at the Mace Davis Nugget Market with Colby Turner, Nugget’s cheese manager.
The other day, a good friend of mine presented me with a copy of Ratatouille and said I remind him of Remy, the epicurean mouse character in the film. If you can recall part one of this series, you’ll understand how much I admire the little guy and his inherent food genius. My first thought was: I must be doing something right. And then: This is a sign from the cheese deities to keep going. So, it was with straightened shoulders and a teeny bit more self-confidence that I went on to my next location:
Taylor’s Market in Sacramento, with resident cheesemonger Felicia Johnson.
Felicia is a victim of lovely circumstance.
I'm on a quest to discover my inner cheesemonger. Why? Because I feel like I'm culture's version of Emile, Remy's unsophisticated brother in the Disney Pixar movie Ratatouille, and I will have it no longer. If you haven't seen the film yet, here's a short video clip to demonstrate my current state of cheese illiteracy:
I want to become Remy, the savant, the connoisseur, the little mouse who places a morsel on his tongue and colorful swirls and pops of flavor appear about his head.
Huzzah! I have created cheese.
I'm a big fan of Etsy, an online marketplace that features vintage items, handmade goods, and crafting supplies. I guess you could say it's a bohemian take on Ebay. It was on Etsy that I discovered Claudia Lucero and her do-it-yourself cheesemaking shop, UrbanCheeseCraft. Options include mozzarella, paneer, ricotta, queso blanco, and of course, chèvre. I showed Will and he suggested that I try my hand at making chèvre. I cried "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED" in my head, and here I am. Oh dear.
My name is Sarah Jung and I’m lactose intolerant.
No, not really. Actually, kind of. It’s a placebo-induced intolerance; one that I’ve been trying to overcome ever since I found out my mom only told us we’re allergic to dairy because she (still) believes it’s bad for our health. Ah, those cheeseless, everything-less pizza days. And yet, despite any faux-intolerance, I’ve always loved milky coffee, found myself lingering at the cheese counter in delis and supermarkets on more than a few occasions, and quickly made a habit of trading my bean burrito for string cheese during lunchtime.