In the middle of a cool, drizzly day, three of us from Culture Magazine (Stephanie, Eilis and myself) took a little field trip to the Concord Cheese Shop in Concord, Massachusetts. Driving from our office in Somerville, it felt as if we were entering the countryside for a vacation, a nostalgic feel that continued into the shop itself.
Tiny, wooden and old-timey, the Concord Cheese Shop certainly gives that old-fashioned feeling. A large wine collection engulfs the back end of the store, packed with careful selections. Taste rules over brand in this shop, so count on finding many new and unique bottles. The shop’s sommelier also has a bit of an affinity for Rosé, so if you find yourself craving something light in February, stop by—they stock a variety of pink wines year-round.
Although I’m a Leo, I really despise being the center of attention. Like, really despise it. I take-an-F-on-a-presentation-so-I-don’t-have-to-speak-in-front-of-the-class despise it. So, it’s easy to understand why I haven’t had a traditional birthday party in over ten years. Don’t get me wrong; I like celebrating my birthday (i.e. I like free stuff), but anyone, even people I love, singing a bizarre, repetitive children’s song makes me want to scamper upstairs and hide under the bed like a dog frightened of thunder.
“Regardless of any budget I may have put myself on in the past, there are three things I can always rationalize spending money on: good coffee, good alcohol and good cheese.” I wrote that a few years ago, when I was a poor college student, and it still rings true today, now that I’m a poorer college graduate. I received my B.F.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in Gender Studies from University of Maine at Farmington last May. I’ve spent my time between then and now living in Phillips, Maine, a tiny, rural town of 1,000 nestled in the mountains. I also got married and worked in the kitchen of a seasonal Maine inn.
My love of cheese began with my childhood in Vermont. Later it was fueled by the discovery of squeaky cheese curds while I was at Beloit College in Wisconsin — who knew orange, fried cheese morsels could be so delicious? And most recently my love of cheese was cemented while I was living in Chicago working at the Green City Farmers Market selling Potter’s Crackers. Cheese and I have a history together and I couldn’t be happier than to be involved with culture as an editorial web intern.
I’m living in Boston now working towards my M.A. in Publishing & Writing from Emerson College and looking forward to combining my interest in artisan cheese with magazine publishing. I must admit I’ve never made my own cheese — although trying my hand at a fresh ricotta is on my list — but I did study abroad in Mongolia where I milked a camel, goat, sheep, horse, yak, and cow, so I hope that gives me some clout in the dairy world.