Earlier this summer, I attended the Taste of Cambridge and came across some delicious cheese samples from Formaggio Kitchen. I made a mental note to visit the store, and set out many weeks later to make the journey.
Since I had never been to the shop before, I had the choice to either drive my car or make use of public transportation. Fearing the absence of parking spaces in the city, I chose to walk the 20 minutes from Harvard Square, which was a big mistake in the blistering heat that day, especially when I realized Formaggio Kitchen isn't exactly in the most central area of town. There were parking spaces galore.
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.
A Tale of 2 Thursdays, part 1:
03 April 2011 Sonoma, CA I have no internet, nor even a chair for that matter. My furniture is coming next week. I have only what went to Italy with me, plus a few things I’ve needed since landing. There is dust everywhere from renovation, yet inches below are a fantastic kitchen and an entire house with tiled floors and a garden. My new home in Sonoma. But right now I can only see brooms, my trashed socks, white pawprints on everything, and the air mattress where Lincoln the Dachshund and I sleep folded like a taco under a 1970s sleeping bag. The past two weeks Lincoln and I have been sleeping in the loft portion of an R.V.
Please, everyone: at this time of year, be extra nice to your cheesemonger. And your butcher, baker, and everyone in the retail food industry maker. Because, as we all know, holidays are all about eating! And everyone wants the best of the best at the best price and the exact right time. It's hard to make it all happen for each and every person, but we try very hard!
Starting today, the true holiday food shopping season is upon us. If you, like so many of us, are having cheese as part of your holiday weeks ahead, try some new things and let your monger steer you towards what's great, what's going to last until you need it, what will please your picky sister as well as your own stinky cheese habit. And don't worry too much about amounts--this is one time of year that I encourage a little bit more rather than less. It always gets nibbled on, late night or midday lunchtime. And cheese is healthier than cookies.
That's all for now. Back to the counter!
In my last blog, I talked about what it is to be a cheesemonger, one of the more loved (and laughed at) titles that I've ever had the pleasure of using in my professional life. This blog, as promised, is about the difference between a cheesemonger and a cheesemaker. Based on the question I get often ("What kind of cheese do you make?"), I am sure that it must be made clear that these things are NOT the same.
Quite simply, a cheesemonger sells cheese. A cheesemaker makes cheese. And that's really the difference. One is there at the birthing and the other is there just prior to the hand off to the happy cheese consumer.
But there is more to say on this because they are interdependent folks and need each other to survive. Without the cheesemaker, the cheesemonger has nothing to sell. Without the monger, the maker is in serious trouble. Mutual respect and a healthy, in depth understanding and communication with one another is what leads to success for each profession.