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Margaret Leahy

Articles written by Margaret Leahy

Margaret Leahy is the former Associate Editor for culture.

Personal Touch


Massage therapist. Tattoo artist. Hairdresser. These are a few of the professions that require physical human interaction, if not constant human touch. In recent months, we’ve seen previously contact-centric businesses pivot to meet the needs of their clients without putting themselves and others at risk of infection. In the most unfortunate cases, we’ve seen these […]

Great 28 Pairings: Natural Wine


Natural wine is many different things, with an ever-evolving definition. The bullet points everyone can agree on include organically-grown grapes, minimal filtration, no added sugars, colorings, or sulfites, and absolutely no lab-cultivated yeasts. Die-hards maintain even more rules, such as stipulating the grapes must be hand-picked, but this is where the natural wine umbrella gets […]

Borrowed Dime


There’s a general rule of thumb when shopping for cheese: Estimate that each of your guests will consume about a quarter pound of cheese in total, and buy accordingly (the arbiters of this rule have clearly never visited our office). This ensures that everyone gets at least a taste of each type of cheese, and […]

Great 28 Pairings: Rauchbier


Smoked beer is often brushed off as a gimmick, but its origins are decidedly functional. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, malted grain for beer was dried either in direct sunlight or over an open flame, resulting in a smoky flavor no matter the beer style. But with the advent of Daniel Wheeler’s malt-drying drum kiln […]

You Can Count on Mongers


In this weird new world, cheesemongers are among those front-line workers exposing themselves to potential health threats. Cheese is both a comfort food and a specialty item, but many shops with cheese counters are considered essential as a type of grocery store. The necessity of sustenance affords mongers a guaranteed income amid COVID-19-related shutdowns, even […]

Hold the Nuts: It’s Time We Addressed Vegan Cheese


Illustration by Erin Wallace I’m not a vegan. I’ve become an “accidental” vegetarian (acci-tarian?) at times due to limited funds and my general fear of cooking meat. But while I respect the reasons people might electively eschew animal products, I lack the fortitude to pass up late night emergency mac and cheese in favor of […]

Nowhere To Go


  By now, you may have seen snapshots of the dairy industry’s worst nightmare: heartbreaking photos of gallons of milk being dumped down drains or in fields while dairy farmers stand by, hollow-eyed and tight-jawed. Dairy processing plants, where milk is pasteurized and bottled for sale, are turning farmers away, as the plants are already […]

Friends in Dire Places


  Springtime means many things: new shoots pushing through the soil, warmer and longer days brightening moods, and animals having new babies. In an unfortunate and unfair twist of fate, spring this year brought something few of us could have seen coming. Life as we know it has come to a screeching halt due to […]

Voicings: Rachel Fritz Schaal


Rachel Fritz Schaal makes it her business to fight for the little guy—namely, microbes. “I can go hard here,” she says, when asked to explain the merits of native dairy cultures, “so I’ll back off.” Schaal, along with her husband, Peter Dixon, and sister, Alex Schaal, is co-owner of Parish Hill Creamery in Westminster West, […]

Sustainable Arrangements


Photographed by Adam DeTour, Styled by Kendra Smith  If you’re trying your darndest to keep food waste to a minimum, cheese plates might give you pause. Each cheese comes in its own wrapper, as does each accompaniment, not to mention the environmental impact of production. As dire warnings about rising sea levels and a slowly […]