When I got the call from Will officially inviting me to join the cheese tasting team, I was giddy. Having worked in some incredible cheese shops in the past, I have missed having privileged access to artisanal cheeses made with true attention and care. I quickly arranged for my neighbor to receive the package while I was away at work and started planning when and where I would do my first tasting.
I am so excited to be a part of the Birth of a Cheese tasting panel. Thanks to Culture and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese for making this a possibility. I’m by no means a cheese expert, but I’m working on it. In January 2010, I made a New Year’s Resolution that I actually kept—to eat more cheese. For several months, I visited some of the best cheese shops in Salt Lake City, Utah, shared my finds with a supportive but unexcited husband, and tried to chronicle these experiences on my blog. That July, we moved from the suburbs to our very small (population 500 or so) hometown, far from the cheese shops but close to our family. I work at a small college and hang out with my husband and my three-year-old son whenever I can. While my son is not a cheese aficionado yet, I’m hoping he’ll transition from string cheese to St. Andre in no time.
I've never worked with cheese and other than an adventurous palate and passion, don't have formal training in the fromage-arts. So I though what could it hurt to apply as a cheese tester? Worse case I'd be passed over like Velveeta on a cheese board and best case scenario, well, I could say I've been "paid" with CHEESE! How cool is that? By some stroke of luck, I was picked to be on the Birth of a Cheese Tasting Panel and what a tasty honor it has been.
My secret wedge was delivered by FedEx, although it felt like it should have been a dark suited man in sunglasses holding a metal briefcase. I carefully unpacked the precious cargo, each layer increasing my excitement and suspense until the last peeled away to reveal a freshly cut, foil wrapped wedge of cheese. Blue cheese to be exact, my favorite, my Kryptonite. With my brain shouting "must eat now!", I somehow managed a couple pictures before succumbing to the demands and digging in.