Monday, May 31, 2010

#11. Try 100 Different Kinds of Cheese

I'd like to dedicate this item on my Life List to my sister, Lara, who once told me she would not give up cheese for a million dollars.

I got the idea for this Life List item at Whole Foods. Our local branch is amazing: On Sundays they cut up different fruits and cheeses and you can sample all kinds of interesting things. Those little tooth-picked cheese cubes were the first step in expanding my world of cheese, which formerly consisted of cheddar and sharp cheddar.

They already had me hooked on Sundays, and then they started putting out a bowl with tiny cuts of different spendy cheeses. The cuts were bite size, and only cost a dollar each; Like the cheese version of a travel-sized shampoo. Between sample Sundays and the daily sample bowl, trying fancy cheeses has suddenly become affordable.

The first cheese I tried was this Brie:

I read up online about the best ways to eat it, and discovered a whole world of cheese snobbery I wasn't quite prepared for. There is a whole set of etiquette guidelines just around eating this particular kind of cheese. For example, Brie should be sliced along the radius so that everyone can receive equal parts of the rind. Cutting the end off the Brie is called "pointing the Brie" and is considered extremely rude. (If you are anything like me, you are thinking back to a dozen parties with cheese and fruit plates, and wondering how many obscure food-etiquette rules you've broken in ignorance.)

Despite a dozen different condiment combinations, I wasn't a huge fan of this cheese; but then I read the wiki on Brie and found out that what I tried would not even be called real Brie by cheese connoisseurs. Real Brie is made in France and isn't pasteurized; therefore, it cannot be imported to America. In fact, they have to spray the outside of American Brie with mold spores to try and recreate the rind found on real Brie. What I tried was a complete impostor.

To sum up, there's a lot to know about cheese. Maybe more than I wanted to know... But I think half the fun of a Life List project is in opening up new doors - Even the doors with snobby cheese connoisseurs behind them.


Tahleigh said...

Well did you like it?

giyen said...

I love it! Mighty lists are awesome and this the second one I've read today.

You go get that cheese girl!