Monday, April 18, 2011

It's bindy, sure, but that's what makes it tasty.

What did you do this weekend?

Well, among the many delightful activities I was part of this weekend, I had the privilege of meeting GrandeMocha [who needs to get her own snarktastic blog] for CHEESEFEST 2011 - The Cheesening.

GrandeMocha and I met at Zingerman's Deli, where we had an appointment with a cheesemonger to sample cheese.

[FULL DISCLOSURE - Zingerman's has no idea I'm a blogger and that I was going to write about this.  In all probability, they'll never see this post.]

Anyway, we went to Zingerman's and ate a metric ton of cheese samples.
Don't you kind of want to make out with all this cheese?  I do.

You can't see how PACKED this place was.  GrandeMocha and I were thinking about putting on aprons and helping out.
I see you turning green with envy.

You should.

It was a blast.

We were treated to samplings of so much delicious cheese that I actually hit a lactose-intolerance wall and had to drop out for a bit.  GrandeMocha kept going strong, and we both tried cheeses that were absolutely sublime.

It was like drunks at an open bar.

Except with less belligerence.

Paul, our cheesemonger, provided samples.

This is Paul, handing us cheese. If you look on the wall behind him, you'll see a caricature of Paul.  BECAUSE HE'S FAMOUS! Also, fun and flirty.
There were the giant 2 year old wheels of parmigiano reggiano

Nutty and gorgeous. I bought some, but probably won't share with the family. Did you know you don't have to store this in the fridge? BLEW MY MIND.
and little balls of fresh mozzarella

Who doesn't want to buy a goofy-faced ball of fresh mozzarella? The devil, that's who.
and ashy truncated pyramid shapes and blue cheese wrapped in grape leaves and soaked in pear brandy and smooth cheddars and a supercreamy goat cheese made by the creamery that I'm still kicking myself for not buying and a brick cheese full of green peppercorns that so burned my mouth I had to spit it out [which I guess is EXACTLY like drunks at an open bar].

And each cheese had a story.

The parmesan tastes nutty because it was made by Italians who were tired of waiting for the Swiss to bring them cheese.  Nice job, Italians.  Suck it, Swiss.
I could just start gnawing on this.
The fresh mozzarella was made by this nice woman at Zingerman's Creamery.
It's Katie the Creamery lady! She made my ball of cheese! And she was really sweet. I am NOT stalking her.  She knew I took her picture.
The ashy truncated pyramid - Valencay from Touraine - was from a recipe that went back to Napolean, who was pissed because a battle in Egypt went poorly and, when presented with a pyramid-shaped cheese, truncated it with his sword.

One of the blue cheeses was made by this guy who studied at Roquefort and was gifted with a strain of mold and who now makes this delectable cheese out on the west coast.

One of the cheddars was made in Vermont by a creamery where you have to place your order two years in advance.

We got A LOT of cheese.
You do dairy, right? You should.
And, of course, we got delicious bread to go with our cheese.

Which we had for dinner.
Some romaine, fresh mozzarella and homemade balsamic dressing and the achingly good baguette. Drool
It was an extravaganza for our tastebuds.  We'll do it again, for sure.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some snacking to do.


  1. Take me with you next time, pretty please. That looks like heaven.

    I feel sorry for all of those South Beach Diet types. Cheese and THAT'S where it's at.

  2. Yeah, I'm in too.

    In difficult times, I ask myself, what would Cheeses do?

    Really? Reggiano doesn't require refrigeration? Well, that blows my mind too!

    Sarah xxx

  3. OMG cheese YES I am completely jealous (and drooling at 10am here). Loved your recap. Sounds like a delish experience.

  4. OMG cheese YES I am completely jealous (and drooling at 10am here). Loved your recap. Sounds like a delish experience.

  5. You and Paul K were so much fun & so snarky. I had a good time with you both. Good times!

  6. Does nobody think it's hilarious that you were being snarky at a Deli called Zingerman's? Am I alone here?

    I want to lie naked in the cheese. Your bones must be like teflon at this point.

  7. OMG - that is so much cheese and yes, I'm jealous.
    Paul sure does look fun and flirty! ;)

  8. if you ever come to seattle you have to go to beecher's cheese house. it looks much like zingerman's. i guess there isn't much variety in cheese factories, eh.

    their mac and cheese is the best comfort food here. also i was strangely into the cheese curds which is disgusting if you really think about but oh so deliciously good.

  9. Me and cheese?

    Please. I live in Wisconsin.

    My morning begins with a mozza ball.

  10. oh my god, that is seriously my idea of heaven. jealous, jealous, JEALOUS. and now i need to go hunt down some good cheese.

  11. My eyes just glazed over and I have a dreamy look on my face. Those wheels of parm-regg have me shaking with cheesy desire. Actually the entire post has me quaking inside. I am so jealous.

  12. sounds and looks divine! you've inspired me to try something like that. did you get wine with it too?

  13. i fucking miss cheese. this post was akin to chinese water torture. but good for you. glad you got your cheese on.

  14. I freaking LOVE cheese. We had a fancy cheese guy (wait---that sounds weird) who lived a short walk from OUR HOUSE. Then he moved his store to a more prominent location downtown. What a dick.

  15. if you told me you could buy shoes there too, that would have been the PERFECT day. OMG, look at all that wonderful, delectable cheese (plus I keep hearing a commercial for a local grocery store and the guy is their "Cheesemonger" I love that word, what a cool career.

    I love that you had such a delicious day!!!

  16. I had no idea you were in Ann Arbor! Holy cow- is it possible we are actual old friends from the days when I used to practice law there???

    paradigm shift!

  17. Cheese! As someone who has had to cut almost all of the cheese out of her diet, this post just makes me weep tears of bitter jealousy.

  18. I'll just...I'll just look at the cheese. And whimper a little bit. Because a bit bind-y for you? Is gut strangling, praying to gawd, to please just let me shit, for me.

    That last sentence was difficult to punctuate.

  19. Cheese is why I will never go vegan. Never, ever. If it were legal (thanks, Republicans), I'd totally marry one of those wheels.


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