I’ve Become Obsessed with Fine Cheeses
By now it should be no surprise that cheese in on my mind. (I was excited for the suggested cheeses several of you left on the other post; thank you for those!) I have a huge book on its way that details the different types of cheeses, how they are made, the flavor profiles, and more, which I can’t wait to dive into sometime next week. I’m not quite so ready to begin actually making artisan cheeses ourselves, but I do want to add this topic to the list of things we know beyond the education that has been picked up through trial and error over the past few years due to our culinary pursuits.
I’m trying to find the perfect cheese boards because I think I’m going to have several people over to the house, create a menu scorecard system, and have them rate which cheeses they like and dislike. This will make it much easier to adjust our recipes for friends and family based on their own tastes. That way, I can keep the notes for each person in the menu planning software I use to run the house (it’s like the kitchen equivalent to the way I keep my household finances organized). If certain people are coming over for dinner and they all happen to like Merlot cheese or white wine cream sauces, I know it’s going to be a French night. If others are on their way and they only like plain cheddar and steak, I know it’s going to be American. It will make my job a lot easier, and assure the people invited to our table leave happier, even if they have no idea that I track the data.
I figured doing a tasting would also give me a chance to try many of those flavors I mentioned seeing from the company that sells one of my favorite cheeses, so we picked up a basket of sample wedges to add to the collection already at the house. I’ll probably work on setting this up tomorrow, if I have a moment. I need to go out and pick up some fresh fruit and choice meats for pairing. I’m excited beyond words for the opportunities to do new things – sizzling cheeseburgers with an olive oil and rosemary cheddar; chocolate raspberry tortes with an espresso-infused BellaVitano as an accent; freshly cut apple slices with wedges of smoked applewood gouda. This seems like a useful trick to have in the quiver; one of those small things that has an outsized influence on the experience. I find it tragic that 75% of the world population is lactose intolerant and can’t enjoy this wonderful food.
Who’d have ever thought cheese was exciting? I really do slightly worry – about 1% to 3% in the back of my mind – that this obsession was things like gardening, cooking, cheeses, etc., is going to end up with me buying some 10,000+ acre property in Vermont and opening my own estate. Though I wouldn’t be selling my products as commodities – build a brand name and the returns on capital can go through the roof. That’s why Quaker Oats generates enormous returns on capital employed compared to the people who sell the plain oatmeal in the paper sacks. Folks like knowing the product is consistent and will pay for it if the quality is maintained.
Fun fact: If you could go back in time 100+ years, one of the single best investments you could make would be to track down Kraft, who was selling cheese from a wagon, and buy shares in his little cheese making business. Through a lot of mergers, and many generations, it ended up turning a $1,000 stake into millions upon millions upon millions upon millions of dollars, plus you’d have drown in the dividends you received over the years. So cheese isn’t just exciting for those of you who cook; it should be mouthwatering to the investors out there, as well. Though it wasn’t just the cheese that did it, it was the fact it was part of a tobacco empire.