I like to joke about having a few goats out back so that I could start making cheese. If you saw my tiny yard you’s know that it I’m not serious, about the goats at least. I’m fascinated by the art of making cheese. I know virtually nothing about it, but in my dreams I’d be a cheese maker. I love cheese. For a very brief time some years back I was on a restricted diet and the first thing I asked my doctor was “can I eat cheese” and when she said yes, I’d know I’d survive!
For quite a while it was next to impossible to purchase good cheese locally (in the San Diego area). Occasionally I would place an order selection of a exotic cheeses and wait in anticipation for the box to arrive, but that was fairly pricey and so I didn’t do it often. When I would travel to other cities I would search for cheese shops and set out to make a purchase as soon as possible. I traveled with a small cutting board, a knife and a few spreaders and would hurry back to our hotel room and have a little cheese tasting.
Thankfully we now have a few cheese stores in the area, but I still consider it a treat to walk in and make a purchase. The shop that is easiest for me to go to is tiny, but there’s still plenty to choose from. I’m like a kid in a candy shop! Some day I’d like to walk in there and just buy a huge selection without thinking about the fact that many cost over $20 per pound.
Yes, I really would love to learn the art of making cheese. I’ve read about classes given on farms in Vermont and other rural areas and may actually enroll some day. For now I’ve decided to start my apprenticeship right from home, learning as much as I can about the art of artisanal cheese. I’m going to read and study the wonderful book I received as a gift Mastering Cheese Lessons For Connoisseurship From A Master Fromager. Written by Max McCalman, this book is probably the most comprehensive book written instructing the novice cheese lover in all the details of the appreciation of artisanal cheeses. I have just started my studies and will get back to you with reports from the front-I can only imagine how much cheese I will have to taste in my pursuit to be a true connoisseur!