There’s a major cheese surplus in our country, you know. It’s serious; I read about it. There’s so much extra cheese (1.4 billion pounds) that it could wrap around the U.S. Capitol, apparently.
Well, I say, wrap it around my head, cheesemongers, because I’m a patriot ready to do my part.
Or that was my intent the other Tuesday, when my wife, Elenor, our bestie Ashlie and I hopped in our Lyft to head to the Cheese Caves (and wine pairing) class at Caputo’s.
I had taken my own gift-giving advice and gotten Ashlie a rad memorable experience instead of a physical gift for her birthday. (I’m glad it was memorable for her, and I’m almost positive I remember it, too.)
I had purposefully not eaten dinner because I’m a normal person with a deep and abiding love of cheese, so I was giving it the digestive room it deserved. It’s called respect.
But my new cheese friends are either shrewd business folks or they’re refined in a way that makes them able to deploy extraordinary restraint, because instead of melting down 100 pounds of cheese in a vat and letting us swim around in it, they served roughly dice-size samples of each cheese.
Their resident comedian sommelier, who I think needs her own TV show, paired the various cheeses with four (or 12?) lovely wines and told us all the flavors I could then quickly lie about tasting (ohmygosh, those floral notes on the finish — divine!).
This is exactly how a tasting should be, so I’m totally not faulting them for being classy. And to their credit, they did also serve a little bowl of bread chunks.
But I think next time — and there will be a next time — I’ll have some dinner (probably something absorbent and carby) before heading over on a weeknight to enjoy what I would refer to as eight suggestions of cheese. Hints of cheese, if you will. Really good cheese.
I am a respectable grown-ass adult with a kid and a regular job; I have no business getting sauced on a Tuesday night. And yet …
Moms Gone Wild!
In looking at the notes I took on the cheat sheet they provided us at beginning of the evening, I noticed they started coherently and legibly with information about processes and flavors. In completely clear writing, I mentioned there was one (the burrata, sigh) that I wanted to make love to — which is a 100 percent normal and sober sentiment.
But as the cheese names continue on the sheet, my handwriting got less sharp and mostly just included expletives that I think were my less-than-refined assessments of pleasure.
My final note looks like three sloppy dollar signs, which I think were instructions to myself to make sure to buy that cheese before leaving.
It worked. I rushed the cheese counter at the end of the night like the servers were my favorite band onstage. I bought the “$$$” cheese and several others, literally walking away with pounds of fancy cheese — some of which I’m enjoying as I write this very column. In a respectable, bite-size manner. With or without a reasonable glass of wine, who knows. The point is I’ve grown from the experience.
And that’s the story of how I helped our nation in a time of crisis. Are you doing your part to solve the cheese surplus?
Marina Gomberg is a communications professional and lives in Salt Lake City with her wife, Elenor Gomberg, and their son, Harvey. You can reach Marina at firstname.lastname@example.org.