I’m on vacation so I’m not doing regular posting again until the end of March. I am, like always, working on projects on-and-off during my time away from the counter. So, Dear Readers, I have a question for you.
I am starting to do cheese classes in various locations in the Bay Area. I can only announce one right now, “Cheesemonger and Father at the Cheese School” on June 14 (Makes a great Father’s Day gift, btw. Plus, my Dad is funnier than I am). I have another 5-6 outlined and in the works (including “Cheeses from
‘Cheesemonger,'” “Great Cheese Deals,””Wisconsin vs. California Round 1,”, “Wisconsin vs. California,” and “Cheddar: the People’s Cheese.”)
But I’ll put it out there to you folks… are there any classes that you would love to take? Any cheese questions that could be answered by a 1-2 hour, 7-10 cheese tasting? What have you always wanted to know about cheese?
Basically, what is your ideal cheese class?
I’ll soon have a list of classes on my website and be updating my calendar with cheese events, but I have the time this week to develop a whole bunch of classes, why not encourage me? I’d appreciate it.
I’m a total joiner and I love classes. I gravitate toward pairing classes – adult beverages mostly. I also really like comparing the same cheeses at different ages or batches to really understand how cheese changes depending on age and season. I did that once with Mt. Tam. It was fun.
I’d also love a class on developing a better palate. What does a fruity cheese taste/smell like? What does an earthy cheese taste/smell like. I would have really liked that years ago before I really got into cheese. I remember getting really nervous in front of cheesemongers when I sampled a cheese b/c I felt inadequate at identifying flavors. It’s funny, my cheese tasting skills enhanced my wine tasting skills, go figure.
My ideal class would include 75% instruction, 25% discussion time to taste the cheese and talk about it with my neighbor. I really don’t like it when the instructor talks nonstop – no offense Gordon.
Ha. No offense taken. Readings are very different than classes to me. I think your suggested ratio is the just about right for this kind of thing. Thanks for the input.
Gordon, how about cheeses that surprise…. you expect one thing and you get something very different… like that Meredith Dairy feta in oil….. or the Indiana goat…..
I’m really excited to see that you’ll be doing some classes, and at least one class at The Cheese School. I’ll be starting an internship there in July, so I’ll just miss your Father’s Day course, but that doesn’t mean I can’t just sign up like everyone else.
One thought about other classes: I think that doing something like ‘Same Cheese, Different Price’ could be interesting. So many people think that a ‘good’ cheese has to be expensive, they don’t know enough to justify paying the price, and don’t put much thought or effort into it beyond that. And while it’s true that some delicious cheeses are very hard to find and expensive, they have cousins that aren’t so much. For example, a few weeks ago I bought some Noord Hollander Aged Gouda, and it totally wowed me. Then I took a course with Anthea Stolz at The Cheese School and tried some of the L’Amuse Aged Gouda, and that wowed me even more. I make this comment to her and she noted that the flavor is stronger but the price is higher and it’s much harder to find. So, now I’ll treat myself to some L’Amuse when I can afford it, but I realize I can rely on the Noord for something more affordable and still totally delicious. Anyhow, my thinking is that you could pick 3 or 4 styles of cheese, and then do tastings for those cheeses at 3 different price ranges.
That’s great because that’s one of the very ideas I outlined while on vacation! Thanks!
Awesome, can’t wait to see it come to life!