Oh, Fancy Food Show… Always pretty much the same and yet always a must-attend event.
Back in Ye Olde Dayes, when we were trying to build a cheese department, we roamed your aisles looking for cheese to stock our shelves. I’m still getting “VISIT OUR BOOTH!” mailings from people whose product I tasted once over a decade ago and never brought into the store. Back then a lot of folks wouldn’t even talk to us because we looked too weird or they’d never heard of our store. Now, I seldom visit a booth where I don’t already have an appointment.
That’s probably better for my stomach. No more of the freestyle grazing that means coffee on top of salsa on top of prosciutto on top of chocolate on top of “gourmet” pigs in “artisan” blankets…
I refuse to go all three days – for my own sanity – but it’s hard to do everything I need to do in two. I always skip Sunday because it’s amateur day. The show is supposed to be Trade Only but I am convinced that everyone gives their badges to their friends on Sunday because it’s crazy-packed and people tend to shovel down the samples in a non-professional kind of manner.
It’s still greasy cheese rind in my palm while I take notes but now I usually get to sit down while I do it.
Many of you were excited by the cheese that was described to me as a “struggle in the mouth”.* I figured out which one it was but I don’t want to say because we sell that cheese and I’ve never had one taste like that before. I think this one was, in fact, mishandled and that might make any cheese a struggle. It was crazy though. My brain kept alternating, “This is awesome. Spit it out! This is awesome. Spit it out! This is awesome. Spit it out!…”
My tasting notes are at work, but we did taste some awesome cheeses. I will write about those in the weeks to come so that I don’t misspell anyone’s name or anything. Did you go? What were your favorites? They don’t have to be cheese.
Apologies to anyone I missed at the show. We had a cooler disaster back at the store so I had to leave early on Tuesday to weigh cheese and then throw it in the compost dumpster. Yuck! Still, after a weekend of fancy-schmancy events, it does keep it real to come home reeking of bad cheese and not free wine.
*I’ve never quoted a facebook comment before but my old friend responded to that post with, “The history of all hitherto existing cheese is the history of cheese struggle: curds and whey; cheddar and swiss; blue and brie; in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of cheese at large, or in the common ruin of the contending cheeses.” If I don’t record that this was my friend’s comment I will start thinking that I was that clever.