Monday, October 4, 2010

My Cheese Crush

The highlight of last week? A Twitter follow from Max McCalman. I know, I know, it’s very high school. But I squealed like a truffle-hunting piglet because Max McCalman is a truffle, as far as food writers go – the rare combination of connoisseur and wordsmith. His opus, Mastering Cheese, just happens to be my most thumbed-through book in the house.

Here’s a typical evening: I root through the crisper for my wedge du jour. Is that a hunk of Keen’s Cheddar from my photo shoot, I ask myself, staring at something dodgy in Saran, or is that the Quickes Cheddar I sampled last week? Hmmm… I better consult with Max.

You see, Max has a cheddar lexicon on page 90.

Then I’ll begin to pour a glass of wine -- but no, I should really see what Max recommends. Maybe I’ll open a beer. Or, could this go with whisky?

You see, Max has a sickeningly useful cheese-and-beer pairing chapter, starting on page 244.

Then I’ll flop onto the couch, but wait…is Max pairing mango with blue cheese in that cheese board on page 354? I never thought of that. Mmm, I think I have a mango. No, I better go get a mango. I need to eat Rogue River Blue with mango right now.

So, I head for the market, Max’s book in hand, and at a red light the car lurches a little and flips open to a section on terroir, which I read hungrily until the guy behind me honks, and then I continue onto the store…where, of course, I have to sit in the parking lot to look up the Iberian tasting plate, because now I’m thinking I should just have a few people over.

And then the street lamps flicker on, and it starts to rain, and I’m standing in the parking lot with Max McCalman’s book, and the ink starts to run, and I think, I should really just wait to shop in New York at Max’s place, Artisanal. And so I get back into the car, and drive home to my morsel of dodgy cheese in Saran, which I eat in bed with a glass of cheap wine while reading Max’s chapter on “Champion Cheddars.” And I’m perfectly happy.

Sometimes that’s all it takes. A good book and a hunk of cheese. And now, a little brush with greatness. If I were still in high school, I would be drawing big cave-aged hearts all over my unicorn notebook.

1 comment:

  1. Hi again! This is so hysterical, and beautifully written. I think I felt the same way when Judy Aldridge tweeted me once. Then sort of changed my mind shortly afterwards... but that's a different story. We'll have to hunt down Artisanal next time we're down in the city.

    BUT... I'm really stopping in to see if you've tried Midnight Moon? It's a goat we just picked up and I've had one sliver prior to dinner and am already hyperventilating. Let me know if you've had it and if so, what your thoughts are on pairings, etc.

    p.s. we might *MIGHT* be moving to Philly sometime in the near future! If we do, we'll have to cheese it up with you sometime.