Cut the Cheese


Cut the Cheese (idiom)- release intestinal gas; fart

I’ve always loved cheese. But the first time I had a full cheese experience was during an internship two summers ago in downtown Boston. One of my cubemates organized a cheese lunch each month at L’Espalier. The restaurant has four dollar signs on Yelp and a French name that I can’t pronounce, so not the kind of place I would normally frequent.

But I went with it. Formager Louis rolled over his cart named Debby with more than two dozen cheeses on it and gave brief descriptions of their offerings. I let the experts decide and was eager to try anything and everything. We started with the milder ones and moved through the stronger selections and ended with a blue. Initially slightly concerned that we didn’t order anything else but a cheese plate for all to share, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a satisfied stomach by the time we left probably because of the high fat content in these dairy products. With a generous discount and a bill split multiple ways, the cost of lunch came out to be reasonable as well. During the three months of my internship, I attended each cheese lunch with great anticipation. Jasper Hill Farm from Vermont impressed me the most with Moses Sleeper (cow milk, bloomy rind, like Brie), Harbison (cow milk, bark-wrapped bloomy rind, spoonable), and Willoughby (cow milk, wash rind, buttery).

The only downside of this arrangement that I could think of was that I feared coworkers could catch whiffs of residual cheese smell on my clothes. Like garlic, no one minds if we’re all eating it and smelling like it. However, having only the olfactory experience may not seem so pleasant. I should’ve known that’s where the meaning of the phrase “cut the cheese” came from, which I didn’t learn about until much later.

Since the beginning of this year, I started my own monthly beer and cheese night at home. I discovered Midnight Moon (goat milk, gouda-style) and Humboldt Fog (goat milk, mold-ripened, a central line of ash) from Cypress Grove.  I added another favorite- Oma (unpasteurized cow milk, wash rind tomme) from Jasper Hill. Could I claim favorites when I love them all? Several times a year I consider applying for a job at their store in Boston Public Market. Just two days ago, they posted a position for a cheesemaker!

Top to bottom: taleggio, Oma, and gruyere with homemade crackers and spiced mango chutney
Future office?
Andy Kehler - Jasper hill Farm and Cellar
Future me?

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