We walk into my favorite cheese shop—make that my favorite shop of all time, for all things purchase-able—and see one of our favorite cheesemongers, Kurt, who recognizes us right away. “Oh, what do we have here?” I asked distracted by some creamy, gnarly, stinky samples on the counter. Kurt grins and says, “This is amazing stuff—and not to be dramatic—but we will never have it again. Unfortunately, this cheesemaker is retiring,” as he caressed two coveted waxed paper bricks of cheese on the counter. He added, “These are the last pieces of this cheese we have available, ever.”
Instinctively, I reach for a taste but was stopped short by some abrupt and very new instinct which forced me ask “Is it pasteurized?” (I have to say, asking this made me feel really lame—pack it in, sign me up for a minivan...life will never be as much fun as it used to be.) “No, it is raw.” *sigh* I wiped the drool from my chin and watched Andy go in for the taste without me. “Well...?” I’ll call it, the cheese-who-must-not-be-near-unborn-children, rendered Andy speechless. I guess it was simply divine. Being the good guy he is, he tried not to rub it in.
The rest of the visit was like a game of Stump the Cheese Monger. The unpasteurized options are painfully narrow. To add insult to injury, there are even unpasteurized olives. WTF?
We did end up with a few morsels of pasteurized goodness but instead of my usual exit from Formaggio’s, which often includes a skip and an ear-to-ear grin, I walked out of the store with my shoulders slumped. Defeated until January. “Andy, I can’t wait for January.” “January, huh? That’s probably only time I’ll ever hear you say that!”