Thankful for Cheese

by Alexander Kast in Cheese

Opening at Neals Yard Dairy, London England

I am a happy man and I have lots to be thankful for.  I am lucky for having a great family, for my good health and to have one of the coolest jobs one can think of.  Not many people have the joy of selling a product you feel so adamantly about, much less love.  Few get to develop such long lasting relationships as this ‘career’ path has provided. 

Cheese has brought me to London to work at the amazing Neal’s Yard Dairy (from whom we have a fresh order, just-in!) where I got to travel the countryside, make cheese and enjoy a cultural experience unlike any other.  Cheese allowed to me work alongside the American Cheese Society, which took me to Montreal where I got to see and taste some of the least common cheeses of North America.  Cheese provided me a life in New York where I met so many amazing people and learned so much about cuisine, wine and myself.  Cheese has taught me discipline, for its something you must wait for, whether for the cheese to get to room temp or for an 18-month drum to mature to peak flavor.

But the most important thing cheese has taught me is that like people, no two wheels are the same and that you must appreciate the character of the cheese by how it represents itself.  There may be flaws in one wheel but then none on the next and there might be no rhyme or reason to explain why.  Much like our emotions: sometimes we are down or surprisingly joyful for unknown reasons.  Like life, cheese is subject to drastic variability.  The milking day could have been too hot, the pasture not just right, the vat could’ve peaked JUST a pinch above its desired heat, the humidity may have dipped during maturation, the airplane may have been too cool, all factors that could alter texture, flavor and appearance.  We are all so delicate, as is cheese.  Cheese has taught me to be more human and for that I am forever grateful!