A lot of us don't even think twice about going to the local gourmet shop on a Friday evening for complimentary wine tastings or even asking someone for help at the local wine store. It’s time to start thinking the same way about cheese. Time to be a Cheese Aficionado!
Now cheese can get very pricey. So when you are looking at cheeses that can cost upwards of $15 -$20 a pound, you want to make sure that you're going to like what you're buying. The only way to know for sure is to taste. It is so worth the journey.
With the massive selection of specialty cheeses available these days; don’t limit yourself to the basic 4 or 5 cheeses (Monterrey Jack, Sharp Cheddar, Swiss etc...) you see prepackaged on the shelves.
Trying a new cheese whenever you visit the cheese shop can help you grow and coach your enjoyment to uncover a delight for cheeses you would certainly miss….and we’re talking intense delight!
In the same way, if you think you are limited to hard cheeses, take a walk on the wild side and try a younger softer cheese. Even if you think you are not a fan of blue cheese? There are a lot of different nuances and flavors. Maybe you'll find one you like. Not sure about very pungent cheese? Go ahead and ask for a sample.
Believe me, there are so many different types of cheeses from all over the world that you really need to find a cheese expert to help teach you, get an idea what you might like, chart your course; and steer you in the right direction.
I get my Cheeses from a place called Vintage Wine Cellars and Massaro's in Tampa FL...but Fresh Market, Whole Foods and also Trader Joe's has some great choices.
Listen, any worthy cheese monger (the guy or gal with that hat and the apron) will be happy to let you sample the stuff and talk to you. Do not be afraid. Just say “Can I try that?” …and don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine too. Now that’s a whole other story.