The Big Cheese

How did you get into the cheese business? To be honest, I just fell in love with cheese when I learned all the stories that came along with them. My credo is that every cheese has a story, and that's one of the things that really draws me to it. I'm not necessarily selling just a product; I'm selling all the things that go along with it. Legends, stories, ideas and sometimes just experiences that people have had when they go to a place and try a cheese - that to me is what eating is all about. I think the only story like that I know is "The Stinky Cheese Man," what kinds of stories do you mean? Well take gruyère for example, it's an amazing Swiss, nutty cheese. The name gruyère comes from these tax collectors who used to sit at the edge of the forest because in order to make this cheese you need to heat a very, very large copper kettle of milk up to about 160 or so degrees and in order to do that you need a lot of wood. So you'd go into the forest and on the way back out you'd be taxed and the tax collectors were called the Gruyer. So, the guys making the cheese were spending so much money to make it and trading so much of their product to get that fuel, they named it gruyère. I think it's so important to know these kinds of stories, especially for tastings and parties with friends. It really changes the experience of eating. [Photo via]
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