I was having lunch with the rest of the Frisky staffers on Monday when they asked what my boyfriend, Nick, does for a living. “He’s a cheesemonger,” I said, and the entire group literally gasped in unison. “You’ve hit the dating jackpot!” they said, and it’s true, life with a cheesemonger is pretty sweet (well, savory might be a better word). Believe it or not, though, there are a few downsides too. Here are the pros and cons of dating a professional cheese man…
Free Cheese: Nick sells cheese at an upscale grocery store, so he’s always bringing home samples from distributors, products that were overstocked, and new types of cheese he wants to try. It’s pretty rare that I’ll come home and not have a new dairy product of some kind sitting on the counter waiting to be taste-tested. It’s like Christmas every day! It’s Cheese-mas!
Useful Knowledge: Nick’s been selling, making, wrapping, preparing, and ordering cheese for a few years now, so he’s amassed quite an impressive level of knowledge about the subject. It comes in handy when ordering at fancy restaurants because he knows about things like the flavor profile of raw milk sheep cheese and what “affinage” means, and we use a lot of interesting cheeses in the cooking we do at home.
Potlucks On Lock: The answer to that eternal question, “What should we bring to the party?” is always the same: an artisan cheese plate, duh!
Amazing Stories: You wouldn’t think this kind of work would lend itself to crazy stories, but the life of a cheesemonger is surprisingly colorful. He talks to cheese makers and sellers from all over the world on a daily basis. Customers give him detailed reports about the effects of brie on their digestive systems. Once a week he has a parking lot meeting with the “cheese truck,” which as far as I can gather is a top secret gourmet cheese store on wheels, and Nick gets to hop inside and explore its wondrous contents.
The mother of all cheese stories came when Nick spent a couple weeks apprenticing at a farm in France, learning to make organic goat cheese. He did learn to make cheese, but he spent most of his time trying to stop the massive herd of goats from killing themselves with bits of rope they found around the property. He saved the lives of countless bovids and came back with the haunted look of a man who had seen too much.
Bloating: Few relationships will result in the kind of weight gain and bloating that hooking up with a cheesemonger tends to induce. My boyfriend is young and cute and looks amazing in slim-cut corduroy pants, but when it comes to pushing fattening dairy products on his loved ones, he’s a dead ringer for Paula Deen.
Cheese Overload: Listen, I’m pretty obsessed with cheese too. In fact, I consider it one of life’s greatest pleasures, and Nick and I often bond over the incredible flavors of a fresh ricotta or a salty manchego. As hard as it might be to believe, the constant presence of cheese in my life can be a bit overwhelming, and if you cheese lovers out there were wondering if there really is such a thing as too much cheese, let me assure you, there is.
No Tolerance For Bad Cheese: Nick is passionate about good cheese. This is usually totally fine, but, like, sometimes I just want to have a Kraft Singles grilled cheese sandwich without being reminded how much better it would be with a Beecher’s Flagship cheddar.