Cultured Young

I’ve decided it’s my mission to culture my children. They’ve been to the theatre already, and can (mostly) audibly recognize the instruments of the orchestra. Since my husband is an ogre, and will only enter a theatre upon threat of bodily harm from me, I want my boys to be more comfortable with the niceties of society. They may not like Sondheim as much as they like the Steelers, but at least they’ll know who he is.

Today I took Jeffrey to the Cheese-mongers. It was a special trip, just the two of us, and he got to pick out two cheeses from the vast jewel case of fine cheese. The kid already loves cheese, so it wasn’t a hard sell, but this was introducing him to the good stuff. Most six-year-olds aren’t so interested in stinky cheese, but he liked the special-ness of the store, the dark walls, the shiny cases and the mysterious colors and textures of the little shop.

The cheese-lady talked to us about the different milks, and the things the animals ate that would flavor the cheese. She invited him to pick a few to taste, and showed him the special wires, knives and chisels used to cut wedges from the wheels. There were a few that caused him to wrinkle his nose in distaste, and he doesn’t yet have my fondness for Stilton- but he ended up picking a well-crystallized piece of Italian Regianno made with raw milk, and a creamy Mahon from Spain.

I picked some more Stilton, because I ate all the other stuff already- and added some more Vella dry jack and some Port Townsend seastack, which is a soft cheese washed in vegetable ash- I know, it sounds gross, but trust me, it’s divine. It ripens from the outside in, so it’s creamy near the rind, and firmer near the center. Mmmmmmmm…

16 thoughts on “Cultured Young

  1. Today, while out on a drive, my non-cultured husband surprised me by identifying the opera coming through on the radio (actually, the first surprise is that he didn’t demand that I change the station!). After my initial adulation, I quizzed him. “How do you — YOU of all people — know the name of this aria?” Turns out it was featured on Seinfeld — the singing clown episode. Sigh.

    He does know and love his (wine and) cheese.

  2. That is such a fun idea! I think when Peanut’s older I’ll definitely do that. She already loves cheese. LOL about the theatre thing. If I lived by you we would totally go to shows together.

  3. I’m loving all of this cheese talk! After reading Mo Mommy’s comment on the last post about the chevre – I think it was Purple Haze with lavender and fennel – I think you would both like a wonderful chevre called Humboldt Fog – it is a softer cheese with a lemony tinge. It is delicious. I live in the barren culture free desert of Mesa, AZ but there is a wonderful cheese monger in downtown Phoenix that is great.

    I know the opera from Seinfeld too!

  4. Fantastic! I can’t wait to introduce Oslo to some good cheese. Though perhaps our bigger problem will be introducing him to sports as I’m married to a man who would prefer a visit to a cheese shop/museum/concert/ballet over any kind of sporting event. I’m curious to see how and if this rubs off on our little man.

  5. Good gracious woman, you are serious about your Cheese!

    That settles it, who here lives in SLC? Where is the nearest cheese monger? I am on a quest now to try the Humboldt Fog, Purple Haze, Stilton, and some Port Townsend seastack. I need to culture myself, my children, and especially my DH!

    “Age is not important unless you’re a cheese.”
    Helen Hayes

  6. Jolene, that’s exactly what I got!! And I wanted the Humboldt Fog, but she was all out after the holiday rush. It’s like you read my mind. I heart you.

  7. Pepper- I think you’ll have to do the same thing, except in reverse! Take him to a ball-game once or twice- at least you live near one of the nices ballparks in the county- as well as the MoMA and the all the other cool places.

  8. Sorry, girl, I just can’t get behind you on this cheese thing. Now, if we are talking Broadway shows as culture, well, I’m there. But cheese-mongers? Count me out.

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  10. While shopping at Harmon’s Saturday night, I discovered that they had a display of fine cheeses. And I was compelled to look everything over thanks to you! I ended up choosing a wedge of “Tomme de Savoie” along with some rustic bread. I feel cultured already!

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