Saturday, March 18, 2006

Don't get me wrong, I love my job at Murray's. I like the people i work with and the customer's who come into the store are great. But, there are still things that annoy me. Here's a few of those things:

* People who ask for low-fat cheeses. Simply put, low fat cheeses are processed cheese. It's not just pressed curds and salt. It's gone through alot more than that. Things I'd rather not think about. If you are watching your weight, just eat less. Most of the cheeses we sell are very complex in flavor, you wouldn't want to sit down and eat a huge hunk of it anyways. If you do need something lowER-fat, which we do sell a few types of (they are made from skim-milk), but please don't complain that it doesn't taste as good as the full fat stuff. Of course it doesn't...fat tastes good! Fat often makes things taste better. So, yes, a cheese with less fat won't taste as good. (Well, except #3 list below)

That said, everyone is often looking to trim a couple inches off here and there and, if you are and if you want to try and make a change in your cheese buying, here's a few tips:

1. Goat's milk is usually lower in fat than cow's milk. The difference is relatively small, I think somewhere around 5% less fat, but still, it's a step.

2. Softer, creamier cheeses are often lower in fat. I know, this makes no logical sense. We think "soft..creamy..high fat!" But, truly, this is not the case. In order for something to be creamy or soft, it must contain a higher level of water. Water does not have any fat (duh). So, if you take a 1" square piece of a soft cheese and the same size of a hard one, the softer one will have less fat in that piece because there is simply more water per volume in that cheese.

3. Parmigiano Reggiano is made from skim-milk and tastes freggin' awesome. Eat that. Just don't get the stuff from Argentina, like I used to. I know, it's cheaper, it's alot cheaper. But it simply does not taste as good and this is not one of those subtle differences you think only cheese freaks get, it isn't. You'll eat the real stuff and wonder wtf you were eating the other stuff for.

* I can save you some time with a quick answer, in case you were wondering. No, we do not sell "regular, American cheese". American cheese is processed cheese. Again, processed cheese has oil, added water and comes from very unhappy cows in a factory. We sell real cheeses from real people. Do you want to buy you cheese from Velveeta or from these folks? (Who, by the way, make some very kick-ass cheese). The same goes for Cracker Barrel and all that other cheese "stuff". Nope, not here.

* Please don't ask "this cheese is good, but do you have something more yellow?". I don't know why Americans like yellow and orange cheese (and yes, it's just Americans, no one else thinks weird shit like this). It's *food dye* people! Admittedly, a natural one and one that has no harmful effect on the cheese. But, at the same time, it has no positive effect on the taste either. That said, if you drank green beer the other night, it's just too late, enjoy some orange cheese.

I want to end this on a positive note, so here's one: be honest with your cheesemonger when you shop. Really and truly, when I work, I want to find a cheese you will take home and adore and will make people ask you "where did you get this awesome cheese?" I want you to enjoy the cheese you take home. Don't just take my word for it, I'm weird, I like cheese that smells like gym socks and whose taste I could describe as "barnyardy" and maybe that's you too. But, maybe you want something fun and mild and sweet and that's fine too, I know what cheese that is, as well.