Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Emerging from my Cheese Coma

Well, it's the Tuesday after the the American Cheese Society's Festival of Cheese and I'm finally ready to eat cheese again. Between volunteering five hours to cut up cheese on Saturday afternoon, and then two hours attending the actual event that evening, I did my best to try all 1,149 cheeses, but alas, once again failed.

I never thought I'd say this, but there really IS so much cheese one person can eat in a day.

Since the conference was in Chicago and I live just south of Madison, my family drove to the event to meet me for the festival. Every year for the past five years, I have come home raving like a wild woman about the Festival of Cheese and every year they have done their very best not to roll their eyes in front of me.

But this year was going to be different, I told myself. As the three of us - my husband, 11-year-old daughter and myself -- walked into the grand ballroom at the Chicago Hilton into a room decked out in all of its cheese glory, my daughter announced: "Oh my God, it stinks in here."

Well, so okay, it does smell a bit. Let's see you try putting 1,149 cheeses into one room and keeping down the odor. But that's the beauty of the experience, right?

Turns out, not so much to people whose lives do NOT revolve around cheese.

After 45 minutes, my family was ready to go. My husband had perused all the cheddars. My daughter had tried exactly four - yes, only 4 out of 1,149 cheeses - and those were from the Colby table.

Luckily, I had helped set up the Farmstead Cheese table so had already tried all those cheeses that afternoon, plus had perused the room a bit before the actual event, so I didn't feel quite so depressed.

Plus, it was fun watching Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook give interviews to the multiple camera crews in attendance -- all who were asking him whether Disney had called yet with a stop and desist order for using "Snow White Goat Cheddar" as the name for his Best of Show cheese. Should be interesting to see how that one turns out ...

So this is my last posting about the 2008 ACS conference -- see you all next year, and until then, stop back here to read more about Wisconsin artisan cheeses.

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