In a recent post, I gushed about Milton Creamery’s Flory’s Truckle. A couple days ago, I had the pleasure of cracking open another wheel. This one isn’t quite as aromatic and fruity as the last, but it’s still damn good. And frankly, let’s not expect real cheese to be especially consistent. It should vary for a long list of reasons (maybe I’ll address that in another post). McDonald’s is consistent. Ritz crackers are consistent. Kraft slices are consistent. But real cheese isn’t, and that’s okay. There’s always some anticipation when I open a new wheel–how will this one differ from the last? Sometimes I find something special, sometimes I’m mildly disappointed, but such is cheese.
In any case, cracking a big wheel of a beloved cheese is always a great pleasure. I feel like it deserves a parade. Sometimes I actually do take a little lap around the shop, holding the cheese above my head and making trumpet noises. It’s just so exciting! It’s an event! Clothbound cheddar is especially exciting because there’s such a buildup of anticipation as one peels the cloth away–the dust flies, the barnyard aroma fills the air. You convince a co-worker to sniff the cloth and then laugh when they make an ugly face. You cut into it, hoping not to find major flaws. You take the first taste and offer samples to co-workers and any lucky customers who happen to be in the shop.
For many cheeses, that first bite of a freshly cracked wheel is the pinnacle, the best it will ever taste. This truckle of Flory’s sat in an aging room for a year so some lucky jerk–me!!!–could finally open it up and enjoy the benefit of that long wait.