Cheese. I mean, what isn’t better with cheese (especially goat cheese)? I know I swore I was done with tests and school once I passed my LARE exam a couple of weeks back, but hopefully we can all agree that Cheese School deserves an exception. On our final morning in Amsterdam, Danimal and I went to Reypenaer Cheese to
eat cheese learn.
Reypenaer Cheese has been in business for three generations- over 100 years. Basically, they know cheese. Our instructor was the fabulous Chrissie. Some of the more interesting factoids from Chrissie:
- In the older cheese warehouse is 100 years old which is important for the flavoring. The cheese wheels within the warehouse must be turned twice a week and weigh 15 kilos. (I potentially have a new plan for getting better triceps cheese wheel flipping.)
- The new warehouse holds over 120,000 cheese wheels. My only thought there is that is a lot of cheese.
- There is a micro-climate in the cheese warehouse that includes opening and closing of shutters to ensure the appropriate taste for the cheese.
- Reypenaer invented their own cheese guillotine.
I’m not doing Chrissie’s explanation justice, but she gave me a whole new appreciation for cheese.
Now time for the hard part- cheese tasting. This was feaux-hard because let’s be honest… eating cheese is great – grading cheese is difficult. We tasted six different cheeses and they were paired with white, red and port wines. Another important cheese fact… cut that stuff thin, then it can better melt in your mouth. (It melts even faster with wine added…) My favorite cheese of the day was the Wyngaard Chevre. No surprise there since goat is my number one cheese, but I also loved the Reypenaer XO Reserve. It was smooth, but had remarkable sharpness to the flavor. Good news for everyone… you can order online.
At one point in time I may have gotten a bit overwhelmed about how awesome cheese school was.
Me (possibly too excited, spoken very quickly and hopefully quietly): All this cheese and wine might be making me drunk. I love this cheese… what do you think it smells* like?!?!
Danimal (calmly): cheese
* Part of our assignment was to say what the cheese smelled like other than cheese.
Now here is why you should never mess with the cheese or travel gods and instead blindly follow them. The girl sitting behind us in cheese school looked very familiar. At the end of class she mentioned the same. After exchanging where we were from, we realized that we met last summer when Colin and I were on our amazing speaking expedition that took us through Dubai. The world is flat, y’all. I encourage you to get and out go places so you can reunite with amazing people over things as fabulous as cheese.
Brace yourselves, we are now in Brugge which is a thousand kinds of amazing. Details to follow…