Robin and I became internet friends through our mutual love for cheese and writing about it. Her website, The House Mouse, is one of my favorites and if you haven’t checked it out before, now is certainly a good time to become addicted to another cheese journey…
Robin and I share a second love as well… cars. Robin is into classic cars and my heart belongs to classic muscle cars. Living in the Detroit area and being married to a journalist who writes about the automobile industry gives her the opportunity to “professionally ride” in some of the coolest pre-release production cars… lucky for her… but from where I’m sitting… sometimes life just isn’t fair… but I’m not bitter… well… maybe a little…
Robin graciously agreed to answer a few questions for my website:
Briefly tell me about yourself. How did you come to cheese? When did you realize you were a cheese geek?
“Growing up, I was a very picky eater and only ate things that came in earth-tones. We lived in a very nice area in Cleveland with independent shops including a cheese, wine, and coffee shop and my mother would take me there. It smelled so amazing that I just had to try the cheeses. This was the 70’s so artisan and farmstead cheese wasn’t mainstream like now and the owners & mongers got such a kick out having this tiny 5 yea
r old who wouldn’t eat a strawberry beg for slices of Leerdammer and Havarti. I would spend hours in that shop while my mother finished her shopping, tasting whatever those cheesemongers handed me, even spreads with caviar. I still didn’t eat my first strawberry until I was 32.”
Where do you work and what is your job title? Describe a “typical” work day.
“I write my blog and use to work doing community relations. Now I do part time retail to pay the bills while I try to find a job writing about food.”
Do you have a favorite cheese or type? What would be your perfect pairing with this cheese?
“This question always stumps me because my cheese cravings take many forms. It all depends on the weather, my mood, what’s in season, the occasion…I get bored easily too. If pressed, I like intense flavors, caramel, crystally, hard aged Gouda types like Roomano (which is really good right now) and Saankanter extra aged. I’m really getting into stouts and porters at the moment and am finding them to pair really well with the late harvest and winter cheeses. I also love coffee and cheese. It’s an overlooked pairing.”
Raw vs. Pasteurized? Does it matter? What difference does it make in the final product?
“This is another slippery slope question. My feeling tends to lean toward the raw side, however flavor is flavor. There are so many great pasteurized cheeses out there that I say, if an artisan or farmstead cheesemaker knows their craft, then it really shouldn’t matter about rennet (veg or animal), aging style, or pasteurization. The end product will speak for itself.”
Tell me about one of your “cheese journeys”. Was it traveling for pleasure or maybe “on the hunt” for an obscure cheese you just had to taste?
“I recently went to Paris for both pleasure and to finally taste Mont d’Or from France made with raw milk, unlike the pasteurized style from Switzerland. Well, on the bright side, I did taste it and it was heavenly. On the down side, I put so much pressure on myself to see things I really didn’t want to see, go places I didn’t want to go, and try to fit so much in, I really didn’t enjoy myself as much as I should have. I did learn what to do for my next trip, however and it was an amazing learning experience.”
Please share with me one fun, non-cheesy fact about you.
“As I said before, I was a very picky eater as a child. So picky and stubborn that I didn’t eat my first strawberry until I was 32 and on a date with The Hubby when he literally picked up the berry and said “It is crying out to you ‘EAT ME! I’M DELICIOUS!'” I was so embarrassed, I ate it and loved it. He loved watching me delight in the new taste and has been enjoying watching me try new foods ever since.”
If you could do one thing, anything, all day long, what would it be?
“I don’t think I would want to do any one thing all day. I like variety, to change things up. I would get bored.”
“Feel free to check out my blog at housemouseoncheese.com. Stay Cheesy!”
Robin, thanks for taking the time.
Interviews will continue throughout 2015… sometimes, they will be “stand-alone” and sometimes they will be presented as virtual round-table discussions with several Cheese Professionals answering the same question. Those participating include Cheesemakers, ACS CCPs™,Cheesemongers and Cheese Professionals and Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.
List of 2015 Cheese Professionals.
List of all Cheese Professionals Bios.
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