Humans have loved cheese for thousands of years, according to the journal Nature. Cheese is older than the Bible. Cheese is older than the Ottoman Empire. Cheese was there at the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy. Cheese was around when William Wallace began the Wars of Scottish Independence. After the humans are gone, cheese will remain.
Sure, it’s had its setbacks (Velveeta, Provel, Easy), but cheese is bigger than ever, thanks in no small part to the resurgence of cheesemongering. The art of cheese-making has come back into fashion over the past decade or so, as a sharper focus has been put on artisanal methods of preparing all sorts of food. Such is the state of the cheese scene in New York that a Cheesemonger Invitational is being held on Saturday, June 27, 2015, at Larkin Cold Storage (4755 27th Street, Long Island City), from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Exactly 50 cheesemongers will do battle at the competition — its organizers refer to it in shorthand as the “CMI” — which is being billed as the “Fight Club meets Wrestlemania of cheese.”
Ahead of the CMI, here are two videos produced by the Voice in honor of the art of cheese-making:
“These Cheesemongers Will Get You to Eat the Stinky Stuff”
Cheesemongers Charlie Cohen and Joshua Santamaria from Lucy’s Whey on the Upper East Side have made it their lives’ mission to whet your appetite for stinky cheeses. Here’s how they get you to try the hard stuff. Video by Ana M. Rodriguez for the Voice.
“Green Grape Provisions’ Cara Warren Explains Competitive Cheesemongering”
Cara Warren is about to participate in one of the most grueling competitions that a person in her profession can endure: The 2015 Cheesemonger Invitational, a full day of work with knives, in a ice-cold warehouse with dozens of other apron-clad competitors. Each monger goes through a series of tests reminiscent of a Top Chef episode. In this video, Cara gives us a step-by-step breakdown of what each competitor must go through to be named the top monger in New York. Video by Zach D. Roberts for the Voice.
Unfortunately for any late-arriving cheese enthusiasts, the CMI is sold out! Maybe go buy some cheese this weekend to feel better.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 26, 2015