My family is lucky to have friends in the most holiest of cheese places on this planet, right outside of Gruyère, Switzerland. I've gotten to visit them a few times, and each time they've taken us to their local castle to see where Gruyère cheese got started. Once they even took us to a Sacred Order of the Cheese Meeting (I'm roughly translating from the French name), where Swiss dudes (including Jean-Pierre, the patriarch of our host family) dressed up in funky Alpine clothing, danced around in a circle singing "Lo Ma! Lo Ma!" and played a weird looking horn, all in celebration of cheese. It was quite bizarre. Afterwards they served the most divine fondue I have ever tasted in my life, so it was a good day. I love living in Austin and don't ever want to leave, but living in the Alps in Gruyère, Switzerland would be a pretty awesome second choice.
Suffice it to say, I am a lover of cheese, and when I read that the American Cheese Society is holding their Festival of Cheese in Austin this week, my heart skipped a beat. If I had an extra $75 laying around, I would totally go to their cheese judging/tasting event this weekend. Alas, I'll have to make do by licking the newspaper article about the event with its gorgeous photos of cheese.
Last night my husband and I conned my parents into watching my 3 year old son and took off for happy hour at Trio, which I raved about in a previous post. The 3 week old had to come with us, but she slept most of the time so it was still a pretty nice date. My husband ordered the baked gulf oysters, which he knew I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, so to make him suffer I ordered the Texas artisanal cheese plate and refused to share (though I caved in halfway through the night).
Three of the cheeses came from Paula Lambert's company, which makes artisanal cheese in Dallas. I've actually met Paula Lambert, when she was hocking her cheese book at Central Market a few years ago. As I mentioned before, Lambert is my maiden name and I am bound by honor to support any and all things Lambert, including fancy barbecue, American Idol contestants, and Highlanders. So I bought her book and gave it to my dad for Christmas. She's really nice and very knowledgable about cheeses. I was hoping we'd be related so she could give me free cheese, but no luck.
That cheese plate was fantastic. The only thing that would have helped it would have been a couple of Swiss dudes dancing around, celebrating.
If anyone makes it to the Festival of Cheese, eat some chèvre for me!