Best Cheese - 2008
Laurenzo's Italian Center
16385 W. Dixie Highway
North Miami Beach, FL 33160
"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese," wrote author G.K. Chesterton. If only one of our literary laureates had visited Laurenzo's market, no doubt they'd have been inspired to describe curd and whey in verse. They might have boldly strutted through the door, pen in hand — which would be easy because the place is open from early morning until dinnertime, and has been since 1951. And while they were there, they might have picked up homemade pastas, prepared Italian specialty foods, produce (at the green market across the street), and the staple of all poets: wine (many fine bottles at prices even wretched scribes can afford). But what would most inspire their imagination would be the cheese. It has so much to offer that it might produce this gem:
Emile Zola never wrote of Gorgonzola,
Especially not Galbani from Lombard
With its pungent pulse veined in bluish green.
Nor did Ezra Pound ever expound
On what a bargain $6.99 a pound
Was for milky, made-on-premises mozzarella
(It is said he preferred the smoked variety.)
Emily Dickinson ignored aged Fontina Val d'Aosta,
As though its grassy aroma and trufflelike flavor never existed.
Why did she not pick up pen for wine-cured Pecorino Toscano,
Haunted with hints of Tuscany's taunting wildflowers?