Michael DiBuono is not just a cheese monger at the newly opened Cheese Course in Pinecrest. He's a curator of stories. Cheese stories, to be exact.
Holding up a squat white goat cheese that looks like a pyramid with the top lopped off, DiBuono tells me that's exactly what it is. "This is Valencay cheese from France. Legend says that Napoleon, coming back from his failed campaign in Eqypt, saw this cheese in the shape of a pyramid and cut the top off with a sword. It wasn't a good idea to show him a pyramid that day."
The cheese that got Napoleon's goat.
DiBuono, clearly excited about both the history and taste of cheese, likes to share his interests with customers. He's especially fond of "newbies", who think cheese comes pre-sliced in plastic packages.
"When someone comes into the Cheese Course for the first time, I'll ask them what they've had and what they like. We want to educate the customers about cheese and introduce them to tastes that are different than what they're used to without intimidating them."
With about 100-150 different cheeses available at any given time, it is handy to have a cheese monger on hand to guide you, although the store is quite customer friendly. Cases are divided into six categories (fresh, bloomy rind, washed rind, blue cheese, semi-hard, and hard), with each selection marked with a description and price. Sampling is available and encouraged.
In addition to cheese by the pound, the Cheese Course prepares
sandwiches and cheese platters for dine-in service. Wines and beer are
available by the glass or bottle and there's no corkage fee for bottles
purchased at the shop. In addition to small tables, there's a large
farmhouse table for
family-style dining and the various tastings and seminars that are
The next event is a cheese and beer class, featuring Utah's Beehive Cheese Company cheddar-based creations, paired with craft beers and
Charcuterie from Cremenilli Meats. The class is this Thursday, June 21
from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The $20 per person fee includes three cheeses, paired
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with three hand selected ales and tickets can be purchased here.
Or you can just stop in for some cheese and a story.