I’ve been working on my cheese wrapping skills. Everyone around me says it’s just about understanding angles and shapes. Kind of like constructing with Legos, in its own way. In any case, I do wrap plenty of items in the store nowadays, including ones that are destined to be gifts! But here’s a look at my cheese wrapping:
Some pieces of cheese are much easier to wrap than others, and it all depends on how you cut them (knife skills!). I still have a monster of a time with the Mimolette which, although delicious, is so hard and so difficult for me to cut! Mimolette pieces cut by me still resemble irregular 20-sided die. You can imagine how difficult it is to wrap that up neatly. I try to neatly tuck all the ends under, and use one piece of tape, but those Mimolette packets still look a little puffy, crinkled, and just not neat enough for my liking. Right now, not only do clients who order the Mimolette have to suffer through watching me cut it, they have to watch me wad it up in packages for them to take home. I’ll get it in time, though, hopfully before we finish the current ball. I did succeed in wrapping a Clochette last week with almost no problem, and those are shaped like little bells. I do enjoy wrapping cheese. My predecessor likens the act to wrapping a present for someone; the package should be neat and presentable. I agree. I almost always use the folding method you see in the picture. Sometimes, I like to use the French pleat, but that actually requires quite a bit of paper, and doesn’t work for the larger pieces of cheese. This multi-petal look, although it seems complicated, takes up less paper, so I can fold bigger pieces of cheese with it.
That said, I think everything is starting to fall into place a bit better. I even received another compliment today from two ladies who ordered a five cheese plate early this afternoon. They seemed a tiny bit skeptical for some reason when they saw that I was going to choose the cheeses for them; they debated choosing for themselves. Luckily, they were happy with the choices I made for them, declaring, “You REALLY know your cheeses!” The truth is, not really, I still have so much to learn! I certainly realized this when Carlos showed me one of the cheese plates he created last night. There were huge, playful dollops of honey, with chocolate syrup or berry centers to accompany the d’affinois, whimsical splashes of balsamic vinaigrette and tomato to accompany . . . pecorino romano, was it? And a comet of butterscotch with tiny bits of apple “stars” to accompany the last cheese, which I could not discern from the photo. I may have to find a photo to show you, because the plate is stunning. One day, I’ll be able to do plates like that! Creating something like that really extends beyond the “cheesemonger” role and into the realm of “fromager.” However, since I am often alone in the store during the day, I prepare the cheese plates for our clients then. Maybe that would make me a cheesemonger/fromager . . .
The happy pairing of the day turned out to be the Point Reyes blue with mango/apple chutney. I didn’t think such a spicy chutney would go well with a blue, but it worked well this time, maybe because the Point Reyes lacks spice; the two can thus complement each other. I’m not entirely sure. I just know they made a good pair!
Well, tomorrow is another day. But, now that I know we have chocolate sauce as one of the cheese condiments, I can’t wait to try that out on some customers tomorrow!