Meet Your Monger: Peter
Meet Your Monger: Peter aka il Capo aka The Guy in the Hat
This week I’m kicking of a series of Meet Your Monger! We stand behind the counter, asking you to try this and that, but who are we really?? I pose questions to the crew here at the Cheese Shop and see what they have to say. This week: Peter (my dad) aka il Capo aka The Guy in the Hat. -Kiri
Hi Dad, can I call you dad in this interview?
What draws you to cheese?
There happens to be a very interesting cheese industry in New England, so it’s both the personal interest in it as a food item, and the environmental coincidence of it being right around us.
You have also talked about how you like to support cheesemakers and farmers. Would you say that’s also part of the reason why you chose cheese?
Well, I think that kind of came in later when I started thinking about what my commitment really was and I started to see this as the deeper philosophical justification for spending time in this and really committing myself to being a part of this sector of food. But very much so, I am a believer in the small operations that the New England farms represent. It seems like carefully made cheese is one of those key products that will keep them alive. And this stuff is difficult to make and difficult to mechanize, so the small player has a role. It’s the artisan I’m talking about. Obviously, you can mechanize the making of a bunch of hard cheeses, but not the ones that we want to represent.
What cheese and drink would you pair with your favorite movie, which I hear through the grapevine, is Casablanca?
I think of Rick’s Bar and the recurring scene there. So I’m thinking about what I’d really be drinking there and it would have to be a gin martini. I want to be eating Barricato al Pepe [a hard, Italian, cow milk cheese, studded with peppercorns] and I’d have an olive. And I’d be sitting there, cutting bites of cheese, having it with an olive, and eating a piece of prosciutto alongside, which would be really nice. I don’t recall seeing prosciutto in the movie, however, but I’m sure there were olives there.
Soft cheese or hard cheese?
Hard cheese because it’s easier to have hard cheese in your life. It can sit in your briefcase for days. Not that you have experience with that. Or in your backpack or your raincoat pocket.
What’s your desert island cheese?
Podda Misto. It used to be Parmigiano but Podda Misto is a slightly milder but still has all the flavor notes I love, it’s a slightly softer texture, and it’s easy to pair with more things.
Oh yeah? Pair with coconut water and that fish you managed to catch on a piece of seaweed on your desert island?
[Laughs, because he’s a nice dad] Yeah, yeah that’s right. And I’m going to have an olive tree so I can press olive oil out of it.