Have a Meeting? Grab some Cheese.
This Saturday evening, after the doors are shut, the counters are cleaned, the dishes are washed, everyone on the staff will grab a chair from our tiny back office and gather around for to review the financials for 2018 and set goals for 2019. We have an open book policy at the shop, which means that any staff member can look at our financials and ask questions about what’s going on. This way, everyone builds concrete skills like how to read a profit and loss statement, how to calculate gross margin, what that tells us, etc. But also, this allows everyone to be more deeply involved with the business and, hopefully, more invested in the shop doing well.
All of this is to say, we have a long, important meeting coming up after a long, busy day at work. How to keep everyone focused and motivated? Cheese of course! I am a big supporter of cheese at meetings for any business at any time. It is protein-packed, keeps people full, and everyone loves a treat. Now that we’ve established cheese at meetings is totally mandatory, what cheese shall we choose? Nothing too messy because the participants need to be able to reach for the goodies without making a trail of crumbs across the table or getting it all over Joan from Marketing’s new purple cardigan. Thus, my first choice is the easily sliceable, easily likable Lagrein. Lagrein is an Italian cow’s milk cheese washed in wine and herbs with a semi-firm texture that just cries for aggressive snackage. We call this cheese the salami cheese because it really tastes like a soppressata. I have no idea why that is because the cheesemaker is definitely not using any meat in the process but the end result is salty, a touch garlicy, and meaty. It is really a mystery, probably almost on par with Nazca Lines in Peru.
I also want to throw in something goat like Quicke’s Clothbound Goat Cheddar. This is one of our least crumbly cheddars and it is a little offbeat. I love tasting it out because not a lot of people have tried goat cheddar and this one, made by the Quicke family in Devon, England, is one of my favorites. It has the slight tang from the goat’s milk, a pleasant cheddary sharpness, and a touch of sweet. Basically, a cheese I can’t write about without having to grab a bite.
Finally, this one will be the most challenging because I want to get something a little soft, but easy to handle. I want everyone to grab a breadstick (preferably the Mario Fongo breadsticks we have at the shop because they’re my number one breadstick love), dip it into the cheese, and not have a huge drippy mess. I want to be clear here, I mean this for meetings only because I am a big fan of drippy messy cheeses in most other instances. If you’re going big, I’d recommend a wheel of Winnimere, that bacony, woodsy Vermont wonder, or Robiola Due Latte from Italy. This square softie not only looks great on the board, but it’s easy to cut with a breadstick or cracker, so no knife necessary for this buttery sheep and cow’s milk cheese.
I hear that people who go to a lot of meetings tend to hate them. We’ll see how that opinion changes once cheese is involved…
For the love of cheese meetings and any excuse to eat it,