Friday, May 20, 2005

The cheese department

I just ran to Navy Pier. Well, to Illinois St., at which point I turned in the opposite direction of the Pier and towards a certain gourmet grocery store. At Fox and Obel, I bought some cheese, only to have a man--who, alongside the woman he was with, made up the most fashionable couple I have ever, ever, ever seen in Chicago--order precisely the same cheese (Morbier) and the same amount (1/3 lb.) right after I did. He and his female companion were French, so I felt pretty awesome having a super-chic French couple follow my lead in the cheese department. It was especially surprising given that my running outfit is the sort of thing that ought to have made them run all the way back to Paris in horror. (Gap Kids sweatpants, and so forth) Also while at the cheese counter, a woman (American, didn't notice chicness or lack thereof) asked about the Parmesan situation. Apparently Fox and Obel only had the expensive kind today, but would be getting the cheaper one tomorrow. "I have four kids," the woman explained, as though the store keeps a special stash of the cheaper Parmesan for those who really deserve it. And I couldn't help but wonder whether the harried, frantic, and frustrated woman behind the cheese counter was one of those unpaid cheese interns the NYT reported on recently, since she didn't seem to be enjoying herself, and what other reason (lactose intolerance?) might a person not enjoy herself in a cheese-related position?


Anonymous said...

Maybe the woman behind the cheese counter looked unhappy because she'd just eaten the entire stock of Fox & Obel's lesser Parmesan.

Anonymous said...

I'm also a fan of the 1/3 lb. cheese purchase. 1/4 lb. is never enough.

And on the Parmesan front, I've found some extremely good news:

I've located a source in NYC for $8.50 / lb. Reggiano.

Considering the sheer quantity of Reggiano it's possible to go through without breaking a sweat, that's gonna add up to some serious cha-ching.


And on the Francophilia front, today is the Cannes closing ceremony, broadcast live on IFC.

Root for Michael Haneke

The funniest bit I've read out of Cannes this year is definitely A.O. Scott's plot summary of To Paint or Make Love.

And it's worth noting that for someone with your stated fetishes, you display an alarming lack of interest in French cinema.