That’s Laura saying “cheese” behind the turophile*-errific turrets of Fort Cheese, our bountiful counter of dairy delights. We caught up with Laura recently to ask her how she found her calling as a curd curator and discovered she’s layered like Morbier and fresh like chevre.
Laura began as a chef at store much like The Greene Grape but found herself drawn to the cheese counter and the alchemy and magic of pairing beer with cheese. Her Insider’s tip? Jasper Hill Farms’s Bayley Hazen Blue with Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout (“blows my mind time and time again”). She’s sold Hudson Valley farmstand cheeses at GreenMarket and launched the cheese caves at a mega natural foods market where she trained with world-class affineurs like Herve Mons and Neals Yard Dairy. Her favorite cheeses change with the season but are all artisanal and farmstead cheeses, made with love, by hand, with milk from animals that are pastured and treated like the farmer’s friends.
But she’s not all sweetness and light. In Laura’s past there lies a dark, haunting secret. For details, click here (if you dare) or stop by the counter and munch on delicious samples while trying to get her to divulge the dark reaches of her heart!**
You can keep up with the encyclopedic Laura and the cheese counter by following them on Twitter at @fortcheese. Or come in and ask all the questions that have been plaguing you (“Why is cheese not made from pig’s milk? What does it mean if a cheese is ‘vegetarian’? Aren’t raw cheeses illegal in the US?)
*What’s a turophile, you say? A cheese connoisseur or fancier. Not to be confused with turophobia, a fear of cheese. See? She can even teach you some new words.
**Okay, we’re no good at keeping secrets. She’s slaughtered a chicken! Rumor has it, it was not self-defense!