Andrew Steiner | Owner/Operator, Andrew's Cheese Shop, Santa Monica, CA \ Three Uncommon Cheeses
Andrew Steiner takes people through the Dangerous Unknown—a place where wild beasties hang out and odors strong enough to wrinkle the nose waft. It has a landscape full of surfaces best described as flaky, soft, crumbly, runny and velvet. Steiner does this to help his customers discover what cheeses from his collection of a couple hundred they might like.
“There’s always this Conversation,” Steiner repeated how the journey starts. “They ask me, What’s your favorite?”
So he picks out a cheese. Oh, I hate blue cheese, comes the reply.
“So you don’t want to know my favorite,” Steiner continued the Conversation. "You want to know what your favorite is. Why don’t we talk about that? Why don’t we find out what kinds of things you like? And don’t tell me the names of them. Tell me the style—hard cheese, soft cheese, smelly cheese, goat cheese. We’ll figure it out.”
“If you look at me like you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about,” Steiner added, “I will give you something to taste. Then you tell me.”
And then there are the people that just like cheese, no matter what kind.
“More often than not,” Steiner said, “they just claim they do but don’t really. But we get quite a few. We’re a specialty cheese shop. And sometimes we get—and I’m so tickled by this—people who say, Just pick three interesting ones, like you guys do.”
Here’s what Steiner picked:
Grevenbroecker by Catharinadal | Hamont-Achel, Belgium
Cabochon by Patrick Hauser | Vallée de Joux, Switzerland
Testun al Barolo by Beppino Occelli | Piemonte, Italy
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