Cheese is the new sourdough

Banner image courtesy of Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses

Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses in the UK came up with a fairly clever idea in its new 500g packaging for the upcoming holiday season – a “Mature Your Own” box, complete with a cheese birth certificate for keeping track of maturation from four to ten weeks, and a guide to allow the consumer to select their desired taste. When I read the release, I just thought, aaaaaah, genius.

It is such a perfect fit between people raising their own sourdough starters and getting dogs, with educating consumers about how cheese is not just a dairy product, it’s a living entity. It gives the buyer an insight into the challenges it takes to make a good piece of cheese and to deliver it to the consumer in a decent shape. It makes them committed to the product, because they had a hand in making it taste the way it does.

It also makes for a very cool Christmas present or addition to the cheeseboard. How much bragging will happen over that cheese when it is put on the table? More than the usual, I suspect.

I foresee people constructing faux cheese caves in their back gardens (away from the pizza oven) and setting up alarms so that the foxes will not gobble down their treasure trove of cheese. Maybe they can mature some wine in there as well.

The very happy thing is that unlike a dog, you don’t have to clean up after the cheese or take it to the vet, or even commit for it for years (well, depending on the cheese). Ooh, I see another possible future revenue stream. A zoom cheese clinic, where the consumer can hold up their maturing cheese to the camera, for the cheese maker/grader to look at and offer some advice or praise on how the product is ageing.

Happy thoughts on a cheese indeed. Plus, I’m less likely to kill the cheese, versus the sourdough starters, which all died sad deaths in our fridge during the first lockdown.

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