Did you know that our Lissome is now mature? This cheese has been aging for the past few months, and, until recently, wasn’t ready. But it’s time for the debut– Lissome is ready to be enjoyed and is available in certain markets, including the Durham Co-Op and A Southern Season.
We recently sat down with Lissome and posed some questions to it. Okay, fine, we ate Lissome and made up this interview. But if it could talk, it might sound something like this…
Hi Lissome. What an interesting name you have — can you share the meaning of the word Lissome with us?
Lissome: Ok, I know this. Lissome means thin, supple and graceful. I guess you could say my outside is thin and my insides are supple and graceful. I might look like a burly hunk of cheese, but looks can be deceiving. I’m gentler than that.
Well put, Lissome. So, we all know that Sam loves spirit animals. What is yours?
L: There is a northern Italian horse called a Haflinger, also known as Avelignese, and that is my spirit animal. According to Wikipedia, “Haflinger horses are relatively small, are always chestnut in color, have distinctive gaits described as energetic but smooth, and are well-muscled yet elegant.” Honestly, I’m not sure about my gait, but I think all of those other descriptions are spot-on, if I may say so myself.
Wow, what a magnificent animal. That is a nice spirit animal to have. They look sturdy and athletic, but gentle. And practical with a healthy dose of glamour.
L: Yes, I know. I chose it. I wasn’t going to give myself something un-magnificent. If you are telling people your spirit animal is something like a pigeon you’re doing it wrong.
Fair enough. So Lissome, let’s go deeper. Let’s talk about your personal life. Are you seeing anyone?
L: Well, you know, I’m only recently on the market. So I’m keeping things open, you know, playing the field. I’ve been seeing a lot of Hamburgers from Rose’s Meat Market, we go really well together. Hanging out with Eggs from Rose’s too — we’re a good match, when I’m up early enough, haha. Ooh, but I definitely have a crush on Pizza, I’m looking forward to hooking up with her at Pizzeria Toro. She’s so hot, she makes me melt.
Wow, Lissome. I had no idea you were such a player. Sounds like things are heating up for you. You must have a lot to offer to have so many compatible partners. What sort of strengths are you bringing to the dinner table? What do you have that other cheeses don’t?
L: I mean, I think a lot. Obviously I’m good-looking, if you’re into that. I’m firm but yielding. I can get a little funky if you let me. I can give you structure, if that’s what you need, but if you turn up the heat a little I can be just as ooey-gooey as some of those softer cheeses. It’s like you said, I’m a little bit of a player. That’s your terminology, though; I prefer to say that I have a wide-ranging appeal and can work in a variety of situations.
Interesting stuff here, Lissome. You’ve certainly got the art of self-promotion down pat. Let’s change subjects a bit and focus on your childhood. How was your upbringing?
L: Gosh, I was a little bit of a handful. I wouldn’t say high-maintenance, of course, but I did require a bit more attention than the other cheeses born here at Boxcarr Handmade Cheese.
What do you mean? What kind of attention? Are you a diva or something?
L: Just normal stuff for a growing cheese. Nothing crazy. It’s just that I’m a washed-rind kinda guy, so that means someone has to, um, wash me. Like all the time. For months. By hand. And flip me, also. Does that make me a diva?
Well, maybe. What are they washing you with? Anything special?
L: Yes, some pretty special stuff, actually. I’m not exactly ordinary. They wash me with B. Linens, which helps me develop my handsome reddish-golden pate, but they also bathe me with a really pretty Italian birra called Clan!Destino, which is made in Piemonte. They get it from their friend Jay at Piedmont Wine Imports. It’s like the best bath ever, I recommend it. The beer is made by the son of a family of winemakers. It is a Golden Blonde Ale and is delicious, so crisp and floral and a little hoppy. It is natural and alive, just like me, and definitely helps me develop my more interesting flavors and ideas.
I suppose we all develop interesting ideas when beer is involved. I have to say, it’s neat how a family of winemakers is now connected to a family of cheesemakers on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.
L: Yes, it’s like this Italian beer maker is my grandpa, almost.
Well, that might be a stretch. Speaking of family, though, do you have any favorite family members?
L: I love my cousins Cottonseed and Rosie’s Robiola, and we’re family, so we’re tight, but I have a special soft spot for my lil sis, Campo. I mean, we just share so much — we even sleep in the same room. She’s almost like a mini-version of me… but totally different. They broke the mold when they made her. Well, they didn’t, actually, because they have to use those molds over and over, but, you know, figuratively speaking.
Broken molds are not what we cheesemakers want. How about fears? What is it that you are afraid of most?
L: It would be terrible if someone were to forget about me. Like, if they put me somewhere and didn’t use me and appreciate me. It sounds terrible. I think my insides would just shrivel up and get hard and dry. How unappetizing. I mean, sad. Because I have feelings.
That does sound sad. I hope no one ever mistreats you like that, Lissome. Who have been your greatest inspirations?
L: You know, the greats. Taleggio, because it’s got a washed-rind like I do. Havarti, for it’s versatility. Limburger, because it’s not afraid to be funky. And that sexy horse I was talking about before, too.
Truly inspirational. Okay, Lissome. This is maybe about as much time as anyone should devote to pretending a cheese can talk. Any closing words?
L: Hm, well, I think I hit all the major points. Basically, if you don’t know me, you should. Give me a try with some Clan!Destino Birra Vivente, or Carussin Barbera d’Asti “Asinoi”, if you’re more of a wine person. I’m friendly with lots of foods in a cooking situation since I’m such a good melter, but I’m just as at home on an Accidental Baker cracker for a quick snack. Okay, that should do it. Back to my cave.