Chocolate meets Cheese And Comfort Begins
Chocolate meets Cheese And Comfort Begins all came about when we looked up an old Who Cut The Cheese Aluma on Cape Cod last fall. Heather Cantin, is the successful owner/operator of Chatham Cheese Company on Cape Cod in MA.
When I owned Who Cut The Cheese in Kihei on Maui, people would often ask, “are you going to make your own cheese?” My reply, “heck no! It takes too much milk and time!” A similar question came up when the wine industry. People would ask if I wanted to be a wine sommelier. “Heck no! It takes too much time, and I have lots of other interests.”
The past few years have been spent in the school of life, as it was for a lot of us, and this particular chapter unfolds into the world of making chocolate from seed to bar. Chocolate making was never on the forefront for this entrepeneur, but as that famour Forrest Gump quote “life is like a box of chocolates cuz you never know what you’re gonna get!” or something to that affect. The same applies when you come on a tour by Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours. Chocolate meets cheese and comfort begins, is a great story, but it has too many chapters for this short blog.
When Who Cut The Cheese was open, years ago, we were pretty clueless about chocolate, as we were too busy studying up on our cheese and wine. We knew we needed other yummies to accompany our vast selections of cheese and wine, so we purchased some chocolate by name recognition only, ScharffenBerger. If we only had connected the dots back then! John ScharffenBerger is a wine maker who segwayed out of wine to identify the different flavor profiles of single origin chocolates. Who would of “thunk”!
Now, on to Heather and her cool story. She started Chatham Cheese Company with a business partner some years back and has been successfully operating the store on her own since 2011 after her business partner went on to new endeavors. Her shop is quite seasonal due to weather, as many of you may know if you have experienced a winter on the east coast. One winter Heather came to Maui and sniffed out a job at Who Cut The Cheese. What a refreshing delight she was and still is! We actually had someone who knew how to handle cheese, aka, cut the cheese! Now, stop it with all of your flatuation jokes, we were a serious store for “ folks with fine taste AND a sense of humor”! We were pretty much over the wine snobbery thing and then came the “curd nerds”! Come on guys and gals…wine is simply fermented grape juice and cheese is just fermented milk! Alright you mighty nib nerds, guess what chocolate is? Yes, fermented cacao (ca-cow), for those who may not know that chocolate is made from fruit, cacao. All together chocolate meeting cheese gives us so much comfort!
Heather put out a beautiful spread of cheese and charcuterie with stunnimg wine pairings at the Chatham Cheese Company that would rock your world! We offered to write about the Chatham Cheese Company in March, as that is when they will be re-opening, or coming out of their winter hibernation getting ready for another successful season. Again, we applaud Heather and her cheesemonger team in carrying the torch for Who Cut The Cheese and keeping the yummy comfort in bringing chocolate and cheese together.
On that note, that trip and writing this blog also inspired the Who Cut The Cheese Alumni Reunion! Yes, chocolate meets cheese and the comfort begins will be celebrated on the island of Oahu. Why Oahu, you may wonder? Katarina Tualamoso, owner/private chef of Maui Food and Wine, dscovered a killer house on the north shore of Oahu last month while creating an amazing farm to table event for some guests staying at the Turtle Bay Resort. Wowza, best describes it all!!!! My part in that event was more of infrastructure for the party and the most important course…Chocolate! We showed three finely handcrafted Hawaiian grown chocolates: Madre’s Kona Criollo 70% made on Oahu, North Shore on Oahu, Nine Fine Mynahs 70% and 100%, and Maui Chocolate and Coffee Tours Haiku, Maui grown 70%.
By the way, the 100% was stunning, and what was most impressive was the mouth feel, so it had no bitterness. Crazy, cool and it definitely brought out the comfort in chocolate!
It’s always best to close on a good and delicious note, and what could be better than chocolate meets cheese and comfort begins.
The title of this blog changed as the week unfolded. Last week when I was struggling with SEO for the blog, I told my web designer, Charles of the Xconcept, all I want to do is write! Even though my writing doesn’t conform to the algorithms or whatever is necessary to optimize my website’s search engine, writing this piece has given me personal comfort. How has writing this blog given me comfort? i Last week I lost 2 people on the same day, and one is holding on each day waiting for his biggest chocolate and cheese party ever! It’s okay Johnny. This is written in memory of Jo Wallace, loving mom to Val and Hanson in Texas, and Maui’s beloved chef and person Mark Ellman. You all will be missed and we’ll never forget you as we’ll see you at the greatest chocolate and cheese party with all the comfort of loving arms of Aloha!