Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyful Kwanza, insert holiday greeting here, to all of the readers of Cheese Underground! This being near the end of the year, it seems to be ’tis the season to start making Top 10 lists. So here you go, faithful readers — I’m going back through my list of 69 blog postings of the past year and picking out my favorites, mostly based on the clever comments left by all of you. Enjoy!

Top 10 Moments of Cheese Underground in 2008
10. Running for President: Turns out that responding to a request from the Cheese Underground Lady on your favorite type of cheese does not bode well in your run for the presidency. After being the only candidate to reply to my “Wisconsin Primary – It’s About Cheese” questionnaire, Mike Huckabee goes down in flames in the Feb. 19 vote. Alert Cheese Underground reader Rena contributes this news: “It’s not Wisconsin, but there is a “Barick Obama” cheese made by Lady Lazy Farm in Vermont. Never tried it, but I think this makes Barack the only presidential candidate with a namesake cheese.” Outstanding.
9. Sheepish Grin: In my post on the new Ocooch Mountain cheese crafted by Brenda Jensen of Hidden Springs Creamery, alert Cheese Underground reader WineBibber picks up on my line of: “The Jensens milk 140 ewes and ‘have lost count’ of how many other sheep they raise, Brenda says with a grin.” WineBibber asks: “Did she say this with a sheepish grin?” Excellent. I’ve never met a pun I didn’t like. Keep em’ coming.
8. Best Cheese Shop in the UK: It’s always good to know that often times, readers don’t even need to actually read my posts to start their own conversations and arguments. My favorite case of this was my Sassy Cow Creamery post, in which I delightfully describe a new milk bottling operation, only to have the comments descend into an argument of what cheese shop the readers like best in England. What???? Something got lost in the translation on this one.
7. Cheese People: You have to give persistent people credit where credit is due, and my 2008 “Your persistence just paid off” award goes to the dude who created the “Cheese People” website, where every cheese is made into a personality. This fellow has been emailing me all year, with updates on his “cheese people,” and was very dutiful in randomly posting poems on my posts, such as his ode to “Spring by Charlie Cheshire,” which I guess somehow corresponds with my post on Red Barn Family Farms. Big sigh.
6. Better Butter: Turns out several of you share my fetish with butter, which is always a good thing. It’s never fun to be a freak by yourself. So a big thank you to alert Cheese Underground readers Cristie and Resident Cheesemonger, who rallied to my call for Better Butter. In good news, my new fridge has a secret drawer, all the better to hide the $8.75 pound/butter from my husband. 🙂
5. Swiss Mafia: I unwittingly unleashed a wave of fear amongst the cheese-eating world with my off-the-cuff reference to the Swiss Mafia of Green County in my English Hollow post. This one generated lots of emails asking if such an organization really exists (it does not – at least, I don’t think so), but my favorite comment was again by Resident Cheesemonger, who noted: “I’m a sucker for a good quality cheddar, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open for that one (assuming it ever makes it to my neck of the woods- Boston). Of course, if I’m buying this English Hollow cheese, should I be worried about the Swiss cheese mafia coming after me? ;-)” Be afraid, be very afraid.
4. Everyone Wants My Job: It’s good to be reminded every now and then that my job is awesome. Especially on those days when my non-cheese friends openly mock me for writing about cheese for a living. Many thanks to all alert Cheese Underground readers who shared their love on my Big Ed’s post. Feel free to mail any monetary donations my way. Just kidding. Not really.
3. Incubator Cheesemaker Bob Wills: Many thanks to all the cheesemakers who make my job really fun, especially my post on Bob Wills, which led to my first story assignment in the new Culture Magazine. Check out page 24 of the premier issue of Culture – now on newsstands – for a feature story on Mr. Bob. Better yet, if you’re still looking for last minute Christmas gifts, I’d highly recommend giving a subscription. The only thing better than eating cheese is reading about it, right? Wink, wink.
2. Cheese Wars: Only in Wisconsin, would a pound of artisan cheese be bet on a basketball game. Larry’s Market co-owner Steve Ehlers, got the last laugh, however, when Marquette beat UW-Madison, and Ken Monteleone of Fromagination shipped him a pound of Dunbarton Blue. Larry even sent me a photo of his sister, their friend Sara Hill, and the big man himself enjoying the new American Original crafted by Chris Roelli of Shullsburg. Watch this cheese, boys and girls … it’s going to be big. 
Insert virtual drum roll … and my favorite moment of 2008 was:
1. Hearing From Alert Readers Everywhere: During the past 12 months, I’ve gotten emails from everywhere between Dubai and the UK, giving me advice on cheese and asking for advice on where to get cheese. I dutifully try and respond to all requests for information and am continually flattered that you all think I may actually know what I’m talking about. Keep up the comments and I’ll keep up the writing. 
See you all in 2009!! Happy New Year!!!

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Cheese Moments of 2008

  1. Happy Holidays, New Year, and congrats on your article in Culture- I loved it. By the way, I’d be super happy if you’d join the Home Creamery event on my blog coming up in January. Merry Cheesing!

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