Naturally, it didn’t go as planned. I had hoped to get to the Tucker Square Farmers Market last Saturday, but it didn’t work out. This week I had two reasons to get down there: one – the farmers market (OK, I looked up the apostrophe rule for farmers market, and it depends on who you follow; AP Style guide says no, but the Chicago Manual of Style says yes, so I’m covered either way. I’ll try not to mix styles on the same day), and two – I wanted to stop at a Verizon store to see if there was anything I could do about using my phone to get WiFi for my laptop.
It was a simple plan: the market was at the 66th Street stop on the 1 train, and Verizon was at the 72nd Street stop. Easy peasy – hop off at 72nd go to Verizon, then walk to the market which was less than half a mile away. I got off at 72nd, and looked up and down Broadway for the Verizon store, but didn’t see it, which was weird, because, you know, they are pretty obvious. So, back to Google – “verizon near me”. Results: “0.5 miles away”, near 79th Street, the next uptown stop. Hmmm… that seemed like an unusual mistake for me to make, especially since I was in this area and at this stop last week, so 72nd stuck in my head when I first saw that’s where I was headed. I took one last look around before I set off toward 79th, and then spotted it across the street behind me – a tiny store from with a Verizon logo on it – a Verizon reseller. Not what I needed. More confident that I actually needed to go back uptown, I set off on foot and arrived about ten minutes later. I looked in, and thought “That’s a lot of people.” I checked the time – 3:50. The market would be closing in about an hour, and since they’d been there all day, vendors would be packing up, having sold out or just trying to get a jump on reloading their trucks. No way was I going to make it if I stayed at Verizon. I checked Verizon’s hours – open until 8. New plan: go to the market first, then come back. I hopped back on the 1 train for two stops so I could get to the market as soon as possible.
It was a good choice – many stands were already packing up. First stop – Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse – as I told you I am stalking them. Here’s how that went. I walked up to the stand, and noted two separate cheese domes. One had several respectable looking cheeses – a couple of tall, whitish, cylindrical wheels and few more short, blocky remnants each with that white and pale tan dappled patina that says “real cheese”. Oh, baby. The other dome, had only two cheeses in it – clearly the feral cheeses; they don’t play well with others. The first I recognized immediately as about a half a wheel of Drumm, the cheese I had last week. It was sitting back behind the cutting board under the dome. It had probably been given a time out. The other was about a quarter pound of a darker, sinister looking cheese, all lumpy and irregular, with a brown grey coating. It was a thinner cheese than the others, with only the merest tranche of pale buttery yellow running through the center. The cheese quickly becomes a deeper, richer, more introspective, yellow as you near the rind. “I know Drumm, but what’s that other one?” “Oh, Baudolino. Would you like to sample them?” “Nope. I’ll just buy what you have left of it.”
Now, of course, for you my friends, I have researched Baudolino cheese. At first, I came up empty – no description on their site. I looked further – scanning down the page of search results. One immediately caught my eye: http://madamefromageblog.com/tag/baudolino/ I don’t usually put the links in plain text, but had to this time. Just look at that site name: “Madame Fromage”. I fell in love even before I felt the recoil of the mouse button under my finger. I knew instinctively that food porn lay under the guise of a blog, and I was not mistaken. From her description of Bobolink Dairy (She’s been there. I was invited out there today by the vendor. I’m going to have to find a whey. Ha ha ha. I crack myself up.): “whimsical gourmands who produce peasanty cheeses with dragon-ish rinds”. Here’s her description of Baudolino: “A Brie gone wild; it tastes like a washed-rind in drag.” I told you. Food porn. From her “About” page, I learned that she teaches writing and has a thing for cheese. There are some real weirdos out there, folks.
Then I saw this lonely looking little block of cheese in the “safe” cheese dome, so I got that, too: cave-ripened cheddar. The vendor asked if I needed some bread, and there was a quarter wood-fired Rustic Loaf, so I got that. They said next time I could try the medieval rye levain, so I got some of that, too – all for less than the price of an entree at moderately priced restaurant. I got some tart cherries, apples, and some cider at other booths. There were a couple of open tables in the midst of the market, so I and sat down with the sun whispering through the leaves, a gentle breeze keeping me company, broke out the bread, cider and cheese and made myself a mini-feast.
I should just stop here. Eventually, I made it back to Verizon, and got what I needed. I could write about that, but I have the memory of a fine meal in my mouth, so I’ll leave that other story untold.