Remember this post? It was a few years back and It recounts a time when I was lucky enough to sit next to a salesman for Caines mayonnaise. Well, on my flight to Columbus, Ohio yesterday I did just as well. I sat next to a salesman for Sargento Cheese.
I learned so much about the cheese industry! Did you know that parmesan and Romano cheeses typically age about ten months? This creates a delayed system of supply and demand. Also, shredded cheese has to have an additive so that it doesn’t gum up during the shredding process. This is usually a starch but sometimes a chemical byproduct from the milk process. Unfortunately for the cheese manufacturers, the byproduct is considered a preservative, so vendors like whole foods refuse to purchase the cheese. Cheese manufacturing? Mostly domestic. Biggest challenge to the cheese industry at the moment? Block unit pricing has gone up substantially. Keep an eye out for rising cheese prices.
I asked my cheesy friend what his comments were on Connecticut’s cheese industry. Apparently there’s a Pepridge farms location in CT. Perhaps I will seek it out and try to to get a tour.
Overall, it was a really great conversation. Cheese is fascinating!