Are you afraid of cheese? My editor posed the question in light his experiences at Scardello, the gourmet cheese shop in Oak Lawn. Certainly to an enthusiast, a veritable treasure trove of flavors wait to be discovered inside the cheese counter. But to the uninitiated, a cheese case can look like an overwhelming (and very expensive) minefield of mold and milk fat.
Terms like affinage confuse, creatures like cheese mites frighten, and the USDA repeatedly reminds us if we so much as smell raw milk, we'll likely die. It's no wonder some customers can feel intimidated when they walk into a cheese shop, which is a shame because there's really only one simple question you need to ask when trying to choose a cheese: "Does this taste good to me?"
From there you want to make sure you get a few different types of cheeses, from mild bries, to sharp cheddars, to funky blues. Thinking in terms of texture and choosing hard and soft cheeses will help you to put together a well-rounded cheese experience too.