Of Cheese and Crocodile’s Tears

Yesterday: Sampling decadent artisan cheeses, offered by a friendly cheesemonger in a crisp white uniform, in a clean bright shop that could be straight out of Paris.

Eleven years ago on the very same spot: Abandoned by a callous ex in front of the Fifth Column, I desperately begged a cabbie to take me back to Brookland even though I didn’t have enough cash to pay him. All the while being serenaded by a lurking crack addict.

Surreal just about covers it.

Cowgirl Creamery is at 919 F Street, NW, on a block that once housed nightclubs, porn shops, and sketchy characters. Now it has nightclubs, fancy hotels, and condo construction – ah, the power of revitalization to remake memories. In any case, I highly recommend a stop here for cheese lovers of all kinds -blue, creamy, smelly, goat, sheep, cow. Whatever direction your fromage-o-meter tilts you can get it here, presided over by an extremely knowledgeable and congenial staff. Bread is delivered from Breadline every Thursday, and there’s plenty of additional accompaniments like honey and preserves to make a killer party assortment.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs
Of the three cheeses I tried, the most intriguing was shaped like an oversized Hershey’s Kiss and covered with various brightly colored molds. In the eyes of fromage freaks like myself, that means gold. The name – Crocodile’s Tear – sealed the deal. Though I also tried sheep’s milk camembert and some goat cheese, the Tear was definitely my favorite that day. I don’t have the proper vocabulary those lovely cheesemongers were spouting like wine sommeliers, but to me it seemed delicately chalky, dense, rich, divine.

Now, artisan cheeses aren’t on the low end. These are delicious ounces of handmade food art, not Kraft American Slices. So be prepared and don’t go into sticker shock. It’s worth it for a special occasion or any time you need a high-quality dairy infusion, and the small sizes sold encourage you not to go too overboard on fat calories. A little indulgence is all you need.

And yes, eleven years ago, that cabbie took me back to Brookland, gratis. He took pity on the broken-hearted, teary-eyed fool that I was. Even that scary crack addict was just trying to cheer me up. Sometimes, with life as with cheese, a crusty outside hides a beautiful interior.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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