Trust Your Taste 008

Chällerhocker and Being High Maintenance

Cheese ~ Storytelling ~ Authenticity ~ Creativity

Happy Fall! Which is to say- Happy When Harry Met Sally Season! Here’s something tasty, something true, and some musings on food in storytelling to ponder over your favorite treat to start the week.

Something Tasty: A cheese pairing to try


The stats: Raw Cow’s Milk ~ Swiss ~ Alpine ~ 10 Months minimum age ~ Made by Walter Rass

Chällerhocker! A cult classic. A cheesemonger favorite. An absolute delight. If you haven’t had it- you’re in for a treat.

Instead of a collage this week, I thought I’d feature a photo from my upcoming book I’ll Have What Cheese Having: Cheese Pairings Inspired by Romantic Comedies.

This photo is inspired by- you guessed it- When Harry Met Sally!

This photo was a collaborative JOY with two of my favorite multi-hyphenate creatives Madison Trapkin (stylist) and Nick Surette (photographer).

More to come about this book soon!

…and keep reading for more about the movie…

I paired Chällerhocker with pastrami, mustard, and gherkins as a deconstructed pastrami sandwich- an ode to the legendairy scene in Katz’s Delicatessen (yes I did use pastrami from Katz’s for this- how could you not?). The Chällerhocker is in place of your average sliced swiss cheese.

This cheese is Swiss- but it is anything but average. Chällerhocker roughly translates to “sitting in a celler” where the rind is washed and left to age.

The cheese is known for having a very well-loved yet particularly creepy label. Check it out.

It also pairs really well with almost any fruit preserve or jam. Try it on a cheeseboard for your Chällerween party! It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.

Something True: A truth about myself

High Maintenance?

Here’s the truth.

I have always struggled with asking for what I want or need.

It comes from a long list of complex people pleasing behaviors, but the long and short of it is I’ve lived most of my life with the ultimate goal being:

Make everyone’s life easier and at the very least- never be a bother.

There are so many everyday things to be dealt with in life- annoyances, inconveniences, complications, and headaches. And my worst fear was being any of those to anyone.

The problem is, I conflated the idea of having a voice or opinions or needs at all with “being needy” and “difficult” and “high maintenance”.

High maintenance is something that comes up a lot in When Harry Met Sally. Sally is labeled as the high maintenance one, and Harry is (supposedly) low maintenance.

Growing up I identified way more with Harry- I thought Sally was so difficult and annoying especially when ordering food.

But the more I grow (in age and insight) I’ve realized that was me being SO uncomfortable that Sally knew what she liked and wanted, and wasn’t afraid to ask for it. And I was a bit jealous.

Do you find it difficult to figure out or vocalize what you do and don’t like?

Asking for what you want is just that-asking. There is no guarantee that request will be met.

I’ve found where people become entitled and fussy is in response to whether or not their request is met- not in the actual act of asking.

Because asking with expectation can be demanding. I’ve worked in food service so obviously there is a line- intention and tone are everything, and it’s easy to be nice when you’re ordering food at a restaurant. So please be kind.

But is it high maintenance or being “too much” to just ask for what you want? Or to make your needs known?

I say nay… even if it still makes me uncomfortable sometimes.

But I’m getting better.

Farm to Fable: How food shows up in storytelling 

Katz’s Deli in When Harry Met Sally

This is a great example of a movie making a food institution famous. Let’s be clear- Katz’s Deli was legend wayyyy before this movie came out (it’s been around since the 1800’s). But because one of the most iconic scenes in the movie- and maybe in film history- takes place here, it’s hard to ignore.

HOWEVER- I’d say this is an even better example of how food orders are used as character development. A quick, succinct way of telling us a whole lot about a character without saying anything else.

I’m sure you’ve made a judgement about a person based on how they take their coffee, or their go-to In N’ Out order (if you’re from California). This- as a storytelling device- works with our natural impulse to do that.

What would your ordering style convey about you as a character to an audience?….


Till next time,


P.S. - Sunday Scaries (I know this week was delayed- tech problems- VERY scary!)

A terrifying AI image to help us all rest knowing AI bots could never replace a real human artist:

This week I kept it simple. The prompt was “The deli scene in When Harry Met Sally” ……so…I don’t know.

Why are there so many oranges? Are those oranges? I would love for anyone to tell me what any of this food is supposed to be.