How Cheesy Is This?

May 15, 2012 § Leave a comment


I decided to go through my emails and look for some direction to take TLATOAAF (don’t worry, I won’t be using that acronym: It took to long for me to figure out!), and I did a search on the word “pitch.”

Yikes again! There were a lot of oldies, but goodies—and oldies, but baddies, too. One baddie, in particular, stood out. I’m actually laughing about it now, but at the time, I was pretty serious about it.

So one month a couple of years back, I decided to send out a different pitch to a different magazine every day. That’s a lot of ideas to generate and markets to target. Well, one of the magazines I decided to send a query to was a publication centered around cheese.

Yup, cheese.

They were looking for personal essays around cheese and here’s what I sent along. I’ll get right to the pitch, leaving out names:

Whether it’s not liking condiments to still wanting the crusts removed from your sandwich, even as an adult, everyone has their “food issues.” Mine might be a little extreme, though, and mainly have to do around temperatures and preparation. For example, I can eat a sandwich cold, but the bread has to have been toasted and the meat has to have been pan-fried. It defies logic, but it works for me!

This has always presented a problem when it came to cheese because while I enjoy the flavors of many varieties, there was only one way I would eat it: melted. Naturally, this left me in a bad situation when it came to going to art openings or at parties where a cheese tray was out before dinner.

That changed for me when my girlfirend at the time and I went to another couple’s home for dinner and after having turned up my nose at the cutting board before me for years, I decided to take the plunge. I went into it strategically, though: I would only reach for the hard offering, which in this instance was aged manchego, and defied the melted-only logic as there was no way I was going to eat cheese that was soft and wasn’t piping hot! It actually became a story of love at first bite, and the following weekend I was at Murray’s Cheese Market in Grand Central Terminal in New York City stocking up on it and other hard selections.

What I propose writing for the Ruminations section of the magazine is a look at how I changed my way of thinking by adopting a “firm” stance: If the cheese is firm, semi-firm or hard, I’m more likely to try it. I would also give details on the night I decided to change my ways, and how I’m more likely to experiment with different offerings. Still no soft cheese for me though! (Unless it’s hot; you can’t change everything in one fell swoop!)

I’m a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, who has written for America Online, Time Out New York Kids and The New York Times blog, the Local, among others. I used to write a regular feature for Clinton Hill Blog called “Lunchtime With Tillie,” where I’d take my infant/toddler daughter to restaurants in the neighborhood, detailing the experience and exposing her to all types of food so she hopefully won’t develop any of the issues I have!

And scene.

Man, that was a long one—and kind of out there. Funny thing, I actually heard back from the magazine editor and she said she was booked up for the next few issues, but get back to her again soon. I never did: I guess like Swiss cheese, I saw a lot of holes in the pitch.

Ba-dum-dum. (cymbal smash).


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