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Sit down with Jessica Beer—Cured Boulder‘s manager, cheesemonger, and specialty cheese buyer—and it’s immediately evident how passionate she is about coagulated milk (aka cheese). In fact, Beer began her career in fromage at the age of 15 at Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop in Philadelphia. She ended up liking the industry so much that she stayed on for seven years. After landing in Boulder four years ago, Beer began working for Whole Foods in the specialty cheese department, where she took her expertise to the next level and became a Certified Cheese Professional through the esteemed American Cheese Society. Three years ago, Will and Coral Frischkorn, owners of Cured, offered her the cheesemonger position. Beer is now responsible for curating Cured’s entire cheese selection. We caught up with Beer to talk about the changes she’s seen in her customers over the years.
(Read more stories from our Ask a Chef series)
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5280: Since you began working at Cured, do you think that the tastes of your typical customer have changed?
JB: I definitely think the typical cheese eater has changed. I think that we’re seeing a lot more young people interested in food in general, particularly specialty food and where food comes from. One of the really cool things about cheese—especially specialty cheese—is it tends to have a story behind it. Some European cheeses have been made for thousands of years in the same way, and have really deep, rich histories. With an Alpine cheese from Switzerland or France, communities revolved around the cheese and the production of it. It was the protein that sustained them through the winter, and also what they used for trade at the market. I think cheese is a great way to learn about where food comes from because it has a such a rich history. Also, it’s delicious and accessible.
Bonus: Cured just opened a second outpost, Cured West, in Boulder in November. Read all about it here.