The magical, blissful world of fancy cheese is about to get even fancier, with a new exam making it possible to become a Certified Cheese Professional.
“It’s kind of like a sommelier, but for cheese,” explained the executive director of the American Cheese Society, the trade group responsible for the exam.
But before all you armchair foodies start scrambling over each other like, uh, mice at a cheese pile, this is no amateur’s game. To even be eligible to take the exam you need at a minimum of 4,000 hours of work experience under your belt plus related formal education.
Unsurprisingly, of the 150 people registered to take the exam, 81 of them are Whole Foods employees who have been enrolled in weekly “cheese-education sessions” for the past six months. The company also sponsored group field trips to Wisconsin in order to “access the great minds and leading professors of cheese.”
That seems, uh, pretty serious for a thing like a cheese test, though apparently we should have seen this coming, as cheese has recently ballooned into America’s largest “specialty food category.” I’d make fun of this as overblown foodie nonsense, but how can you stay mad at anyone who’s decided to dedicate their life to cheese?
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.