Title

Consuming $30-a-pound cheese: The role of the retail cheesemonger as CICERONE

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Advances in Consumer Research

Publication Date

12-1-2008

Abstract

To get artisan cheese from producer to consumer requires a uniquely different channel than for most agricultural products, with a cheesemonger playing a central role. Artisan cheese making, distribution and sale in the northeastern United States are both sufficiently established and rich in regional variation to support examining the cheesemonger/cheese consumer interaction. Through traditional qualitative methods of observation, interview, and immersion, we identify and document the important rituals that accompany the cheese buying process. We explain the pivotal roles of narrative and story and of store atmospherics and staging to the process of making meaning in the cheesemaker to cheesemonger to cheese consumer channel. "What we need," a woman said, "is more skilled cheesemongers." Adam Gopnik, 1990 American Cheese Society Meeting, NYC.

Volume

35

First Page

304

Last Page

310

ISSN

00989258

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