Scardello Aims to Determine the Cheese Champion of the World
Just as most basketball fans didn't pay much heed to UNC Asheville before the Bulldogs stomped Arkansas-Little Rock in overtime last night, Scardello Cheese owner Rich Rogers hopes his shop's second annual cheese bracket will bring attention to overlooked cheese regions.
"This will be a good way to kick it off," Rogers says of tonight's match-up.
The competition series unfolds over seven weeks, with participants paying $25 for each blind tasting session. Upcoming matches include "East Coast vs. Mid-U.S.", "West Coast vs. British Isles" and "Spain vs. Switzerland." Since there's no fair way to seed the competitors, the couplings are chosen randomly.
To choose a winner, participants sample five pairs of cheeses. The region which wins the most pairs moves on to the next round.
"What I like about this is it changes people's perspectives," Rogers says. When the cheeses are revealed, "there's usually a lot of gasping in the room."
Last year, West Coast cheeses upset Italian cheeses.
"People were shocked," Rogers says.
Tonight's class is already overbooked, but Scardello's added a second France vs. Italy session on Friday.
"It's a lot of fun," Rogers says. "It's one class where if it was possible for me attend, I would."