Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cheese Paralysis

Cheese Selection - Too Much?
We went to a local supermarket, a Town & Country Market called Ballard Market, today to get a few things we could not find at the local farmer’s market. In particular we wanted to get a scamorza cheese for a recipe called “rosa senza spine” (rose without spines). What struck me about the cheese selection in this market was the sheer number of choices, 200+ we counted. (Of course, we were looking for a very specific cheese ourselves – helping out the demand-side of the equation.) What we almost wanted was a dozen choices and someone to walk us through them – a curated experience if you will. It seemed like more choice was paralyzing in this (cheese) case. (To do: watch Barry Schwartz video about choice on TED.) Of course if there were just a dozen cheeses, they would not have the particular cheese we were looking for unless we were in the particular region that produces it, but then again we wouldn’t be making this particular recipe? I wonder about the feedback loop of availability and what people cook.

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