Meeting in person with farmers and producers all over the world is a life journey for Cathy Strange, the global cheese buyer of Whole Foods, the US grocery chain known for offering gourmet food to a growing number of inquisitive American consumers.
“Describing my feelings about cheese is like describing my feelings about music or about the sun coming up. It’s part of who I am and lives with me,” Strange says in this video, posted by the supermarket chain, and which features images of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Italy, among others.
Strange says she doesn’t buy from farmers represented by distributors, but she goes and meet the producers to “understand how healthy the animals are, the richness of the feed the animals eat every day, and how it translates into high quality cheese.”
Sales of cheese in the US are expected to rise as quality-conscious consumers know more and more of artisanal, handcrafted and small batch food, according to Euromonitor. This trend is an opportunity for regional cheese makers in Italy willing to enter the US market and perhaps invite an American buyer at their table.