Lovers of inspired cheese labeling were dismayed over the weekend when Passive Aggressive Notes posted a cheese label from quotable Westside Market cheesemonger Peter "The Dr." Daniels, revealing that "due to one persons constant complaints" he would not longer be adorning his fromage with verse. Unable to sit idly by when another of New York City's precious treasures folded under the weight of conformity, we called Daniels at work to get the story behind the Silence of the Cheese, and discovered the prognosis was not so dire after all.
Here's the story: It appears that one
uptight lactophobe customer "took umbrage" with a quote on a block of provolone and faxed the Chelsea store—where Daniels has been adorning cheese labels with song lyrics for the past seven years!—asking whether the store was "becoming an Evangelical establishment." The quote in question? Some Nostradamus via Thin Lizzy:
Who prophesied that in the late twentieth century
an angel of death shall waste this land
a holocaust the likes of which
this planet had never seen.
The store capitulated and Daniels was temporarily forced to shutdown his operation. Daniels told us today, however, that he and the store have reached a sort of compromise. "I just have to keep it a little on the mellow side for now and not try to be so preachy," Daniels explained. "But I don't think I was doing that at all. I'm just trying to give people something to read."
For now Daniels will be able to continue his quoting quest—at least until the store buys new scales, which he says may happen sometime in the future. To his alleged detractors, Daniels tells them to "[not] read it or just disagree with it, but you shouldn't have the right to force your opinions on somebody else just because you don't agree with them." So go back and enjoy some Beatles with your brie or Shakespeare with your Swiss, just don't expect to see many more 16th century French prophecy/heavy metal references in the cheese aisle. [Via Grub Street]