It was over seven years ago when we first discovered that the Chelsea's Westside Market cheesemonger was printing his labels with unexpected little messages—lines from famous books, song lyrics, and even religious references. Soon after we found out the man behind the labels was Peter "The Doctor" Daniels, who told us that the extra space on the label was being wasted on descriptions no one would read—"I thought I would put something else that people could be inspired by." Delightful.
The labels had received positive feedback—who doesn't want a Springsteen lyric on their slab of Taleggio?—though Daniels was worried that his creative outlet would soon be gone. "They have plans to get new scales but those scales don't leave enough room," he told Gothamist at the time, though he planned to try to hang on to one of the old ones. Daniels's labels disappeared for a little while, however—possibly due to the new scale, possibly due to complaints—and the cheese section was a little less whimsical. But the Doctor is back in, baby... and things have gotten a little dark. Listen, a lot has happened since 2012.
Hampton Catlin sent us the above photo this weekend, showing some fresh mozz with a label that came with this message (or Thin Lizzy lyric?): "IT WAS PROFISIZED [sic] IN THE LATE 20th CENTURY. AN Angel OF DEATH SHALL WASTE THIS PLACE. NOW I ASK YOU DO YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE?....THE DOCTOR."
Catlin did not read the label until arriving home with his groceries. He says he decided the cursed cheese was not for him, and tried to exchange it when he returned to the store a week later.
"The weirdest part was that when I came in to exchange it for a non-threatening cheese, the manager totally blew me off! She said it was normal and just to eat the cheese," Catlin told Gothamist. (It should be noted that Westside Market's exchange policy has a 24 hour window.) On Yelp, he wrote, "We laughed about it... awkwardly... and put [the cheese] back in the fridge to exchange it the following weekend." He then vowed to hit up Fairway or Trader Joe's in the future, where cheese does not come with questions about the end of days.
And now, the twist. We called Westside Market and a manager told us that Daniels no longer works at the store. When we asked about this label, we were told, "Maybe he left a poem." Daniels, if you're out there, we'd love to hear from you.