Friday Afternoon Cheese Time (FACT)

What It Is

Me or one of my colleagues bring three fancy cheeses unified by some underlying theme for others to sample alongside bread (often homemade by "The Bouldering Baker" AKA Wren Suess) on Friday afteroons. The event is open to faculty, staff, students, post-docs, and anyone else who happens to be at the building. Although the primary goal of FACT is to expand the departmental exposure to the world of cultured dairy products, it also serves as casual way for all of us to socially interact at the end of the week.

How it started

After weeks of me coming to the office talking about great cheeses I had bought at Cheeseboard, Chris White decided to do something about it. One Friday he brought four goudas (two cows, one goat, one sheep) for everyone to try and coined the name "Friday Afternoon Cheese Time." After the enthusiastic response from the department, Chris, myself, and Drummond Fielding decided to make it a semi-regular event: about once every two weeks one of us would bring a themed selection of cheeses. Unfortunately, all three of us have now left Berkeley but Kareem El-Badry stepped up to the plate and took over.

Chronicle of Emails

Listed below are all the FACTs that I have hosted along with a copy of the email sent to announce them. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of all FACTs, just the ones I have hosted. As you can see, after the first couple of emails I started to have a bit of fun with them and took it as an opportunity to explore (hopefully) humorous writing. Most of these were sent under pseudonyms: either "Caseous Clay" or "Käse Söze," while the collective name of our group has varied from "Le Fromage à Trois" to "Les Frères de Gruyère" to "Les Élèves de Chevre" to "The Brie Madonna" to "The Gouda Shepherd" to "Non-Ideal MHCheese."
Date: March 27, 2020
Theme: Resurrecting (De-Flattening) The Curve
Cheeses: Blu di Bufala, Crozier Blue, St. Agur
Date: August 23, 2019
Theme: The End Of The Beginning
Cheeses: Grayson, Grazin' Girl, Gruyère

Date: May 3, 2019
Theme: Scooped
Cheeses: Toma Della Rocca, Rocchetta, Blueberry Laychee

Date: March 15, 2019
Theme: A Portrait Of The Havartist As A Young Man (Post-Modern Cheese)
Cheeses: Challerhocker, Majorero, Muenster-géromé

Date: March 1, 2019
Theme: To Brie or Not To Brie
Cheeses: Brie Fermier, Flory's Truckle, Parmesan-Reggiano

Date: January 18, 2019
Theme: Make America Grate Again
Cheeses: Red Rock, Oma, Ashbrook
"Hype" Flyers (posted throughout astronomy building during the previous week)
Date: November 26, 2018
Theme: Hay Ja
Cheeses: Tegernseer Bergkas Alt, Wallberger, Leonhard
Date: September 14, 2018
Theme: Rind Over Matter
Cheeses: Cazillou Dôme, Ossau Iraty, Soumaintrain
Date: August 24, 2018
Theme: The Beginning of The End
Cheeses: Twig Farm Tomme, Tête de Moines, Taleggio, Ticklemore
Date: June 12, 2018
Theme: The French Connection
Cheeses: Jeune Autize, Fleur de Maquis, Comte
Date: May 18, 2018
Theme: The Good Shepherd (The Gospel of Cheese)
Cheeses: Brebisdoux, Amanteigado, Summer Snow
Date: April 20, 2018
Theme: The Stink
Cheeses: Époisses, Muenster-géromé, Limberger
"Hype" Email (impersonating the department coordinator)
Date: March 16, 2018
Theme: Cheese of Innocence and of Experience
Cheeses: Pecorino Toscano (Young), Pecorino Toscano (Old), Asiago Fresco, Aged Asiago
Date: February 9, 2018
Theme: Affirmative (F)ACTion
Cheeses: Chiriboga, Wrangeback, Paski Sir, Philadelphia cream cheese (see email)
Date: December 1, 2017
Theme: Mold and Gold
Cheeses: Dunbarton Blue, Blanc Blue, Mimolette
Date: October 27, 2017
Theme: Saints And Sinners
Cheeses: Red Witch, Saint Nectaire, La Dama Sagrada
Date: September 29, 2017
Theme: Orwellian Cheese
Cheeses: Wensleydale, Blue Stilton, Cheshire
Date: August 17, 2017
Theme: Soft Italian Cheeses
Cheeses: Brescianella Stagionata, Bergamino, Camembert Dell'alta Langa