I know a little about cheese, as in I know what I like, but I’ve learned my knowledge of cheese is superficial in the extreme. I can name several cheeses off the top of my head: cheddar, Swiss, emmental, gruyere, Roquefort, parmesan, gouda, Manchego, stilton, camembert. But I had no idea a database of cheeses available online (at cheese.com) contains 1777 different cheeses. According to the online database, cheese are classified (according to one scheme) by type: fresh soft; fresh firm; soft; semi-soft; semi-hard; hard; semi-firm; and firm. I knew that experts often differentiate cheeses from one another by descriptions of their texture, but I did not know there are so many categories of texture:
Inasmuch as the complexity of the numbers, types, textures, flavors, ingredients, and processes by which cheeses are made are so great, I do not expect to become a cheese expert. But I now have a sense of how much I would have to learn to earn that title.
Now that I’ve come across this tiny fragment of new knowledge, I believe I can use it either as fodder for stories I might write or, with a bit more exploration as required, as information to make my stories more life-like.