The Truffle's Rob Lawler on Spam musubi, brains, glutards and his favorite cheese
Favorite food from your childhood: My mom is a great cook. She and my dad lived in Turkey before I was born, and she used to roll her own phyllo when I was a kid, long before you could buy it in stores. Seriously, can you imagine doing that? One of my favorite dishes she makes is a lamb- and rice-stuffed eggplant with lots of parsley and lemon. You only get it about once a year, when the eggplants are about the size of her fist.
Favorite cheese in your store: My mom comes from a family of farmers in Putney, Vermont, right near Grafton, so they always had a chunk of Grafton cheese on the counter. They used to get it from a little shed by the side of the road with a cash box and hunks of cheese on a shelf. That still tastes like home to me. But I also love hoch ybrig, abbaye du belloc, Anton's rot leibe, and shepherd's halo from Fruition Farms. We rarely sell anything we don't like -- and we certainly never reorder the cheeses that we don't.
Guiltiest food pleasure: Raw cookie dough. Doesn't matter if it's oatmeal, peanut butter, shortbread or chocolate chip; I like the dough better than the cookies, which drives Karin nuts for some reason.
Weirdest customer request: To make something without wheat in it. I mean, really. It was fine for 10,000 years' worth of your ancestors, but not you? Glutard.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten: I accidentally swallowed a horsefly while on a run in the woods. We don't get them in Colorado, which is fantastic, because they're not good.
What's one thing about you or your store that people would be surprised to know? The Truffle has been here since 2001, and yet we still get two or three people a week who think the shop just opened.