Amish Market Etiquette

I was sternly reprimanded by a customer at the Amish Market last Saturday, and I probably deserved it . . . but you would have done the same thing, I swear; my wife and I were trying to browse Beiler Dairy Farm's selection of delicious fresh cheeses, but the boys were running amok and I was a little hung-over and not thinking totally straight, and there were all these little sample containers full of cubes of different kinds of cheese-- farm cheese, smoked Gouda, goat's milk cheese, and horseradish cheddar . . . and when I read the words "horseradish cheddar," naturally, without thinking, I reached out and grabbed a cube and popped it in my mouth, and then went back to tending to my kids, but an older guy behind me noticed my breach of etiquette and said, "That's what the toothpicks are for!" and grunted and stomped off, and after a bit of looking, Catherine and I found the toothpicks, intended for spearing cheese cubes, but they were NOT prominently displayed and Catherine said that the last time she was there she grabbed a couple cubes for the kids with her fingers, so I'm thinking the proponent of toothpicks over-reacted a bit-- it's not like I double dipped a chip . . . and anyway, if you're eating any kind of publicly displayed sample food, you're playing Russian roulette with your immune system and you should know that and accept it.

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