PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There's a brand new, first-of-its-kind classroom in Philadelphia where the main subject on the curriculum is cheese.
Action News spent the morning at Philly Cheese School in South Philadelphia, where you learn the ABCs of pairing, serving and enjoying cheese.
Founder Julia Birnbaum calls herself an "indulgence advocate."
During the pandemic, the former manager of the Di Bruno Bros' Rittenhouse cheese counter started doing online cheese classes.
Two weeks ago, the Merion Station native opened her very first brick-and-mortar location in Bella Vista.
From classes to events to celebrations, cheese is absolutely the star of this brand new LGBTQ+ and woman-owned business.
"I am a cheese lover, but I'm also what we call a cheesemonger," Birnbaum says. "In my classes, we talk through a plate of stunning cheeses. I highlight some of my favorite ones. There are normal, standard classes where we taste some cheeses, and then some more weird ones like pairing cheese with cookies, candy, cereal, all sorts of weird stuff."
But Birnbaum says her space is all about sharing your cheese feelings. Here, you get a little cheese therapy, making peace with varieties you may have had issues with in the past, like the "blue" family of cheeses.
"I actually had a class last week where somebody was like, 'I'm scared of this,'" Birnbaum recalls. "I said, 'Let's try it. Let me take your hand and it's going to be okay.' We tried it and she loved it."
You can attend one of Birnbaum's classes, or book private events of your own.
Philly Cheese School is also a BYO, so bring anything you'd like to pair with the cheese!