Whole Foods is completely spoiling me with its cheese department. Having a European husband set this course of events in motion, but really it’s my incredible proximity to Whole Foods since we moved that has pushed me over the edge.

I have always been a cheese lover, but I didn’t realize how much more cheese I’ve learned to love until last night. I was at the deli counter at Whole Foods when a woman came up and asked for “half a pound of white American.” Various possible comments on this statement aside, I found myself regarding her with complete and total contempt. Who goes to Whole Foods and buys the most boring cheese of all, American?

Folks, there was a time more recent than I care to admit when I lived and breathed for American cheese. White American cheese, just like this woman. Aside from assorted pizza- and pasta-related cheeses, white American was the staple of my cheese existence. As a child, my brother got me hooked on the stuff when we would go to the local Italian meat shop for sandwiches (turkey and white American on a round roll, please). I happily snacked on it through college. I even had whole conversations with Adam about “real” cheese versus my beloved American. Yes, I acknowledged that others were good. They just weren’t good enough.

And yesterday, I stuck my nose in the air at this woman while I waited for my prosciutto to get sliced. I don’t even recognize myself anymore!

When did this happen?! When did nutty Robusto, glorious and creamy Fontina, Havarti, and luscious Asiago replace processed American? When did I become a food snob? Is this what it means to be a grown up? I have so many questions. Then the woman said her kids wanted cheese on their burgers, like she knew this was a huge travesty in the middle of the greatest cheese department ever handed down to Americans, and I instantly forgave her. Of course the kids would want white American. But why don’t I?

This is a food crisis that has become incredibly defined since I turned 29 in February. Almost everything I cook has started getting more sophisticated. My cookbook collection used to be Rachael Ray and whatever I found in the bargain bin at The Strand. Now I race to buy The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper and devour recipes I find on blogs. Whole Foods is feeding this habit with its gorgeous ingredients.

A few years back I mercilessly teased Adam when he turned 30 and suddenly put the speaker covers back on so you couldn’t see the woofers and started buying button down Oxfords instead of pithy t-shirts. The transformation into full-on grown up happened overnight with him. Mine appears to be a yearlong extravaganza where everything I held dear in my early- to mid-twenties is replaced with the grown up versions. I don’t watch nearly as much Spongebob Squarepants, malls make me feel claustrophobic, and now I frown at American cheese. Whatever other changes are in store for the next 8 months, they’d better be delicious.