60 years of slinging cheese at Montgomery County fair

Ed Hogan has been making grilled cheese sandwiches at the Montgomery County fair for 60 years. Starting this weekend, he\'ll be going for a fair record. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

GAITHERSBURG, Md. – They call him “The Big Cheese,” and not just because he’s the boss of his own cheese stand.

“We get it in 500 pound wheels,” says Ed Hogan. “It’s heavy enough that it takes usually three to four people to roll it around. We use a fork lift to unload it.”

Hogan is celebrating 60 years of business at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.

Hogan first started selling blocks of cheese at the fair in 1953, and he has been in charge for over a decade.

This time around, he wants to set a fair record, selling 10,000 grilled cheese sandwiches.

“Last year we sold 8,400,” says Hogan. “We usually go through about two tons of cheese.”

For every minute that passed at the 2012 fair, Hogan’s stand sold one grilled cheese sandwich.

He can cook 20 at once.

Those are impressive figures, but he and his staff will have to surpass that this year to break the record.

“We really have to be able to turn out more than one a minute,” he says.

The fair starts Friday and runs through next week in Gaithersburg.

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