One of my flavor quirks is that I like stinky cheese. I like to be able to un-wrap cheese in the kitchen then turn my back and still be able to smell it. Whether it is blue, runny, ripe, etc., I love it. So, when I discovered that I am allergic to cow’s milk I was horrified—how was I going to eat my cheese? I am very thankful that sheep’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses are now readily available in the US, but very pricey and often very stinky.
I will not forget the day I walked up to the cheese counter in Whole Foods and told the attendant, “What do you have in stinky sheep and goat’s milk cheeses?” His eyes lit up, a Cheshire smile formed as he leaned down into the case to present the varieties of fragrant dainties he had to offer. He looked at me as if I was about to be initiated into a secret society and was about to test my mettle. He did not know that I had been a card carrying member of the Stinky Cheese Society for years, but you get more samples if you play the initiate. The samples were exquisite; it appeared that I had passed his initiation as he set aside my choices. The prices stretched skyward, but I chose two small slices to take home (one was coated with ash) and meditate over with fruit and nuts, because sometimes I just need to be alone with my cheese.
Sometimes I share. Yesterday, my wedding anniversary, my husband brought home something in just the right size and color, ½ lb of blue, Roquefort, to be exact. He also picked out a neutral beige slice of aged goat cheese buche to accessorize. The man knows how to shop in all the right places!! I pulled out the dried fruit and nuts and arranged them with the grapes he picked up on his way home and placed them on the table next to the candles. The goat cheese on dates with a pecan amalgamated into textures and flavors that produced sighs on two sides of the table. My daughter, sitting on the third side chose not to become a stinky cheese initiate, just yet. She may have spied a possessive glimmer in my eyes when I offered her some and decided not to take the risk. Tonight after we have put her to bed we will slice some pears and meditate together.