The love affair wasn’t planned, but then I suppose they never are.
We met in a public place, there was instant attraction and I couldn’t resist making frequent contact. Was it wrong of me? True, things did get a little messy but it was only when they got a bit smelly that my husband finally intervened:
“How can you eat that stuff?”
I was disappointed that he didn’t have the same reaction to smelly cheese as I did. For me it was a full body experience, just a whiff of those pungent odours and I was plunged into an abyss of salivating animal desire. My husband chose to stay at a safe nose distance.
Now, which one smells the best (worst)? The chèvre?...oui...the Reblochon?...oui!...the Pont L’Evêque?...oooh là là! The Camembert might be a bit runny but I don't care, hand it over with all speed!
I think the moment of love started in a supermarket. A supermarket with a cheese aisle one kilometre long. I was catatonic. Where do I sign? There’s got to be a way into this club. The odours wafted carelessly about, they knew they were good and they knew they’d found a fan. Four hundred different varieties. I started cautiously (three different cheeses should be good), then I became reckless (fill up that fridge, this stuff is incredible!), then I was cautious again (er, let’s go back to three now). In reality when you’re a member of a club like this you need to pace yourself.
“What’s the blue stuff mummy?”
How could I reduce the explanation, albeit the truth, to mere copper wires and edible bacteria? But I did, and the children’s reaction (yuk!) showed that I had betrayed mon cher Roquefort. But Roquefort is much more than an ascerbic, germ-infested milk product and we need to remember that when amongst French company; there is an aura of pride surrounding this one in particular, a type of holiness. Who else, really, in the world eats a cheese like this? It not only sets French people apart, it defines them. It’s a club, actually, “Roquefort et al”, and I’m in it.
So, where do we go from here? I am still a fan, still infatuated and still a member of the club...but long-distance affairs are tricky and the fact that 17,000 kilometres separates my teeth from a room-temperature round of Brie is somewhat disconcerting, and somehow, in this instance, Skype is no comfort : (
published 31 March 2012