Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crazy Cheese

The tale of the Crazy Cheese requires two bits of background information. First, that my family has gone to the Reading Terminal Market every Saturday morning since before I was born. The implications of this could be a whole other post. Secondly, that my mother and I love really pungent cheese. There are two cheese shops that we frequent at the Terminal and the owners and staff of both are always on the lookout for the most unusual, stinky, gooey cheeses for us. Occasionally, this means we get cheese a day or two over their expiration date. For a lot of aged soft cheeses or already-moldy cheeses this just means that they are extra ripe.

So when the owner at our favorite shop said he had some Saint Maure de Touraine that was a little extra aged we jumped at the opportunity. "It's very strong," he warned. But years of eating the weirdest goat, sheep, and cow milk cheese they had to offer left us eager for a new adventure. He gave it to us wrapped up in a plastic container...

We pulled the cheese out as soon as we got home and delicately unwrapped. The smell hit us before we saw it. Now, like I said, I love strong stinky cheese, so to compare this scent to extra strong extra stinky cheese does not do it justice. True, it smelled like cheese. Cheese that had been left to rot in the hot sun on a humid day. Days later, after we had relegated it to the back of the fridge, you could smell the cheese as you approached the kitchen. It looked like a brain. Bluish green and wrinkly. Not the thick, obvious mold of blue cheese, this was more a general sickly tint. On that first day, however, we were undeterred. The cheese had been initially bound in a little box made of little wooden rods (think, lincoln log). The man at the cheese shop had place this entire package inside the plastic wrapping. When we finally released it fully from the wrapping, the crazy cheese came to life. It literally oozed out every crevice of wooden container. It had the consistency of syrup - smelly, off-white, cheesy syrup. We boldly tasted it and nearly gagged. It was difficult to get the stench close enough to your face to even taste but when you did, you were hit with the flavor of something that is not to be consumed.

After a few days stinking up our kitchen we sadly disposed of the cheese and admitted defeat. We had found the cheese too cheesy for us to bear.

**And interesting follow up to this is that when we went back, months later, to retrieve the name of the offending cheese, the owner knew exactly what we were talking about as soon as I told him I was writing about the crazy cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...