I ate three cheeses on Saturday night. The first was a lovely hard cheese that reminded me of Campo de Montalban or Zamorano — nutty and rich, with a great texture. Wonderful stuff.
And then everything came crashing down in a cataclysmic blast of vileness as my lovely hostess pressed another seemingly innocuous cheese on me. I hesitate to say that it was the worst cheese I have ever eaten, because I have had some bad ones. My father is a big fan of crappy cheese, but I learned my lesson a long time ago, when I was just a lad, and the memories have, thankfully, faded into a vague unease whenever he suggests a cheese course. But this new cheese caught me by surprise, because it hid its disgustingness under a surprisingly mild aroma. I was completely unprepared for the blast of ammonia, some unidentified, but really awful bitter flavor, and…actually, that was enough. I didn’t spit it across the table, because I have slightly better manners than that, but I was sorely tempted. After I got off the phone with Poison Control, I returned to the table and was promptly offered another, brie-looking thing, sitting forlornly in its own ramekin. I knew that no matter what, it wasn’t going to be as bad as the previous taste, so I charged right back into the fray and promptly got whacked by another, equally horrible taste. At least this one had a nicer texture, but it was sufficiently awful that I have sworn off cheese for at least the next several hours.
One of the delightful things about cheese is that there are so many of them that the chances of meeting the same really bad one more than once are surprisingly slim. And I am thankful for that, because it would be difficult to get my minimum daily requirement of cholesterol without my 4-6 daily servings of cheese.
I wonder what my food pyramid would look like?