I’m often told that I’m a real cheesy guy, so it’s natural that I find myself drawn to the cheese section at Hill Street Grocer in Devonport where there’s more cheese than you can poke a bread stick at.
I take a moment to saviour the cheese available for sample to narrow down my choice. It tastes so gouda, but then they all look like they taste great… this isn’t helping.
As I read the labels, I realise I must sound like I’m speaking in tongues… “Tongola, Gjetost, That’s Amore, Le Duc Vacherin, Durrus, Roquefort, Meli Melo, Kefalograviera…” I have no idea what type they are let alone how to pronounce them!
The cheese guy is busy serving other happy customers, so I whip out my phone and google ‘cheese’. The results are fascinating. Apparently 4,000 plus years ago an Arabian merchant was travelling through the hot desert with his supply of milk stored in a pouch made of animals stomach. Over the course of the day, unbeknownst to the merchant, the milk separated into two parts – curds & whey. When the merchant stopped for a drink he discovered this intriguing find. Not being a fussy bloke, he guzzled down the whey, which satisfied his thirst and then ate the curds, which to his surprise were delicious! Once he reached his destination he shared his find with friends, who promptly invented crackers and the world was a better place forever. I admit I made up the part about the crackers, but, the rest is genuine folklore ( or so I’m told).
It’s fascinating to listen to someone who talks about cheese with such reverence and passion. When & how did they find their love for cheese? Did they grow up eating Devon and Camembert sandwiches (with tomato sauce) for lunch? And indulge in an after-school snack of crackers with vegemite and truffle infused Haloumi? As a young child, I thought there were only four varieties of cheese; block, sliced, grated and that smelly blue stuff that adults ate. Oh, how times have changed, now I find myself deep in a world where any cheese desires can be fulfilled.
I play it relatively safe and buy some Brie and some Pigeon Whole Baker sourdough and head home. I pour myself a drink, lightly grill my bread, break out the olive oil, put on my favourite R’n’Brie music and dig in.
If you love cheese (and wine) then join Hill Street Grocer’s Wine and Cheese club to receive exclusive discounts.
P.S. I can’t believe I only ended up with two cheese puns in this piece. Comment with your best cheese puns below.