Hard cheese or soft? Sharp or mellow? Warm or cold? Yellow or white? Aged or fresh? Smooth or crumbly? Domestic or Foreign? Local? Stinky like feet (not mine, BTW) or fragrant like roses? Raw or pasteurized? Smoked? Strong or mild? Unadulterated, or with added flavors/ingredients? The “V” word? Served with?
If I could be transported to “somewhere where there’s cheese,” I might want to find myself in Ludlow, Shropshire, which is a beautiful medieval town with some of the original walls still standing, tiny crooked streets, charming crooked houses, some of the best food and drink I’ve ever consumed, and the haunting ruins of a Norman castle overlooking the whole. Mr. Right and I spent a week there, in a picturesque and ancient cottage while we explored the English Midlands on a visit in 2005. I’d love to go back one day.
Once a week, the market comes to town, and sets up in the square. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to A.E. Houseman’s Ludlow Fair:
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Tables and tables of local cheeses were on offer, on the days I was there. My favorite? The presciently-named Stinking Bishop. I’m also fond of the very different Shropshire Blue (which I can sometimes find in stores here).
I love poring over the international cheese section in local supermarkets. It’s not so much that it takes me “somewhere where there’s cheese,” as that some of the cheeses take me home to my childhood and the land of my birth.
Where do you go when you want to find cheese? And where do the cheeses take you when you go there?
In conclusion, Proposed: A slice of warm apple pie is so much better with a piece of half-melted cheddar on top than it is served with ice cream. Discuss.