I love cheese and always have. Perhaps this was destined to happen since my mother started calling me mouse when I was a baby. My favorite after-school snack was a couple of slices of cheddar with a handful of raisins. A more mature me often opts for dried cranberries instead. (Try it! Yum!) I love mac and cheese; won’t eat a burger without cheese; eggs and cheese together create a harmony more elegant than Mozart’s most soaring concerto. If I had to choose between meat and cheese, cheese would win every time.
Living here, I miss cheese. All the stores have it, but mostly only processed stuff. If they have any real cheese, it’s usually gouda, which is a bit too mild for my taste. I like a good stinky cheese, but that doesn’t go over well with most Japanese people, which is odd since most of them like stinky fish. And don’t get me started on natto.
It’s not that good cheese isn’t available. You can get some of the world’s finest cheeses if you go to the right stores. The problem is that they’re always exorbitantly, horrifically, appallingly expensive. I just can’t enjoy eating something I know I have paid too much for. I’ve bought fresh chevre cheese in French markets for pennies, so when I see a tiny piece of it here, priced at over $20, I cringe.
Which brings me to my new friend, a woman who has access to the supermarket on one of the US military bases. They stock pretty much anything you could want. And not only are they tax free, they’re also subsidized, so I asked her to get me some cheese, please. And, boy, did she.
I have been indulging myself in a lusty cheese orgy for the past week. Port Salut with crusty brown bread and white wine. Blue cheese with fresh baguette. A pepper jack sandwich. I haven’t even opened the hot habanero jack, fontina, feta or gorgonzola yet.
Last night, I made quiche with rosemary asiago and sauteed tomato slices. Not to toot my own horn too loudly, it was, hands down, unequivocally, the BEST quiche EVER in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE.