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Aug 21 2013

#FromLeft2Write: The Whole Fromage

The Whole FromageThis post was inspired by The Whole Fromage: Adventures in the Delectable World of French Cheese by Kathe Lison, who traveled to France in search of its artisanal cheeses. Join From Left to Write on August 22 as we discuss The Whole Fromage. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

“An odd fact about cheese is that it abounds in casein, a protein that breaks down in the digestive system to produce an opioid called casomorphin.” (p. 43, The Whole Fromage)

Finally–an explanation for my cheese addiction! When I need a fix, instead of seeking dark corners of busy city streets in the middle of the night, incognito and transacting in cash, I brazenly put my habit on display in the bright, white lights of daylight–and the local grocery store. I should be ashamed, but you’ll find no hoodies hiding my identity–no code words or quick movements concealing my purpose. I drop those ivory and golden bricks and cylinders onto the belt for the whole world to view. Yup, I’m going to get a dairy high later. Take that!

You can have your low-fat, low-carb, Paleo, whatever dairy-shaming dogma you subscribe to. I’ll be snorting mac & cheese later right in front of my kids, and I’ll do it shamelessly. Kerrygold, take me away!

Seriously, there is something about cheese that comforts. Brings joy. Cannot be resisted. Apparently, there’s scientific fact backing this attraction. And I have no intention of preventing it.

I grew up in a house where pre-wrapped slices were referred to as “cud.” Harsh from a father raised on government “cheese,” but he had a point. That crap isn’t cheese. Save it for the good stuff–rich and crumbly cheddar; smooth and creamy Monterrey. But never any Brie. I wasn’t raised on French cheese. I’m still getting used to it.

It started in French Club in high school. A slice of Brie. A fondue or two. A trip to Paris only fueled the fire. How was I to know then that there are hundreds (yes, multiple hundreds) of French cheeses to experience? And that’s one country alone! I have a lot of work ahead of me.

pizza with chèvre

Reading about cheese requires eating it–in this case, some chèvre on a delicious local pizza

I’ll admit to an occasional dalliance in Kraft Mac & Cheese (and I’m with Kathe Lison on this one–Three Cheese with Mini-Shell Pasta all the way!). But for the most part, I have been trying to develop a taste for the more refined stuff. I just need a few more hours in the day–and bucks in the bank book.

Through The Whole Fromage, a whole new world has opened up for me. I want to make a cheese pilgrimage. I want to see the source. I want to dip my hands in whey and feel the curds for myself. I want to raise goats. Okay, maybe my husband isn’t on board with that (or the local Land Use department…). But I do want to be there, see it all, and taste it, too. This is just the beginning.

First stop? A Beaufort. It sounds like just the euphoric experience I need.

Excuse me… I’m feeling a little down. Time to shoot up with some chèvre to get through the evening…

About the author

Carrie @ poet in the pantry

Carrie is a home baker and amateur photographer who dabbles in writing and poetry.

4 comments

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  1. Thien-Kim

    I am with you! I love my late night snacks of crackers and cream soft ripened cheese.

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      Cheese is the perfect bite at any time of day! I’ve been known to have slices of it for lunch or breakfast.

  2. Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll)

    My husband isn’t on board for the goats either — but how cool would that be!

    I definitely want to try a Beaufort, too!

    1. Carrie @ poet in the pantry

      What is with these men? Don’t they realize how great this would be? ;)

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