Cheesy tale of differing tastes

Off the Line - Karen Haviland

Sometimes I just don’t get the English language. Words are sometimes used which, to me at least, seem out of context even though they are frequently used.

Take the phrase, “that’s cheesy” for example. If one looks up cheesy in the dictionary it is defined as slang and means that it is basically inauthentic or that one is trying too hard. How the word cheesy was applied to such is unknown.

But, I didn’t come here to write about the English language. What I really wanted to write about was cheese. Thus the cheesy lead in to the column.

There are some things in this world which I don’t understand. The hardest thing to understand is a person who has an aversion to cheese. My husband comes close to that. He brags, yes brags that he has just graduated from only eating mild cheddar to eating medium cheddar cheese.

In fact, he takes pride in that. Like his father before him and now, like his son, (and likely one day our grandson too) he steadfastly refuses to branch out, take a chance, and try, just try for goodness sake! any other cheese than cheddar.

His biggest cheese adversary is Parmesan cheese. He can smell it from a mile away and claims that the very smell turns his stomach. I say there is a lot to be said about nature vs. nurture. I clearly remember his dad wrinkling up his nose, and in a high, disdainful voice proudly proclaim, “I hate stinky cheese.” Well dad, apparently so does your son and I often wonder if that dislike of “offbeat” cheese was simply ingrained in him from early childhood.

All that being said, I do have to give my husband some kudos for recognizing that as much as he despises cheese, I love cheese. In fact, I never met a cheese I didn’t like. Seriously! To tell the truth, the stinkier the cheese the better I like it.

Of course, if I want to point to nurture or nature regarding that, it should be noted that my father, who was German, and my mother, who was Swedish both had an ongoing love affair with all types of cheese. While money was tight to come by back then, mom and dad could always find enough money to buy a fine cheese and crackers.

Of course mom dealt out minute pieces of cheese to her children. On one hand she wanted us to be cultured and educated when it came to cheese, yet on the other hand she keenly understood that a block of cheese didn’t go very far with five always-hungry children. Nonetheless we always got our taste of cheese and a small little lesson on its origins.

My love of cheese has grown since that day. My cheeseless husband laughs at me when we go grocery shopping because inevitably he seems to lose me. Well, he doesn’t really lose me. He knows exactly where I am; I can be found hovering around the fancy cheese section picking each one up, looking at it, reading its description and itching to fill up that cart with all the glorious offerings on display. But I restrain myself. With great difficulty and to my ultimate sadness.

I really don’t know why some people love cheese and some could care less. I find it hard to comprehend and just as likely they fail to understand my great passion for cheese.

One day, I just might indulge in a cheese fantasy I have been contemplating for a while. My secret wish is to enroll in a cheese club. Yup. Evidently there are such things. For a set price per month a selection of cheese will be sent for your tasting. That sounds like heaven to me. Can you imagine opening your mailbox and the lovely smell of cheese wafting out?

For now though I will be content with snagging the odd part wheel of cheese (Cambozola is my go to passion right now) and eating it all on my own without the help of my cheeseanoid husband.

Signed — The Mouse.


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