Friday, 11 April 2008

Advantages of my job# 9: feeding the cheesy monster within

The thing about living in a francocentric cheese country is the only good cheese you can find is French. It is possible to find the odd orange cheddar or young gounda, but not the good ones; I think they only import the boring foreign cheeses so that no one ever knows how good the cheese over the border is. It's a tough life for an international cheese fiend such as myself.

Which is why I take advantage of every business trip to stock up on my favorites: oude kaas met komijn (aged cheese with cumin), rookkaas (smoked cheese), Davidstowe extra mature cheddar, Cornish cruncher, local Somerset favorites. Consider it a cultural study which not only allows me to learn the local language and customs (ok, not really an issue in the UK) but also gives me the chance to scout out and support local commerce (yeah, not really the case with M&S, Tesco's or Albert Heijn). But I have patroned local stores like the Cheese Shoppe in Chester -and the fascist old lady owner- and the Kaaskammer in Amsterdam - with the tallest man I've ever seen.

It's not easy being cheesy.

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