I’ve always appreciated cheese, but it’s only been in the last year or so that I have actually jumped to ‘turophile’ status. It’s a little odd actually. It’s like the “Dragon du Fromage” has been awoken from a 32 year slumber within me and has now climbed through the cavernous parts of my under belly, through the claret and blue “Hammer Canyon” of my rib-cage and taken control of the flight deck. Now that he has control, I find myself looking into curdling habits, backgrounds and regions of cheeses, which beast’s udder it has come from (cow, goat, sheep, buffalo) and what it compliments. Even the recent android I made of myself recently is holding a bit of cheese.
And why? It is after all just curdy, decaying milk – Martlet Gold certainly is! Strange, but I enjoy it and that’s what matters (also, you don’t mess with a dragon). Before the point that ‘Fromo’ the crazy cheese dragon had the controls, I remember a few early experiences and influences that founded my love for cheese like a well based limestone. These are some of them:
(1) Mice in the house - My mum has always been a bit squeamish with certain creatures. She’s ok with the big ones like goats, but has never been a fan of worms or rodents. You can imagine her delight then, when, she began to go into the fridge in the morning during the early 80s to find bite marks in both the cheese and butter. Thankfully, before the exterminators were called in, my parents soon realised that they had a hungry early morning bubba on their hands rather than mice. It was hardly Arthur Conan Doyle inspiring detective work, as they would walk into the living room and see 2.5 year old me playing cars with mess around my face. They waited for me to wake up one morning and quietly followed me, dropping down the stairs one by one on my bottom. Upon entering the kitchen, they found me with a face full of cheddar and an expression of “What!? ….well you guys were asleep!”.
(2) Flights to Colombia – having the larger part of my family (from my mum’s side) over on the South American continent, I have been flying there regularly since the age of 6 months. I have never been a fussy eater as such, but in the first few years of your life, you must latch on to things that you like rather than go for strange meals served under space-age silver trays. I just couldn’t get enough of the little red-waxed packages of joy known as mini-babybel. It’s all I wanted to get me through the 13 hour flight, and as my aunt and godmother served as air stewardess on many of these flights, I had a running tap supply. It’s no wonder I was developing into a little porker!
(3) Lunchtime after playschool – having been running around with little friends for most of the morning or learning how to colour cows (another possible influence), I would come home with mum and she would serve me lunch on my little table and chair in front of ‘Rainbow’ or ‘You and Me’. Even though only 3 or 4 years of age, I remember this vividly as an early memory. I wouldn’t get to choose what I got at that age, but my favourite was definitely Heinz™ Macaroni Cheese. I have moved on from it since and onto grown up cheese, but I was perfectly content sitting there listening to Rod, Jane and Freddy singing “a-pongo, pongo, pongo” while my taste buds were given early training on what cheese had to offer.