My love for cheese started very early in late 1970s in Trivandrum in India. Someone had brought some Kraft cheese from another part of the world. They were orangish yellow (same colour as the one in the picture) solid cheese in glass container with the logo of the Kraft printed on it. We stayed with my grandparents at that time and I fell in love with it. Cheese was difficult to come by in India at that point of time and I thought cheese was of this colour always.
Years passed before I laid my hands on cheese again. This time Amul had started producing cheese in cubes. My mother used to pack daily a cube or two with bread and cutlet for lunch in our school days in Ooty. We reached our residential school and the boarders of my class loved my lunch. Strangely, while I loved cheese, I loved the school lunch too – a feeling no one else in this world can identify with.
For years there was just Amul cheese until Britannia released their cheese products. By then I was a die hard fan of Amul cheese and found it difficult to change.
When I left India, I thought I would miss Amul cheese and butter a lot and I did. The cheese here (probably as authentic as it can get), was different. I got used to the Emmental, Gouda and other ones but could not eat the stronger ones like Blue cheese, Roquefort, Camembert and others – then I left to study in Switzerland.
Of course I fell in love with Fondue and Raclette. What more can a cheese lover ask for than a potful of melted cheese. Besides, Swiss cheese was not smelly and sour – they had an elegant taste about them. So there I was in Paradise – just feeling happy surrounded by cheese though our tight schedule did not allow us to go search for cheese too often.
Here I met my now good friend Eric – a french. He introduced me to wines but strangely I think not to many different types of cheese. In hindsight – so untypical for French. Of course, Brussels, with its French influenced food, changed everything. I had discovered wine and then I discovered the virtues of those “smelly and sour” cheese when had with wine. My favourite cheese now is Roquefort.
So what triggered off this post? When I left Brussels I was lamenting that I would not find the range of cheeses I found in Brussels back here in Germany. I was sure to miss Roquefort and other new cheese I had gotten used to. Then a new friend, French, invited us home for cheese and wine the French way. I found all those cheese I loved back on her platter and I was happy to hear we could find it.
Yesterday I was at REWE, the local supermarket and I stood in front of the cheese counter. It spanned a few meters and I found very interesting cheese there. My mouth suddenly filled with water. It will take a few years to taste all of them. I went a bit crazy and bought 100g of three varieties. Now I have 4 days to finish them all.