January 20, 2018

January 20

Filed under: Uncategorized — theresaurus @ 11:41 pm

Sam brought home two Gorgonzolas and four Camemberts and there was much rejoicing.

National Cheese Lover’s Day. From Emile Zola’s “The Belly of Paris”:

“All around her, cheeses were stinking. Huge blocks of butter were lined up on the two shelves at the back of the shop. Brittany butter was overflowing from its baskets. Normandy butters, wrapped in canvas, looked like models of stomachs onto which some sculptor had thrown wet cloths to keep them from drying out. Other blocks, already in use, cut with large knives into jagged rocks with valleys and crevices, looked like landslides on a mountain gilded by the pale evening light of autumn.

“A Parmesan added an aromatic pungence to the heavy smell. Three Bries on rounds were sad as waning moons. Two very dry ones were full. The third, in its second quarter, was oozing, emitting a white cream that spread into a lake, flooding over the thin boards that had been put there to stem the flow. Port Saluts shaped like ancient discuses had the names of the producers inscribed around the perimeters. A Romantour, wrapped in silver paper, was reminiscent of a nougat bar, a sugary cheese that had strayed into the land of sour fermentation. The Roqueforts, under their glass bells, had a regal bearing, their fat, marbled faces veined in blue and yellow as though they were the victims of some disgraceful disease that strikes wealthy people who eat too many truffles. Alongside them were the goat cheeses, fat as a child’s fist, hard and gray like the stones rams kick down a path when they lead the flock.

“And then there were the smells: the pale yellow Mont d’Ors released a sweet fragrance, the Troyes, which were thick and bruised on the edges, were stronger-smelling than the others, adding a fetid edge like a damp cellar; the Camemberts, with their scent of decomposing game; the Neufchatels, the Limbourgs, the Marolles, the Pont l’Eveques, each one playing its own shrill note in a composition that was almost sickening; the Livarots, dyed red, harsh and sulfurous in the throat; and the Olivers, wrapped in walnut leaves the way peasants cover rotting carcasses of animals lying by the side of the road in the heat of the sun with branches. The warm afternoon had softened the cheeses, the mold on the rinds was melting and glazing in rich reds and greens of exposed copper, looking like badly healed wounds. The skin of an Oliver beneath an oak leaf lifted up and heaved like the chest of a sleeping man.”

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