The Revelation Of Cheese
I should explain first about our grocery stores here in America. We have three big grocery chains to choose from with aisles upon aisles of eatables and no small, corner grocery stores. Specialty stores are few and far between and a hassle to get to. Much easier to jaunt over to the local chain. Really, who wants to be all day about buying food?
Well, over the holidays I received a certificate to a popular specialty food chain called 'Trader Joes'. Very good importers even though they rebrand almost everything as 'Trader Joes'. Well, my wife and I left the baby with my mom and jaunted over to TJ's rather jauntily. My wife loves chamembert and she made a beeline for the cheese cooler. I picked up a few interesting german cheeses, one of which said 'handmade' and was a 'mountain cheese'. Visions of the Alps and Black Forests and quaint german villagers hard at work making this cheese in in their bathtubs came to mind.
I sat down later that night with my quaint german cheese, some crackers and a book (The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul) and got one helluva shock! That mountain cheese had kicked my tastebuds like the german language kicks the ears! Wow!
That was the mind-broadening moment!
I realized what limited choice the large companies are giving people these days (no liberal crappola or left-wing conspiracies, just fact). Cheese in the large grocery chains is yellow or white and utterly (udder-ly?) tasteless blocks of salty dough. This german cheese was the real deal. The actual factual cheese. It was milk, salt and enzymes, aged to tastyness just as God had intended it should be!
By God we Americans are being slowly herded towards limited choices! Big companies buying out the smaller ones and replacing the unique inventory with the same old crap the other big company offers. Europe seems to have escaped this, but with the EU gaining strength, perhaps Europe will be next. The trends are there to see. Regional differences are being erased in favor of 'universal rules' and that's the first step, I think.
I've also noticed, hot on the heels of noticing my lack of cheese-choices, that cars and buildings are suffering from the same fate. Gone are the days of buildings having character; now we have stucco boxes with windows cut into them. Car design is also simplified to the point that all cars look the same....moulded bars of soap on wheels; devoid of unique features. Everywhere we look there is bland, featureless, unexciting forms.
It seems only the rich or determined have anything that inspires the soul while us masses get bored to death with lack of choice or beauty! Well, I may or may not be rich, but I'll certainly be determined. I will refuse to pepper my life with the bland! I will only eat german mountain cheese! OK, perhaps I'll try some of that english stilton with the little apricots in it, but NO MORE GROCERY STORE CHEESE!!!
Cheers and happy cheese-ing!