Cheese of the Month Club

Published 1:18 pm Thursday, January 11, 2024

It’s taken a while but Paul’s Christmas present has finally arrived—the first of a monthly delivery.

Yes, I did it… for the man who has the same reaction as the levitating Snuffles the dog on Quick Draw McGraw over a piece of Stilton, I made Paul a member of a Cheese of the Month Club.

And you’d be surprised at just how many Cheese of the Month clubs there are, which is where the stress began. Paul is pretty snobby about his cheese. I remember years ago returning from performing a corporate gig in Wisconsin for a well-known food distribution company, carrying both the check and a thank you gift bag full of cheddar and colby, only to have Paul regard it as something the dog might have left on the doorstep.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“If you want to use it for grilled cheese, or something, go ahead,” he said airily. “Because I won’t be eating it.”

He didn’t even laugh when I told him a friend of mine has to make sandwiches in the bathroom so her dog can’t hear.

“Why?” He asked frowning.

“Because the dog can hear her unwrap the cheese slice from the wrapper.” 

“That makes no sense,” he countered. “Cheese doesn’t come wrapped in slices.”

“Sure it does. You know, like individual cheese singles.”

“That’s not cheese,” he said, extracting a chunk of Pyrenees Sheep cheese from special cheese paper. To me, it smelled like sweaty socks. “This is cheese.”

So when I purchased the membership for this monthly delivery, I had to do a deep dive to make sure what I was having shipped to him monthly wasn’t cheese, but CHEESE. In italics. Internet searches were of little help: There was the Rare Cheese of the Month Club (but just because something is rare doesn’t mean it’s good, right?) and an Artisan Cheese of the Month Club (and considering that when the word, ‘artisan,’ is used in any restaurant, that means you’re going to be charged double and, I’m sorry, arugula added to a salad ain’t worth $14.) I finally settled on The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club because the shop’s description of a typical selection in a single shipment sounded very grand and sophisticated. and I had no idea what they were talking about: ‘You might receive a Gaperon, originating in France during the 14th Century,’ the ad stated breathlessly, or ‘an authentic Lancashire by Ruth Kirkham, and an Italian Taleggio matured in the caves of Valsassina.’ Wow! The caves of Valsassina!

(Googling Valsassina) 

And Ruth Kirkham.

The box arrived earlier today by FedEx. Paul won’t be back till tonight and just handling the cargo is giving me the willies. Do I put it in the fridge? I’ve heard him admonish that many cheeses should remain at room temperature. Do I open and wrap them in special paper (“Never plastic!!”) wrapping? 

In the end, I put it on the front porch, feigning ignorance that I had noticed its arrival at all. And if it’s 10 degrees too cold outside, or the humidity too low and it’s ruined, well, I’ll be having many a mater soup and grilled cheese sammich in my future.

In the caves of South Cakkalakky.