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The Cheese Stands Alone is the bomb

Mike G | Jul 30, 200303:39 PM

I just bought three little wedges of cheese for $25. I am so happy.

Let's back up. I remember a radio interview with Courtney Love, easily found on the Web:

Lisa: What's your tip?

Courtney: The thing you gotta do is A) Stop counting calories! Okay? B) Do not get on a scale! 'Cause lean muscle weighs more than fat. All right? I cut out FAT! That's all you gotta do. FAT! No cheese. That's it Lisa. Period. NO CHEESE. I told this to KROQ, I told this to my nanny. People I tell this to lose ten, thirty pounds. STOP CHEESE. You know why Orientals are not fat? 'Cause they look on cheese as this gross Western habit. It's like sour milk -- LARD. They don't want anything to [bleep] do with cheese. If you're going to eat cheese, take it out on a picnic, cut it up carefully, and really taste it -- with wine or something. Don't melt it on [bleep]. And I lost FORTY POUNDS by not eating cheese. And I even ate a little mayonnaise. All right? Skip the butter and skip the cheese and you will lose weight. I swear to God, Lisa.

Lisa: Here's my second question --

Courtney: Don't eat cheese. There are a millions things to eat that are not cheese.

And so on for about 20 minutes. It was pretty much an all-cheese interview. From this expert testimony we should conclude, if one is going to eat cheese, one should only eat wonderful cheese, sublime cheese, cheese that makes the fattitude of cheese justifiable. One should eat cheese bombs, small chunks of cheese that explode with cheesiosity and leave you in a state of cheesified cheeserrificness from just a small, calorically forgivable taste.

Not long ago I bought some cheese on recommendations from the cheese person at Whole Foods. They were okay. The stinkiest one was gross and reminded me of a cheese I bought in Italy that was so foul I not only had to throw it away, I had to move the site of my picnic away from the place it had befouled. The others were... okay. $15 and, more to the point, many Courtney Love-disapproved fat grams basically wasted.

I go into The Cheese Stands Alone. Not impressed at first by the small shop, the okay selection of non-cheese crackers and oils and whatnot. I describe my desires.

A cheese made by the Chimay people is unwrapped, a small chunk carved out for my tasting. Not bad, but it's a lot like eating butter. Courtney would not approve. Another camembertish sort is brought out. Saint Albray. As I reopen it at my desk it exudes a powerful funk but the cheese itself is mild, buttery with a surprising tang, a 3-D cheese compared to its 2-D predecessor.

A smoked, aged goat cheese called Auricho is brought out. Again, a tangy aftertaste which suggests there are depths to cheese one has hitherto unsuspected. I buy it too. Then I ask for something a little more hard and crumbly, though not bluish. A California cheese called Midnight Moon comes out, tart, highly concentrated, one bite is enough to pucker your mouth and send cheese waves coursing through you, your cheese jones satisfied.

I tried a couple others along the way but these are what I remember. Though $25 for the three is not cheap, each is so good and powerful that I know that small amounts will satisfy me for days and days to come. Moneywise, calorie-wise, Courtney-wise, each is a bargain.

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