How a Taste for Chevre Foretold the End of a Friendship
Once upon a time, I knew this girl who claimed to be a great lover of food. She bragged all the time about the wide variety of foods to which she had access in the bigger, more popular city from which she had come. I actually like listening to her talk about how great it was to hop around the corner to pick up some Ethiopian wot, and I liked to imagine that I could become the sort of person who would one day hop around the corner to pick up some Ethiopian wot.
I didn't grow up with much in the way of cultural diversity — I thought things like bagels and yogurt were exotic — and I hadn't yet explored much of the larger world that even my city had to offer in the 1990s. Wot sounded like an adventure.
She and I went shopping for cheeses one day, and the shop we were in had an entire wall devoted to cheeses from all over the world.
"We have to pick up chevre," she said. "Chevre is my most favourite cheese in the whole world. Have you ever tried chevre?"
I didn't know much about food at the time, but I knew that there was an incredible array of cheeses in the world to be had, and, out of all of those cheeses, I was surprised that she would claim chevre as her favourite.
"Chevre?" I said.
"Yes. No other cheese does what chevre does," she said.
"You mean be white and soft and fairly flavourless? You mean that it spreads on crackers without breaking them?" I said. Looking back now, I think I might have been a bit of a jerk myself.
"No!" she said. "It's creamy and delicious. When your palate is more sophisticated, you'll be better able to appreciate subtler flavours."
And then I put her head through the shop window.
Okay, I didn't put her head through the shop window, but I knew right then that we would never be best friends forever, as much as I was quite fond of her at the time, because one day I would have to put her head through a shop window after my "palate" had become more "sophisticated". I was raised to be a pacifist.
Also? Chevre? There are approximately one thousand or more different kinds of cheese on the planet, and chevre is the standout variety that makes your palate sing? This alone is enough to create suspicion of character.
I mean, seriously, there is a kind of cheese that is loaded with live maggots. For god's sake.