Blown Away by Cheese 17

I’ve always been fascinated be people’s reactions to inclement weather. Most of us forget Mother Nature rules Earth–we don’t–until she throws an excessively hot day or maybe a Frankenstorm at us to cause us to reconsider our place on the totem pole.

Through my years growing up in the tornado and blizzard-ridden Midwest, and now living in Hurricane Sandy’s direct path, I’ve witnessed reactions ranging from The Panicker to The Denier.

The Panicker: The Panicker is usually unfamiliar with the impending weather situation, and does everything she both should and shouldn’t do in an attempt to arrange for survival. An upside to being a Panicker is you hit the grocery stores before the only items left on the shelves are tinned anchovies and $10 bottles of imported water. The downside it that you will likely be eating nothing but your twenty cases of granola bars 15 gallons of orange juice for months. Ick.

The Denier: The Denier refuses to admit that Mother Nature is the stronger force, and continues with business as usual. She perhaps takes a jog through the wet and windy streets wearing a horse mask like this man to prove her superiority, and skips stocking up at the grocery store because her supply of beer is maxed out as usual, obviously. There really is no con to being a Denier, because even when your basement floods and you realize you are actually stranded with an empty fridge for three days, you just deny your misfortune.

I fall somewhere along the spectrum, or maybe somewhere off it, at a place I like to call The Primal. When I learn of an inclement weather threat, I immediately give Mother Nature the head nod, grab a few supplies, and cozy up in my home to get the heck out of her way. I’m glad for the opportunity to be more in tune natural weather patterns, and I relish a few powerless days reading by candlelight. Plus when else would I get the chance to roast marshmallows with a tongs in a fireplace?

These past few days, though, I’ve spent many an hour at work dealing with a crowd I like to call The Apocalyptica. No, not the crazy-amazing Finnish cello trio, but rather the people who have accepted they’re in for the worst and make every effort to enjoy the experience as much as possible. These are the people who will wait in a line to get inside a grocery store, and then wait in another line that wraps around the entire store to check out. Sure, they buy their tuna and peanut butter like the rest of us, but they also find a need to buy capers, plantains, dark stouts, and lots and lots of fancy cheeses. There’s no time to buy a $28 stinky French cheese like the night before Frankenstorm, I guess. My favorite Apocalyptica was a rather humble lady who wheeled a cart full of rocky road ice cream over to the cheese counter and said, “I have my ice cream, now I just need to get my cheese and I’ll be all set.” I think I need to hang with these people more often.

I did take one tip from them yesterday and bought my own hurricane cheese. No, it’s not $28 but it is French, and tasty, and oh-so-comforting in my hours of Primal hibernation.

What inclement weather category do you fall into? What foods do you stock up on? Stay safe out there, East Coast friends.

Week 17 of 52 Weeks of Cheese: (Tomme Noire des) Pyrenees

Cost per pound: $15

Aging time: 3+ weeks

Hardness/style: Semi-soft

Milk type: Cow

Rating (of 10): For tastieness, it’s a 6.5. But for Comfort Level, it’s a 10. Hurricanes do strange things to one’s taste buds.

Please allow these brilliant words from La Fromage Blog describe this week’s cheese:

“OOOhhh is it buttery… it clearly comes from a happy and maybe slightly lazy cow, a cow that never hurries to get anywhere. A less bitey and salty little brother to the Danish havarti, (who is strong and Viking-like). Evokes sitting on a wooden stool and resting one’s head gently against the soft flank of a dusty Jersey. Just try the cheese. The cheese is good. A moment of simplicity and harmony…remember thinking about your first boy-band crush during a gentle trot at pony club? You’ll get more than your 2 euros worth of nostalgic tease (eh-hum, *clears throat*… cheese).”

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