Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cheese: A Love Story

Our apartment smells really bad, and it’s all my fault.

It’s not because I don’t clean up after myself, or because I’m especially gassy. Well, actually, I am gassy, but that has nothing to do with it, I swear.

Still, for the last few weeks, our apartment has smelled especially funky—like a combination of garbage, or dirty gym socks. It’s a lingering smell, and no amount of scented candles, bleach, or antibacterial spray will make the smell go away.

The good news: once you’re in the apartment for awhile you get used to it.
The bad news: no matter what, the smell is always there.

A few days ago, we realized what’s causing the smell.

It’s cheese.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bona-fide cheese snob. Give me anything that’s crumbly, stinky, cave-aged, covered in ash, herbs, grape leaves, flower petals—whatever—and I’ll scarf it down. But my true love is stinky cheese. The stinkier and runnier the cheese, the better.

Though spiceboy’s taste in cheese runs a little on the mild side, he’s learned to tolerate my stinky cheese fetish. Like the time we went to the Berkshires for spiceboy’s birthday and I bought a fabulously stinky cheese from a local shop and brought it back to our bed and breakfast, where it proceeded to stink up our entire room and all of our clothing. Not so romantic, right? Right.

Even though he was a really good sport about it, I now I try to limit my stinky cheese consumption to when spiceboy is out of town.

The last time spiceboy went on a spicebusiness trip, I bought a package of my very very very favorite cheese, which is called Epoisses, (pronounced eh-pwos) a raw cow’s milk cheese from France. I ate some of the Epoisses with hunks of crusty French bread and a glass (or three) of red wine while reading a book. As I munched on the cheese and bread and sipped (glugged) my wine, I felt very grown up and refined. And when I was finished, I shoved the Epoisses into our fridge and promptly forgot about it. Not so grown up or refined.

The bad thing about Epoisses is, no matter how great it tastes, when it is exposed to air or improperly stored, it smells like a combination of feet and spoiled milk.

Now, when you live in a normal-sized apartment with a standard-sized fridge with proper food storage drawers, the Epoisses doesn’t present much of a problem. But when you live in an extremely warm 350 sq foot apartment w/ a mini fridge that resembles something a college student would have in their dorm room, which has no drawers in which to store extra stinky raw cow’s milk cheese from France, the Epoisses is a problem.

When spiceboy returned from his trip, he noticed the smell in the apartment right away, and he was just as baffled about it as I was. We cleaned the bathroom, took out the trash, did the dishes, and vacuumed. And still the stench persisted. When we were out of options, spiceboy turned a suspicious eye on me, and every time he caught a whiff of something, we had this conversation:

spiceboy (sniffing the air in a suspicious fashion): Did you just fart?
me: No.
spiceboy: Are you sure? Something stinks.
me: I’m sure! If I farted I would at least warn you.
spiceboy (inhaling deeply and wrinkling his nose): Well, something really stinks in here.

A few days ago, I opened the refrigerator to get a glass of water, and we both noticed that the smell intensified when I opened the door. And after digging past all of the take out containers and various condiments, spiceboy unearthed from the back of our fridge the festering and forgotten chunk of Epoisses.


I thought for sure spiceboy would insist we dispose of the Epoisses immediately. But spiceboy is nothing if not industrious. Instead of throwing away my cheese, he placed it in a hermetically sealed container and put it back in the fridge, which diminished the smell, but did not get rid of it completely.

Next, spiceboy went out to the store and bought a loaf of crusty bread, and together, we are eating our way through the stinky cheese and to a better smelling apartment.

Now that's what I call teamwork.


Anonymous andrea said...

is this the same cheese that was there when i was visiting?

9:46 PM  

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