Cheese is my birthright and I shall have it
When I was young, (notice how the word ‘younger’ is not even an option anymore) I would sneak into the kitchen and pray on the shrikhand. During those long summer afternoons after shazam, he-man and the fun-zone were up, I would look for things to interest me. Everyone would be asleep and the fridge would always be accessible.Sso I would dig deep, find the shrikhand, take a spoonful (heaped) and then replace the shrikhand so no one would know.
Then came the era of cheeses. My dad would travel far and wide and bring us cheese – ones with blue veins, ones as smooth as milk itself, ones with hard wax coverings. My sister (older by 4 years) would experiment with all of them. She is fearless. The smell would put me off. The foul smell combined with a bad incident involving the wax coating and my ignorance saw to it that I would not touch cheese for a very long time.
Childhood turned in to youth and Amul introduced cheese spread. It looked like Shrikhand and came from a company I love and trust and I thought I’ll give it a try. I loved it. My sister innocently asked me, ‘How can you like both shrikhand and cheese? Don’t you have a sweet tooth?’ and fearing that somehow by me having cheese shrikhand would stop being produced or bought or Amul would close down, I avoided the cheese spread.
When I moved to US, we experimented with many types of cheese and overdid it. Now the doctor says lay off whole milk and stop eating like a toddler.
So I went to Whole Foods to get me some of that soy cheese that is flavoured to fool the tongue. I got the pepper jack flavour so it could add some punch. I came home and made myself a heart healthy cheese sandwich (Yes, there is such a thing like that.) and it was hot and the cheese was melted and I had my first bite.
It took me some time to down the heavy brown bread and the ashen chalk cardboard combo that’s called soy cheese. So frustrated, so disappointed and so without opt