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“A silence fell at the mention of Gavard. They all looked at each other cautiously. As they were all rather short of breath by this time, it was the Camembert they could smell. This cheese, with its gamy odour, had overpowered the milder smells of the Marolles and the Limbourg; its power was remarkable. Every now and then, however, a slight whiff, a flute-like note, came from the Parmesan, while the Bries came into play with their soft, musty smell, the gentle sound, so to speak, of a damp tambourine. The Livarot launched into an overwhelming reprise, and the Géromé kept up the symphony with a sustained high note.”
– Émile Zola, The Belly of Paris. 1873
For the true Turophile (cheese-lover), this vivid description of the olfactory sensations experienced upon entering a cheese shop, has become known in literary circles as the "Cheese Symphony" due to its ingenious orchestral metaphors. Cheese have been so prized throughout history, that they have been formally awarded titles or special designations such as "King of Cheeses." Various cheeses have held this title in different centuries including: Parmigiano Reggiano, Brie de Meaux, Roquefort. Époisses, Stilton, and Cheddar while Brie has been more generally known as the "Queen of Cheeses." Blue cheeses, semi-soft cheese with sharp, salty flavours, made with cultures of the edible mold Penicillium, is recognized by its blue and green spots or veins which run throughout the chees. According to legend, one of the first blue cheeses, Roquefort, was discovered when a young boy, eating bread and ewes' milk cheese, abandoned his meal in a nearby cave after seeing a beautiful girl in the distance. When he returned months later, the mold (Penicillium roqueforti) had transformed his cheese into Roquefort! But beware of cheesy imposters, because many blue cheeses such as Roquefort, Danablu, Cabrales, Gorgonzola and Blue Stilton carry a protected designation of origin! Should your taste for the blue veer towards the home country, some blue cheeses of Scottish origin include: Hebridean Blue (Isle of Mull), Biggar Blue, Strathdon Blue, Lanark Blue, Dunsyre Blue, and Blue Murder! 🧀
Do you too dream of a bit of cheese? Or do you believe that cheese may affect your dreams? A recent study from the British Cheese Board appears to dispel the myth that eating cheese before bed may cause nightmares, although the same study suggested that different types of cheeses may affect the content of your dreams. Blue cheese, for example, was reported to give the cheese-eater vivid and nonsensical dreams while Red Leicester was said to give one nostalgic dreams of childhood.
The tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, is a perfect textile replica of the colours of blue cheese.
For more about blue cheese, click the cheese.