The Stinky Cheese Saga

Accidental Locavore PicoThe Accidental Locavore was lucky enough to get a couple of French chèvres to play with and write about for culture: the word on cheese. It seemed like a pretty reasonable deal: they send cheese, I eat it, create a recipe or two and then get more to give away — no big deal. But for some reason (oh, temperatures in the 90’s?) getting a couple of goat cheeses to Pleasant Valley ended up getting way more complicated than anyone could have anticipated.

The first shipment of crottins showed up on my doorstep a day after they were supposed to be delivered. What appeared to have been a lone ice pack was totally melted and not at all cold. Ditto the cheeses in an uninsulated box. While cheese at room temperature is always ideal, these seemed to have been roasted in their unprotected box.

The second box, also past due, had to be resent as the original supplier ran out. While I was out on the deck having lunch, the UPS guy stopped with what he thought was my delivery. He was banging around the back of the truck for a long time and finally emerged empty-handed. His best bet was that they’d tossed the box in another truck and he’d be back shortly. Not to be.

Accidental Locavore UPSI found a message on my phone from a Lisa at UPS. When I called her back, she told me that they’d kicked my box off the truck because it smelled terrible! However, Lisa being a fellow cheese lover (and really good customer service person — UPS take note!), rescued the box, opened it and realized that it was just some perfectly ripe Picos in a well-cooled box. I got the directions and headed over to the UPS office. There, next to the air conditioner (keeping it cool) was my box. And yes, it did have a wonderful cheesy odor to it.

We opened it and checked the cheeses, four little Pico’s and two still-cool ice packs. “They were going to damage it, which means they would have thrown it away,” Lisa told me, “but I kept telling everyone it just smelled like raclette.” “Did they know what raclette is?” “No!”

So, not only have I found a great customer service person at UPS, but another raclette fiend, actually a whole family of raclette lovers! Turns out they get a bunch of people together and hit Adam’s (the local specialty food store) up for a deal on a wheel of raclette. Something to look forward to this winter! Along with my card (for this future wheel of cheese), I gave Lisa one of the Picos, since it’s not very often you find someone passionate enough about cheese to give it a good home under the air conditioner!





14 thoughts on “The Stinky Cheese Saga”

  1. I just came back from the south of France – Cathar country. Nothing like the cheeses there, though I also agree with one of your commenters about the Muenster of the Alsace. We wanted to get to Roquefort, but will have to wait for another trip.

  2. Joan Mortimer-Maddox Maxfield

    French goat cheese has always been my first fave….and I’d never say no to a temporary tat!

  3. At 5:30 pm, I am reading “The Stinky Cheese Saga” in utter agony. It is too late for a snack and too early for dinner; however, I am eager for either. The luscious brown bread featured in the picture quickly bewitches me. I wonder how I ever choose to live so far from a patisserie or NYC. I read on. Although outraged to learn that the cheese in your shipment was not properly chilled, I then imagined it deliciously runny. In my fantasy, I pluck a hunk of bread and swoop up the cheese immediately. I chew and swallow. My nose, my mouth, my tongue overjoyed by my manoeuvre. I read on and my stomach ached upon the mention of raclette. Instantly, I envisioned a pot of only slightly bubbling cheese surrounded by jambon de Bayonne and boiled potatoes. The agony of reading food blogs in the early evening; I shall now be forced to begin cooking dinner!

  4. You are missing the best fromages of the world “le fromage de Munster d;Alsace: une delicatesse, hard to find in the US”

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