Monday, November 02, 2009
The Taste of Remembrance
How is it that cheese could contain an entire world? Splaying Old English white cheddar on a sandwich at lunchtime is, for me, a routine and ritual that is charged with an entire way of life. The cheese is enchanted, charmed with a sense of place. Like Proust's madeleines, its scent and texture is a catalyst for the remembrance of things past. While I'm trimming a slice in my Grand Rapids kitchen, it's as if the walls melt into the walls in our Yorkshire kitchen, and the scene outside my window gives way to the Minster over the rooftops of York Tandoori, and I can almost hear the chimes of the cathedral bell--and I imagine, just for a moment, that the kids are at Park Grove elementary, and Deanna will soon be home from the market, wet but heartened, and this cheese on crusty baguette will be consumed as a veritable communion. And all of a sudden this is the saddest cheese in the world.