Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day Forty-Three : Finally caught up , looking backwards and forwards at once!

This morning, I woke up in suburban Maryland like a new woman; the marathon, an enormous test  of endurance was behind me and I was looking to the future, to new goals and challenges. That being said, it felt truly weird that I had nothing to train for or a goal to work towards -- I guess I understood why people find marathon running to be somewhat addicting. For me, it's nice to have something to work for and look forward to. I guess its time for me investigate what my next race will be. Now, now, lets not get ahead of ourselves, I am not planning on running tons and tons of marathons, just a few and probably a series of half marathons, a much more managable distance. But, before my marathon career is over, I have to do New York at least once!

In travelling back to New York this sunny spring afternoon, I got to thinking, what was it, I wanted to write about? Did I want to write about, as suggested to me, aging as endurance, what cheeses are the oldest? The answer to that is either a Parmigiano Reggiano that is aged seven years or some cheddars that can be aged for up to six years. Certain cheeses blossom with age, just like wine -- new, complex, and dynamic flavors appear and delight the tastebuds. No I decided, I wanted to write about the cheese that opened my eyes years ago and made me interested in learning more about cheese, just as the marathon opened my eyes in a very different way, a little over twenty four hours ago.

You must all be thinking this is going to be some superstar cheese, something rare and hard to find; well I am sorry to disappoint but it a simple small aged round of French goat's cheese, Crottin de Chavignol. This is a classic Loire Valley aged goat cheese at its best. This cheese is AOC protected and has been produced since about the 16th century, although the first time it was written about was in 1829. It is a small cylinder of goat cheese-y goodness, aged for about four weeks.

I'm sure now you're thinking that I have a wonderful story about my discovery of this cheese,  unfortunately I do not, but what I do have stored within me is the feeling that I felt from eating this cheese, it was life-changing. I discovered this cheese at Murray's Cheese on Bleecker Street, when I moved back from graduate school in London about five years ago. It was small and dainty looking, it looked like the proper sort of cheese to enjoy with a girlfriend while watching a chick flick and drinking Sancerre and still have room for dinner afterwards, no cheese coma here folks. But when I first tasted it, it was a mixture of being in seventh heaven and on cloud nine all at once. Here was a morsel of yummy goodness, people had been eating for close to four centuries, with delicate, grassy, goat-y, fresh, tangy, and chalky tastes. It just clicked for me, as that aha cheese moment. From then on, I have been cheese curious, constantly engaged in learning about different types of cheeses, and attempting to spread the cheese love to my friends and family. With three simple ingredients, you are able to create thousands of variations, a feat that amazes me almost as much as being able to run 26.2 miles yesterday.

To end this post, I thought I'd leave you all with a thought provoking question, did you have an aha moment  that awoke new interests in you? Have you conquered a life goal and checked it off your list  of things to do before you die? How did that make you feel?

All I know is that my love of running and cheese among many other things are the elements that make my world go round, I hope you too have your special things that make your world turn.

Enjoy your Sunday folks!

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