Starting this past Saturday, for one glorious meal each weekend, I am opening up my diet. This weekend I reveled in cheese. Raul and I had gone to Pamplona to visit a friend. On Saturday we went out for dinner and I started the meal with a cheese salad – lettuce still crispy but slightly warm cubes of a colby-like cheese, a 3-inch by 1-inch wheel of goat’s cheese flash fried on both sides to create a crisp shell, the whole thing drizzled with a white fondue.
My perennial sinus problems prevented me from smelling the dish, but the combination of textures – crispy, crunchy, smoothly grainy, soft and liquidly warm – and the flavours – fresh, pungent, innocuous, and tangy – made worth it every moment of my three months without such foods.
To mop up the last bits of cheese, I used a warm whole wheat dinner roll with a thick brittle outer shell and dense soft innards.
The main course was something I could eat any day: secreto de cerdo, green beans and carrots, so although very tasty, it didn’t send me into raptures.
I ended the meal with a square of blueberry cheesecake consisting of a thin layer of cake, a frothy layer of filling made from Queso de Burgos not cream cheese, and topped with a blueberry jelly. The outside world disappeared while I partitioned off small pieces of dessert with my spoon and melted each morsel in my mouth before swallowing it.
Next Saturday, we’re going to a Eurovision party. The treats the host will serve excite me as much as (or more than) the party itself does.
- Savouring occasional treats is much more fulfilling than unthinking consumption.
- Having without anticipating first robs you of half the experience.