This run kicks my ass. Almost every time, I experience infernal cardio and quad pain during the climb from the Stanford Ave entrance. The best stretch of the run is immediately after this climb — it's an S‑shaped quarter-mile heading due west (usually into the wind) and it provides a great view of the dish against the coastal range. But I'm usually fighting to catch my breath during this stretch, and spend most of it just trying to keep my shit together. This particular run was okay … I keep thinking that I'll get back to the good old days when I regularly clocked sub-50-minutes on this run. But I'm a long, long way from that right now. I ride my bike more. I run hills more. But can it be that I'm just not as fit as I was in those lovely, peaceful days of July 2002? I will remember July of 2002 as a series of quiet evening runs through the Stanford campus, punctuated by blissfully fast, fast times. Ah, to be young(er). Simpler times. Simpler, faster times.
Rainbow's genius little description of the FPS — "This cheese is mentioned in every cheese book from the 70's" — doesn't mention ONE relatively important quality of it — the fact that it has almost no taste, and the taste that it does have IS GROSS. Its "mildness" reminds me a little of, say, fresh mozerella, but it has this weird, red-wine‑y bite that does not make you say mmm. Plus, it has a paste-like texture that lends itself neither to spreading, nor to slicing; so, if you buy any FPS, remember to get some tongue depressors to apply it to your cracker. Of course, you could also put on your Foster Grants and your chunky turtleneck sweater and go back in time — back to the time when books were written about cheese. It's up to you.
Cheese. ('chEz), noun, a food consisting of the coagulated, compressed, and usually ripened curd of milk separated from the whey.
I haven't done the dish loop in months … perhaps since before the New Year. Is that possible? In any case, I never expected to have such a terrible time with it. My PR is in the high 48's, and, in comparison, this one (54:44) just seems pathetic. I should probably subtract 3 or so minutes from the time, though, because I had to run down to the secret entrance after getting to the Stanford Street gate a couple of minutes after 5pm. So this one was really in the 51 range, though that still sucks in comparison. I was in pain for some of the run, as my new Adidas big-boys were killing my feet while I was at the dish. And it was a beautiful day, not that I was even noticing that.
Sooner or later, the gods of gouda will deliver a cheese that I don't like, but it hasn't happened yet. This youthful goat gouda is more light-hearted than its 2- or 4‑year cousins, the sorts with the sneaky creamy-slash-salty bite that roots you to your chair like you're James Bond in Moonraker, stuck in the centrifuge, face contorting. The two-month is a more playful cheese. It's lighter, less serious, and fresher. If cheeses were relatives, you'd ask the 2- and 4‑year goudas for advice in matters of the heart, but you'd take the two-month to a bar because it would help you meet girls. This particular gouda is just goaty enough to be satisfying when eaten with a Fuji apple after a short evening run and, like its elder cousins, it should always be washed down with dark beer.
This occupied Rainbow's special little Cheese-of-the-Day table a while ago, and I still feel conflicted about it. I tasted it and I liked it enough to buy a brick of it. But when I ate a slice on Ryvita, I noticed that it has a somewhat disconcerting nose, and a weird, gummy texture. Still, it intrigued me, like a girl who somehow isn't my type but has some enchanting quality that makes me wonder what the hell my type is, and what, for that matter, attraction is, and why the universe seems so random when it comes to these things. So I've nibbled at the Vasterbotten for three weeks now, and still there's over half the brick left. So I'm wondering whether I should just call the whole thing off, just end it all RIGHT NOW. Is anyone listening to me out there? Is there any rhyme or reason to any of this? I JUST WANT SOME KIND OF SIGN. Are you there, God?
Upon first tasting this cheese at Rainbow, I ignored the posted rules and REUSED my tasting toothpick five times. Okay, nine, maybe ten times. This nutty, salty cheese was made to be eaten with something green. Kale works, and so do green beans. Am I reserving a spot in my safe room's mini-fridge for a wedge of the Moose? Maybe. It depends on how well it melts in a quesadilla.
News flash: Parmesan cheese is not just for sprinkling on pizza. While its tasteless, soulless paremsan cousins became condiments, Reggianno kept its feet on the ground and its head in the game. Namely, it kept its taste and texture real, so real, in fact, that people who sprinkle it on pizza should be thrown in fucking jail. Seriously. It should be eaten alone. Okay, maybe on a light cracker; maybe with a touch of olive oil, but it should always — ALWAYS — be eaten late at night, in a dark kitchen, after a long evening out.
Don't bogart the Fog, my friend. On the evolutionary ladder of cream cheese, this kind Northern Californian nug is the most highly evolved, a hairless biped with ESP among mass-market subspecies with brow ridges and saggital crests. Pay special attention to the stripe of green that accentuates the creamy white body like piping on a tracksuit.
It's flaky, but full of life, like a good yoga teacher. It's also salty, which makes it more like a good yoga teacher from New York. Added bonuses: it's got a very distinguised dark orange color, and it's very stylishly packaged in a simple black rind. A handy accessory in the evening.