The Sweet Smell of Goat Cheese

I never thought in my life I would ever meet my match in goat cheese. Than I went to Paris.

Sitting on a Paris train chugging towards the countryside right outside of Paris I met a goat cheese that I could not handle. As I unwrapped the cellophane from the soft cheese a smell like a farm enveloped me… and the rest of the train. If this were any where in the world but Paris I’m sure my fellow train commuters would have been sending me horribly disgusted looks at being enveloped in that fresh (Or not so fresh) goat smell.

It smelled horrible. It smelled like a dead goat, but I was in Paris and I had heard that the best cheeses some times smelled horrible. I spread some on the fresh bread we had just purchased at the cheesery and took a bite.

Thirty minutes earlier we had stumbled out of the Palace Versailles high on culture, having spent hours learning about kings and queens and French royalty. We were starving and as luck would have it, we quickly stumbled upon a cheese shop. Obviously no one in the cheese shop spoke English so I was on my own as I took in row after row of soft and hard and spreadable cheese. So many goat cheeses, so little time…

I choose a chunk of cheese blindly off the wooden shelves. We grabbed a chunk of fresh bread still warm from an early morning oven. Handing over a few Euros we were walking back towards the train station on an overcast Paris winters day in a matter of minutes. It was cheese time.

That first bite of official French goat cheese should have been amazing to a chevre lover like myself. Sadly though it was truly one of the most horrible things I have ever tasted in my life. I felt like I had just licked a barnyard. I wanted to wash off my tongue. I never knew that cheese could upset me and let me down so until I actually went to Paris and ate goat cheese on a train.

Believe me, I felt like a spoiled American. I thought up to that moment that I was the cheese queen. Half a world away from my U.S. home I found I was so wrong. (But I wasn’t ready to give up and switch to American cheese, not yet!)




  1. Jennifer

    I can smell it! We’ve been living in Germany for two years, and have learned to recognize, if not entirely appreciate, the special fragrance of a cheese shop/market booth.

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