Most French people, myself very happily included, have a healthy relationship, some might even say a passionate relationship, with cheese. Manchego and I, for instance, are inseparable, and meet each morning for a breakfast rendez-vous, where I promptly devour poor Manchego after tucking him into a morsel of crusty bread, and chasing him down with some sweet grapes or pears d’Anjou. Some morning after! But when Mr. English told me that Samuel Pepys, the great diarist and Secretary of the Admiralty in England during the Great Fire of London, actually went out into his backyard and buried his Parmesan cheese to save it from the flames (evidently, he didn’t want Parmesan fondue), I realized that he had the same kind of lusty love for Parmesan that I have with Señor Manchego. And while I don’t keep my Manchego in a safe to ride out the impending financial cataclysm that may indeed be Manhattan’s answer to London’s flaming inferno, I did panic a bit this morning when my Manchego was not in its normal spot at my little corner market. Who moved my cheese!?
But more importantly, if the end of your world were approaching, which cheese would you bury in the backyard, too precious to you to be ravaged the burning lick of flames or the ravenous bites of impoverished Manhattanites?