It’s About The Cheese

I’m starting to wonder whether travel will ultimately become, for me, a quest for cheese.

Sure, I’m looking for scenery, wine, good food, tequila, excitement, photo ops and the like. But after I get home I always seem to start wondering where I can find me some of that cheese, whatever cheese it was.

For years I’ve been making a cheese stop at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, Vt., whenever a trip takes me up I-91 into those parts. Right near the checkout counter there’s a little display of "today’s hand cut Cabot cheese," the world’s best cheddar.

But cheddar is just one cheese.

In Russia, my niece and I bought several blocks of a solid goat cheese that we would slice up and eat with pieces of tart apples. I don’t much like ordinary, soft goat cheese. Too goaty. But this stuff was different —  sharp but not too pungent.

After our return I scoured supermarket cheese counters for something, anything, like that delicious Russian cheese. Nothing.

One day I was shopping in Trader Joe’s in West Hartford when my eye alighted on a Dutch goat gouda that had the same color and texture as that Russian cheese. I took it home and – eureka! –  it was the right cheese. Not 100 percent exactly, but very much and quite satisfactorily the right cheese.   

Then, in Galicia, in northern Spain, I encountered a cheese that is called tetilla because it’s sold in the shape of  a … Hershey’s kiss. It’s a soft, mild slightly salty cheese with a nice tang. I was smitten. (The famous sheep’s-milk manchego cheese didn’t thrill me nearly as much.)

But where to find tetilla cheese in the United States? The closest I’ve come so far is a nice fontina, again from Trader Joe’s. It’s almost right.

I guess I’ll have to keep looking.


3 thoughts on “It’s About The Cheese

  1. Jeanne Leblanc

    Thanks for the links, Frank. I was just trying (apparently without much success) to be funny about the meaning of tetilla … I had some shipped from La Tienda,, to go with some membrillo that my mother and I made. Heavenly! And brief. It got eaten very quickly.


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