|Flickr: chez loulou|
I always felt I had 'had' Brie because I saw it served at parties all the time in college.
Recently, I realized that even at said parties, it was always my default impulse to grab the Roquefort or blue, never the Brie. And then there were my misguided attempts to go vegan, which often caused me to try to eliminate cheese.
I recently rectified this error of ignoring Brie almost unconsciously. Gazing at the cheese section I thought: I haven't had Brie in ages, not since...wait...have I ever really eaten Brie? Blue cheese, yes. Gorgonzola, yes. Mozzarella, yes. All sorts of soft, white cheeses...but Brie?
After my first taste I realized that clearly I had not truly been living until this point, despite being on the earth for 39 years.
The problem with eating Brie for the first time as an adult is all other substances pale in comparison for at least a week. Hell, a month.
But eating Brie with roasted vegetables as dinner, or Brie on scrambled eggs or Brie with turkey is still a far healthier obsession than my sugar and carbohydrate addictions of my past, misguided youth. Also, with age and wisdom, I am just less inclined to get obsessed with a single food.
All joking aside, whenever someone insists that it is due to 'one food' that they made a life major change (either gaining or losing weight, moving to France, going Paleo or organic), I can't shake my head because I do know someone who insisted that was the case.
A friend of mine E-- was a student at Rutgers. Other than being a Classics major (which is kind of weird, admittedly), E-- was one of the most normal people I knew. Not too tall, not too short. Not too fat, not too thin. A moderate amount of makeup, but could go without wearing it and not regard the experience as traumatic. Went home every few weeks but lived on-campus. Had a nice, normal boyfriend she saw frequently but wasn't joined at the hip with at all times.
So of course Rutgers housing paired her with someone completely insane as a roommate.
Her roommate begin the year a fragile, doll-like blonde creature with tight blonde permed ringlets who hung posters of her high school career as a cheerleader on the walls. The Doll bought a scale with her so she could check her weight every morning. Instead of dining in the Rutgers cafeteria, she bought cans of tuna in water and fat free crackers to eat in her room, alone. She never drank or went out and was always at the gym, on the StairMaster. (This was the 90s).
My friend E-- wasn't a slob or overly indulgent, but she did get tired of Porcelain Doll looking disdainfully at her if she ordered pizza late at night or left her coat lying on the common room couch. The Doll's closet, of course, was perfectly organized by color, with her dainty shoes lined up at the bottom. And although my friend kept reasonable hours, she was still a college student, so the Doll's getting up at the crack of dawn to work out was disruptive to E--'s sleep schedule.
This went on until November or so, somewhat before Thanksgiving break. Of course, the Doll cracked. E--always attributed it to the grease trucks, the infamous vehicles selling food that are full of...the name says it all.
Suffice it to say that the most famous vendor amongst the grease trucks used to sell sandwiches with names like the Fat Bitch, although in today's politically-correct food era, the Fat Bitch has since been named the Fat Cat. (Shouldn't it have been renamed the Female Dog at very least? But I digress). Anyway, grease truck sandwiches were stuffed not only with multiple hamburger patties and bacon, but also French fries and mozzarella sticks...pretty much everything an anorexic would fantasize about in college at 2 AM.
|Flickr: Image credit|
After eating at the grease trucks, E--swore that her roommate underwent a sudden transformation. Within weeks, the Doll had a boyfriend. The roommate stopped perming her hair and dyed it bright red. The Doll stopped going to her classes (a bad thing to do if you are a science major with labs). My friend had trouble getting into the room because the Doll would sometimes barricade the door with furniture, to ensure she wouldn't be disturbed with her boyfriend. When E-- did get in, she would find strange, hippie-like people laying on the couch in the common room. The smell of pot (and worse, cheap incense) became so repulsively pervasive E--said she could smell it in her hair and even in her freshly-washed clothes.
And of course, the roommate gained 40 pounds and left empty take-out containers all over.
By the end of the year (over the course of which the roommate also began to get very seriously into Wicca and had redecorated the entire dorm with lots of purple posters and crystals) my friend was going home more frequently and/or very apologetically crashing with her boyfriend.
"At first I felt bad saying something, because I thought cutting lose was a positive development for the Doll," she said. "Then, when I finally complained, she was too wasted all the time to care."
Fortunately, my identity is not so fragile that Brie will change my character...but still...it is pretty awesome all the same, even more so, dare I say than one of these.
|Image credit: Yelp|