Cheese Club

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Posted on: October 10, 2019

On the evening of October 2nd, in the unassuming classroom known as “HH 138”, a curious event took place. Students from various different faculties gathered to achieve the impossible. Their mission? To find out, once and for all, what cheese was best. Yes, this was a Cheese club meeting, known on Facebook as “Spice Up Your Cheese Life”, and previously called the “Campus Crusade for Cheese” in mockery of a similarly-named club. The Cheese Club is actually several decades old: perhaps a bit of a surprise for such a focused group.

The admissions fee was $3, and after paying it all the visitors had time to stand around while the core team worked on cutting up the various cheeses they bought from Vincenzo’s. A suggested topic of discussion was favourite cheeses, but apparently people were much more interested in discussing their co-ops, professional development courses, and the differences between various programs. It was all quite pleasant, though perhaps more chatting than one might expect from the event description.

Then, the group agglomerated into two lines – or perhaps two oblongs. One was in front of the desk with the president of the cheese club and his cutting board. The other was behind said desk. The basic plan was that we would all try the different cheeses, with some accompanying grapes, juice, crackers and dried mango. Then we would vote on our favourite cheese… after having seconds, of course.

We tried six excellent cheese from Vincenzo’s. First, I would like to apologize for not remembering all the names of the cheeses. We did make guesses and I think we were mostly right. We were so preoccupied with enjoying the unique cheese flavours that we forgot to write them down.

The first cheese we tried was Asiago. I was quite excited to try this cheese because it was a crossword clue from issue 1. I was sorely disappointed by this cheese. It was extremely mild like the spring morning where the sun the shining and you can feel a slight breeze on your sweater-covered arms. However the presentation of the cheese as a thinly grated slice emulates the weightlessness of a feather in the mild spring breeze. So compliment to the cheese club for excellent presentation, intentional or otherwise.

The next cheese we tried was an apricot cheese. Now, this wasn’t my first encounter with this fine cheese. It slowly crumbled at the light touch like the drywall in house demolition. This made it harder to eat but the cheese still had an exquisite taste. The sweetness of the apricot balanced the saltiness of the cheese.

The next cheese I tried was the brie. Now, brie is brie. It’s soft and creamy. The texture reminds me of a gooey  and sticky peanut butter sandwich. As for the cheese, it was quite mild. However, brie is a classic cheese that you really can’t go wrong with.

Another soft cheese that we had was a blue cheese. Now, I’m not a huge fan. However, when paired with a cracker the cheese was just splendid. A cracker helps cuts that off-putting flavour. I also don’t like the smell of the cheese so that might’ve turned me off.

The next cheese was a guacamole flavoured cheese. This cheese was probably introduced as a spice competitor against the Moroccan spice. More on that later. The cheese was distinctive as a result of its olive green colour. I’m a cheese traditionalist and this colour difference kind of turned me off. The taste was underwhelming. It wasn’t spicy but it had the slightest hint of some spice flavours.  I found it a little bitter too.

Finally, the incumbent cheese champion was Moroccan spice. Moroccan spice was a little spicy, as the name suggests, but not too spicy. The spice gave the flavour some depth. Another advantage to the spice was that it tasted distinct from the other cheeses of the night. It was in a word: show-stopping.

Then, the next step was to vote.

The Cheese Club operated on a first-past-the-post voting system, much to the dismay of election nerds, third cheese supporters and CGP Grey fans. Each participant was allowed only one vote. There weren’t any ballots, or voting anonymity, or even records: the core group would name a cheese, people would raise their hands, and after some quick counting the process would start for the next cheese. The winning cheese was the incumbent after whom the event was named: Moroccan Spice, which managed to win with 9 votes. This was definitely a plurality of votes, rather than a true majority: such is the price of voting simplicity.

There was an auction for the left-over cheeses, all of which had several bids. The bidding started at 25 cents, and increments of 1 cent were not accepted. Offering one nickel more than the competition was fair game though. The brie was sold for $1.25, the guacamole cheese was sold for $2 and the blue cheese was sold for $4.25. The other cheeses were apparently entirely consumed before the voting.

Interestingly, the end was where the proper introductions began. We were all asked for our name, program, favourite cheese, and an interesting fact about ourselves. We learned a bit about the core group running the Cheese Club during this part. They seem to be a casual but close-knit bunch with a long history, who joke around a lot because what else would you expect from a Cheese Club? Given the large number of visiting attendees, they openly wondered if attracting still more people was a good idea. They also revealed that it is possible to find love at Cheese Club… though not necessarily likely.

There was still one remaining mystery left to resolve: the fate of the Cheese Hat. This powerful artifact from Cheese Clubs of yore was left at the Iron Warrior’s office several terms ago, but apparently never collected and not moved to our tiny new office. What did the current staff have to say regarding dairy helmets? Well, they had A Cheese Hat, which they used at a previous event but didn’t bring with them to this one. The fate of the elder hat was never brought up.

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