Replenishing the Roquefort

My latest craving has been for Roquefort cheese. I used to hate Roquefort. It was when I was living in France that I learned first to eat around the green. Amazingly, I loved the taste of the white part–and then little by little, I didn’t even notice the green and started eating that along with the white, and by then I was seriously hooked. Now nothing else will do when that craving invades my consciousness like a tsunami of obsessive desire.

It was on Sunday night when I finished off the last of my Roquefort supply. “I can make it until tomorrow,” I told myself when my first instinct was to run to the grocery store to restock. (I like to have ample stocks of the objects of any potential cravings just in case one strikes in the middle of the night–something that has never happened.) But Monday morning, there I was at the grocery store to replenish the Roquefort–and guess what? They were out. They would not have more until Thursday. They might as well have said “until the next millennium.” Cravings are like that. So I came home and tried to be adult.

I broke open a container of Gorgonzola crumbles that have been the object of my obsessive desire in the past. That seemed to be the closest thing to Roquefort I had on hand. Yuck. Gorgonzola is not even close to Roquefort–and, I found out, nothing tastes worse than Gorgonzola when it’s Roquefort that holds your heart and your taste buds hostage.

Forget acting like an adult. A goose chase was in the making as I prepared to run to the end of the earth, if necessary, in a premeditated route created in a state of heightened hysteria. I was intent on quelling the unquenchable lust that had overtaken my previously rational mind. I am happy to say I got lucky and the first stop on the route had the coveted prize. Whew.

You just never know when a craving will strike, except that for me it seems that it’s very often–as in every day. Added mystery is that I never know what it will be for, except that there is a list of all-time favorites that are likely to reappear, even if I can’t say when.

Among those on that favored cravings list is bread–but always a specific kind from a specific place on a specific day–cravings are by nature super specific. It could be the French bread from a particular bakery on the other side of town. It could be the whole grain bread that has to be special ordered through the bakery department of my usual grocery store. It could be the multi-grain bread from a bakery not too far afield. Or, it could be the French bread from Costco–not at all conveniently located to my base of operations.

And that’s another point. Cravings are often for things not easily obtainable–it’s part of the perversity. When I lived in France I craved dill pickles–totally unknown to the French. For a country that prides itself as the Shangri-la of the gourmet set, it is definitely pickle poor–they have only one kind. Now that I’m back in living in the US, I sometimes have a craving for French pickles–obtainable, but not easily.

Also while in France I craved peanut butter cups and raisin bran. I had never craved those before, nor have I since. The hook apparently was that I couldn’t easily have either. I could have the peanut butter cups, if not the raisin bran, only if I drove two and a half hours one way to the next largest city where there was a closet-sized shop that had some American grocery items, apparently reflecting the usual cravings of my countrymen–things like ketchup and Oreos. The peanut butter cups were stocked, at least sometimes, and just knowing that kept that craving alive and ongoing for 5 years.

I’ve been known to crave hotdogs and liverwurst–although usually not at the same time–and as I now don’t eat meat from 4-legged origins, that has been a bit of a dilemma. But–at least there are vegetarian hotdogs–not at all the same thing, but in the end I think it is more the mustard and the relish that I am after rather than the hotdog itself. And again while living in France, I thought I was going to die for not being able to get the very yellow mustard we Americans use on those hodogs–somewhat ironically, named French’s.

All things French aside, other cravings of recent note have been for pumpkin pie–the specific one made in my grocery store’s bakery, white nectarines, red grapes, shortcake biscuits (my mother’s recipe) with honey on them, strawberry ice cream, sweet pepper relish, applesauce cake, meatballs (they have vegetarian ones), Asian pears, Irish cheese, Swedish coffee, and pasta with vodka tomato cream sauce. All this and I’m not even pregnant.

But for now, Roquefort is the craving du jour–and wouldn’t you just know, it’s French.

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