I didn’t intend to pay $21.00 a pound for Welsh cheddar cheese. In fact, I wasn’t planning on buying cheese at all. At the grocery store, tiny yellow cubes gently stabbed with toothpicks marched in single file at the dairy counter.
“Try one,” the sales lady smiled. She must have detected my wolf-like pause. I don’t believe I was salivating, but I think she noticed me wetting my lips. My passion is cheese, and my friends always joked that I would probably eat it with my morning cereal. “Your life will change for the better after you enjoy one of these delicacies.”
I cannot resist a free sample, especially when we’re talking about cheese. One morsel was considerably bigger than the others. I plunged the larger cube into my mouth, being aware of the wonderful fragrance and saltiness. My eyes closed and I fell into a three second trance.
“What do you think?” the lady awakened me.
“Not bad, I suppose.” I lied. In fact, it was the most aromatic cheddar I had ever tasted.
“Want to take some home?”
“Why not?” I began. “Everybody needs cheese. I’ll take three pounds.”
The imported product was prepackaged in several sizes and the lady handed me a large cellophane-wraped rectangle.
“That’ll be $63.00 please.”
“It’s $21.00 a pound.”
“It’s been aged for six months. It also takes a lot of work to create…”
“You do like it, don’t you?”
“It’s delicious.” Damn, there went my negotiating skills out the door.
“Here,” she handed me a two-pound square. “Take this home to your family and just come back if you want more.
$42.00 was actually the entire budget for my morning grocery spree. “Let’s start out with a half pound, if you don’t mind,” I suggested.
The lady handed me a much smaller package. At least I could afford $10.50. I returned home and cut the cube into large slices. I will never forget the sandwich that followed.