Fungi on the Rind
A Camembert’s a cheese whose claim to fame
Involves a smelliness that’s hard to name.
Mushroom aromas with a barnyard twist,
Hints of ripe laundry by garlic kissed,
This is how the cheese’s loving hordes
Try to put their passion into words.
Who, after all, could possibly not savor
The scents these connoisseurs insanely favor:
Dirty t-shirts, sweaty pants, and cow pies,
Toadstools blooming next to fragrant pig stys.
But let us let that be just as it may.
About this cheese there’s even more to say.
Camembert, while young, lives in a rind.
A nicer cover would be hard to find.
A living surface, not unlike our “peau,”
(That’s French for “skin” in case you didn’t know),
The rind provides a shelter good and moldy
To help the cheese become a golden oldy.
The cheese in turn feeds fungi on the rind.
Help me, it says, and I’ll repay in kind.
And here’s what seems well nigh incredible:
This rind for you and me is edible.
Atop the gooey goodness that comes out
The rind rewards our tastebuds with tart clout.
Come shed with me some tears of gratitude
For Camembert, a cheese with attitude,
Born in France’s Normandy, it’s said.
You bring the cheese and wine. I’ll bring the bread.
(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)