Sweet dreams are made of cheese

I remember a UW recruiter telling me at a university fair over a year ago, “Why choose Waterloo? We provide the best co-op opportunities, global recognition of academic achievement, and we have a cheese club!” At the end of the conversation, I was sold — mainly due to the cheese club. 

More than a year has passed and I forgot about that special club, like a forgotten toy buried in the bottom of a toy box. After dropping co-op and flunking half of my courses, I was lost, senseless of where I was going. I knew the only way for me to endure was to finally go to the UW cheese club, a.k.a. Campus Crusade for Cheese — the only club in UW that eats and votes on cheese for meetings. 

The meeting took place in a tiny tutorial room in RCH, crowded with cheese enthusiasts who couldn’t wait to stuff themselves with fermented milk. Perhaps it was the worry-free look in their eyes, the genuine smile on their faces, or maybe even the alluring smell of cheese that made me feel like I came to the right place. The easy and unhurried environment can effortlessly free you from all your stress, a mini getaway for a toonie (the cost to partake). 

Eleven different piles of cheeses were scattered across the table, ranging from alcoholic cheese to chocolate fudge cheese — all favorites from the previous cheese crusaders. We were asked to sample each of the piles  and then vote on our favourite cheese, and the winner would return the following week. This club is a rare opportunity where we all get to be the judge, and you can never be wrong because everyone has different taste preferences. The art of cheese tasting explores not only flavour but also smell, texture, creaminess and more. Different people also have different methods of consumption: some would take it slow by taking a tiny bite each time while others would one-bite kill.

Cheese club is one place where it’s socially acceptable to make judgments: comments such as “the most repulsive thing I’ve ever tasted” and “it burned my tongue and my heart” are encouraged and praised. Cheesey jokes and puns were often thrown around and laughter became part of the meeting, relieving me of academic and social pressure.

As all things must come to an end, so too did the cheese club meeting. Watching other students gradually walking out of the room, I remained seated in my chair, still not getting enough of the experience. People work so hard to retire early and enjoy the simple things in life, but when do they ever give themselves time to enjoy life now, to eat and discuss cheese with friends?