Babybel Cheese

2 Jul

In my June 28th post, I wrote about my comfort foods; foods from my childhood that I still love because they taste good or they hold good memories.

In addition to meals and foods prepared by my parents, there are also singular food items that I love. Foods such as black olives, canned baby corn, pear apples, and pomegranates all hold special childhood memories for me. And they taste good too!

But one very special food item I’d like to talk about now is the Mini Babybel Cheese! You know, in case you couldn’t tell from the title.

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We didn’t live in poverty when I was a child, but my dad lost his job in 1991 and after that, every penny counted. My mom worked several jobs to keep us clothed, fed, and happy. And, for the most part, we were very happy! And part of that happiness included treats!

What parent doesn’t like to surprise his or her children with treats every so often? About once a year, my mom would buy a small bag of Mini Babybel cheeses. Have you seen them? Have you tried them? They are divine!

Little lumps of Edam cheese (though there are other varieties), enrobed in pliable red wax, all wrapped up in crinkly red plastic. As you can see there is five cheeses in a cute little mesh bag. My brother and I would get two and a half each!

I don’t know how much this particular product sold for twenty years ago but whenever I’ve looked at it in the store, I always think it’s too expensive. I’ve always considered this little package of cheese to be an amazing luxury item. One which I’ve never actually purchased as an adult living in my own home.

When I was 18, I went to Ottawa with a friend of mine and her mom. We stayed with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was a gorgeous big house but none of the grandeur impressed me like what was in their fridge.

The aunt would tell my friend and I to help ourselves to whatever was in the fridge. When I looked in the fridge I was shocked – SHOCKED – to see a large mesh bag FULL of Babybel cheeses. This family went all out with several packs of twelve. I couldn’t believe it! Not only could they afford more than five Babybels but they were willing to share. And I wasn’t even part of the family! I never shared my Babybels with anyone! NEVER!

I guess, at that moment, I kind of realized that not every family fills up their fridge in the same way. When you make more money, things that are treats to some people are everyday items to other people.

Even ten years later, I still picture that crisper drawer full of Babybels with awe and reverence. It still amazes me. At 18 years old, in the presence of such bounty, I could only bring myself to eat one of the little cheeses. Despite assurances and invitations, part of me really didn’t believe that this luxury item was up for grabs to anyone.

2 Responses to “Babybel Cheese”

  1. stacy July 4, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    I remember the first time you posted this…I STILL think of you every time I walk past the Babybel in the grocery store. I always want to buy a package and send it to you, but I know it wouldn’t make it there!

    • eatingdirt83 July 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

      I definitely appreciate the thought! But you’re right, cheese in the mail is a no-no!

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