The sex life of cheeses

We all know it. Sex and food go together. There's a sensuous, lovely triple creme cheese, La Tur, that I have called my Cheese Boyfriend. Its mouth feel is so velvety and delightful that, for me at least, it spills over into the sensual. I think of kissing this cheese. With tongue.

I'm not the only cheese pervert, either. When a shipment of sample cheeses came in from France last week, one of the wholesale managers tasted an epoisses and yelled "Marry me!" at the wrinkly little cheese.

But there's more to the sex life of cheeses, beyond the pleasures of the palate. The reason that sheep milk cheese is so much more expensive than cow? Has a lot to do with the sex life of sheep.

According the Zoe, the maven of the caves, cows, and to some extent goats, can be coerced into mating during times that are not their natural seasons. But not sheep. They mate like clockwork, one time a year, and will not be pressured into anything other. They are finicky guys and gals, and mate only in spring. They insist on nursing their young.

So the season during which sheep are "fresh," or milk producing, is limited to the months between weaning the young, and when the sheep dry out a few months later. Then there's about a six month stretch where the sheep produce no milk, until they're ready to mate again the next season.

And you thought sheep were just a bunch of pushovers!