Do not eat the rind
Type of Spiritual Experience
This wonderfully written entry – found on EROWID has all the hallmarks of a classic experience…………
A description of the experience
Do Not Eat the Rind – Stilton, by dfraser Vaults of EROWID
There was a recent spate of reports in the media about the next possible drug craze - Stilton cheese. Apparently 20 grams of it before bed causes phantasmagorical dreams. The media has obviously failed in its attempts to kick start the next drug controversy, but I decided to experiment with Stilton now before the Moral Majority and the granola eating fascists join forces to prevent people from altering their consciousness -and- clogging their arteries. When someone invents a psychedelic that makes everything taste like cheeseburgers, the Drug War will be officially lost...
I searched on erowid.org for any existing trip reports involving Stilton (or any cheese for that matter - see http://www.britishcheese.com/news.cfm?page_id=240) but curiously, there are none. Is cheese just too prosaic and not hard core enough for druggies, compared to exotic chemicals from exotic plants from the exotic Amazon, served up by wizened shamans from their pot of boiling leaves and lizards? Or man made chemicals with long inscrutable names that only biochem geeks understand? I can only imagine a conversation at the next party –
'The Pink Dolphin Yage? that's so 2007. Last week, I tried some iso-reversed methodoxy-psilocybin - it's sort of like ibogaine - I got from a friend of a friend of a friend of Shulgin.'
'What's your latest drug, Doug?'
'What the heck is Stilton???'
'Um...cheese. I, ah, got it at Safeway....'
Given Americans' general predilections towards escapism and getting fat, perhaps it is best that the psychoactive properties of cheese be known to only the cognoscenti
T-3hrs: I go down to the local supermarket to pick up some Stilton. There's not a wide range available - Sainsbury's only offers 3 kinds (the Basic, the more fancy Creamy Stilton, and the British Blue Stilton) Uncertain what to buy, I buy all 3 (23g, 18g and 30g respectively). I debate whether I should also pick up a bottle of wine to support my sort of pedestrian cover story (a 'party') if stopped and questioned as to why I'm buying so much cheese. But the focus these days is on meth addicts with the constant sniffles, so I think The Man is too distracted nowadays. In any case, I will not use my Frequent Shopper card - god knows what sort of data mining algorithms they are running.
As these are all Sainsbury branded cheeses, I realize I will have to check out Tesco and Waitrose branded cheeses as well on the off chance there might some significant differences in effect. And then there's speciality cheese shops and gourmet mail order... My mind reels at the breadth of this experiment; I will have to keep a close eye on my cholesterol if I am going to be thorough.
T-2.5hrs: Now home, I decide to try the Creamy Stilton first. It's only 18g - the recommended dose is 20g - but I am unsure of Stilton's safety profile (or how I may react as well). Stepping up to the 23g after this seems like the reasonable, responsible thing to do rather than being bold and doing the 30g immediately (there are old psychonauts, there are bold...). I make a note to myself that I should get a doctor's appointment for a EKG and whatever else is needed to check out my arteries next week.
Following instructions, I unwrap the cheese to 'let it breathe' to catalyze [scientific gourmet gobblygook]. Apparently it will taste better because refrigeration is bad for cheese and especially supermarket refrigerators.
T+0: The zero hour... It's a good cheese, very reminiscent of blue cheese, but not as strong. It's a bit crumbly, with a good mouth feel, and hints of buttermilk and maybe a bit of lemon. Definitely a better olfactory experience than snorting caustic chemicals.
T+10min: It's good cheese, I like it, but ... almost 20 grams IS a lot. My taste buds are bitching. It's not ayahuasca, or the distilled psychedelic motor oil that I made from San Pedro, but I think being overwhelmed like this will prevent Stilton from being the next easy/fun drug craze (fortunately). I resolve to press on in the name of science.
T+15min: All done - the rind was much more bitter and I wasn't sure if I should, but what the hell. As it turns out, you're not supposed to eat the rind - it may have anti-molding agents and whatever dirt the factory worker had on his hands in it. Being a dumb American, ignorant in the ways of cheese, how I am supposed to know? All the cheese I remember of in America was packaged in shrink wrap plastic and obviously coloured with artificial colours. I still haven't quite grokked the importance of cheese in UK culture, but think I am beginning to. I mean, if the stuff is consciousness-altering... well, decent cheese at least. Perhaps this explains why cheese in America is crap (according to various Brits) - the American government would never approve of a decent cheese if it could be abused by thrill seekers.
T+?hrs: I don't know what time I woke up, I was bleary - it had been a bad trip (dream). I blame eating the rind. DO NOT EAT THE RIND. From what I remember, I was in a room, sitting in a chair. The only other thing in this blueish white room (much like the color of the cheese) was a picture. I forget what the picture was of, but as I was sitting there, dread (evinced by a definite upset stomach) filled me, then an old lady came out of the picture, like in 'The Ring'. I realized then it was a dream, and I was on the verge of waking up, but certainly not soon enough. I was paralyzed and tried to scream, but couldn't get out any sound, despite my open mouth. The old lady turned into ectoplasm and then started to flow into my throat chakra. I woke up at that point with the distinct conception or idea of physically pulling this ectoplasm out of my throat area. The anima can be a real bitch...
T+?hrs: I wake up again, albeit briefly. All I remembered in the morning was that the dream involved cows.
T+9hrs: I wake up for good this time, on the tail end of the 3rd dream. This dream as well was sort of disturbing - I don't remember much, but the climax consisted of a giant cloud of smog coming from China, blowing over the radioactive Middle East, and hitting England resulting in a downpour of marble. The marble of course was blue veined...
Overall, this experiment was sort of depressing - interesting, but not the Beatles-delic sort of experience I was hoping for. Is Stilton cheese one of my allies? This was only the first test, and it was a low dose - I just need to find the right combinations of variables (brand, variant, dosage, maybe some wine added in as well...). Maybe it's not even Stilton I need to try - a whole new world of drug experimentation has opened up for me!