Descending upon a perfectly triangular wedge of cheddar or Camembert, Carr's water cracker in hand and the rest of the box at the ready, is as close to a religious experience as a cheese lover can get. That first bite of brie might not have you doubled over speaking in tongues, but there's something uniquely divine about the high that follows, like you're floating on a cloud and the cloud is made of ricotta.
That is not a metaphor. (Maybe a little bit of a hyperbole, but not a metaphor.) There's some scientific evidence that cheese may or may not be able to legitimately get you high; it contains casein, a protein commonly found in mammalian milk that, when broken down during digestion, produces casomorphins. And casomorphins are opioid peptides, protein fragments that attach to the same brain receptors as heroin and other narcotics — thus explaining both the blissed-out feeling and the irrepressible cravings.
Assuming, of course, that you choose to believe these studies over good old-fashioned common sense, which dictates that the only reason why you can't stop buying, eating, and thinking about cheese is because it tastes good and you like it. And this is true of many people, which is why bringing a thick wedge of nice cheese to a party is always a safe bet — the savory equivalent of a bottle of wine. But, like many things you'd describe as a "safe bet," it's also predictable, which leaves us with the conundrum: What do you get the cheese lover in your life that isn't cheese?
Well, that's simple. You get them a slice of the new hand-poured milk soaps from FarmHouse Fresh. In four "flavors" — Blueberry Chia Seed and Lavender Honey, both made with whole milk, and Oatmeal and Pistachio Cream, from the milk of a goat. At $14, they're not cheap, but they're no more expensive than an actual wedge of artisan dairy product.
And if this is a person you love almost as much as they love cheese, there is the Local Gourmet Milk Soaps Gift Set, which contains two of each soap and comes packed in a circular wood box, just like a wheel of cheese. There's one key difference, of course, which is the fact that you can't eat it — but you know humans aren't really supposed to be eating dairy in the first place.