“Caseonaut” is a term that my husband came up with, after I complained to him about not knowing what to call myself.

“I’m a cheese-head!” I’d said to my mother earlier that day.

“No, a cheese-head is someone from Wisconsin,” said my mother.

“Oh,” I said sadly.

“I’m a cheese-monger!” I’d later said to a woman selling cheese in a cheese-shop.

“No,” the woman said.  ”I’m a cheese-monger.  A cheese-monger is a seller-of-cheese.”

“Oh,” I said sadly.

“You could call yourself a ‘caseophile,’” the woman said kindly.  ”It means ‘a lover of cheese…..’ Or maybe a ‘turophile,’ which also means ‘a lover of cheese….’”

But I didn’t like those words enough to adopt one.  As one of my cheese-loving friends, Alison, says, the words sound “kind of stalker-ish.”  And plus, I might love cheese, but I don’t feel that I know enough about cheese to use such an intense word for myself.  ”Caseophile” sounds like it’s a word for someone totally-in-the-know-about-cheese.  I am not someone who is totally-in-the-know-about-cheese….I am instead someone who is currently trying to find out as much about cheese as she can.  I want to be in the know, but I know that no, I am not now in the know.  No.

“How about ‘caseonaut,’ an explorer of cheese?” said my husband.

“Oh!” I said delightedly.



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