Cheese is a controversial nutrient. Some fancy it to be the point of joining gourmet cheese clubs or cheese-of-the-month societies. Others, less enthusiastic, do not tolerate it within inhaling distance. Disagreements about cheese extend beyond olfactory and gustatory perceptions to appraisals of its constitutional effects. Admirers find that "the best of all physicians is apple pie and cheese." Disdainers define cheese as a food that "digests everything but itself." Together with the poet they lament,
A tiny bit of camembert! What strange illusions linger there What visions direful and distressed Through hours that should be sweet with rest.
Clearly, neither friend nor foe ignores the humorous aspects of the disputed product. A smile comes naturally when, posing for a photographic camera, we say "cheese."
Cheese ceased to be a smiling—let alone a laughing—matter after the discovery of the "cheese reaction" in 1963. In a number of patients taking tranylcypromine or