I was made aware by the lovely Cat over at See Tiny Run that a few days ago was National Cheese Lovers Day. Yes, something like that exists. This is America! You can make up whatever you want! Although I am a few days behind, I would like to say that I am a certified Cheese Lover. This was my day, and I didn't even know it! To make up for it, I'm going to talk about cheese a lot right now!
A list of my favorites:
1) Blue/gorgonzola. I was a late comer in terms of this particular cheese appreciation, which is a sad story, because BLUE CHEESE IS THE BEST THING EVER INVENTED. I have to say I can't eat straight blue cheese crumbles from a tub--I tried once and was heartily disappointed--but throw some of that shit on top of a burger or in a salad, or pretty much anywhere else, and I will order it. An abundance of chunky blue cheese dressing is also of course the yin to my boneless buffalo chicken yang. There has to be a lot of it, and it has to be chunky. Do you know there are people who get RANCH with buffalo chicken? RANCH. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
2) Extra sharp cheddar. Extra sharp white cheddar is particularly wonderful, when available. Sharp cheddar is acceptable. Mild cheddar is pointless. WHY WOULD YOU GET MILD CHEDDAR WHEN YOU CAN GET SHARP? MILD CHEDDAR IS FOR LOSERS. Yeah, I said it.
3) Mozzarella. I learned from Barbara Kingsolver in Animal Vegetable Miracle that the softer the cheese, the healthier it is for you. Which makes it okay for me to consume a whole chunk/wheel of mozzarella in one sitting, right, because I could. I really could. Kingsolver and her family made their own cheese all the time in this book, and she explains that the softer the cheese, the easier and quicker it is to make, as well. However, although this is interesting, I will never make my own cheese, even with my intense love, due to this equation: My Laziness > My Love of Cheese = Sorry, Barbara Kingsolver (You Know I Love You).
Also, did you know that mozzarella is made from buffalo milk? Well, you probably did. But it blew my mind, let me tell ya.
4) Parmesan. So sometimes, I buy a bag of shredded parmesan cheese, to, you know, use in a recipe or put over pasta. And I may or may not end up eating the entire bag, straight, while watching TV.
5) White American. (The orange skeezes me out for some reason.) What is in American cheese? Nobody knows. It is a mystery, but a trashy, delicious one. As I've moved around the country and shopped at different supermarkets, I find the quality of American cheese to vary quite a bit. For some reason, nothing ever tastes as good as the American cheese my mom gets at home from the good ol' Hawley IGA. Don't ask me why. Most people get slices of American to put on sandwiches, but I like to take the slices, fold them into little squares, and eat them square by square. Yep.
6) Havarti. So creamy and good. (This is only for when I'm feeling fancy.)
Really the only cheeses I'm not a fan of are swiss, and munster. Munster cheese is just stupid. Also, although I love me some monterey jack, when it comes to pepper jack, those little flecks of pepper get stuck in my teeth and nauseate me a little. Kathy tells me I'm crazy for this, and she's probably right, but there you have it.
Lately, it is a necessity for Kathy and I to have at least one block of Tillamook cheese in our fridge at all times. (Note my sister in the picture above, displaying the glories at the Tillamook Cheese Factory Gift Shop. Yes, I have been there several times. Yes, it is the cultural highlight of Tillamook County.) Only problem is, that block always disappears, real fast. Whenever it does, this is what we say to each other:
Kathy: We are out of cheese.
To talk about cheese some more, there is a place in Portland I have wanted to go to ever since I read about it in the paper over a year ago. It is called Cheese Bar. CHEESE BAR, PEOPLE. What more do you need to know? NOTHING. But, if you DID need to know more, according to its website, it has:
- 200+ artisan and specialty cheeses, many exclusive
- 50+ seasonal, small batch, and hard-to-find beers
CHEESE AND BEER, MY TWO FAVORITE THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Don't ask me why I haven't actually gone there yet. I am already ashamed of myself.
And now, I'll leave you with some of the finest 17 seconds ever recorded for television.
CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE!
Okay. I'm done.