Loving Lately: Cheese
Truth be known, I never fall out of love with cheese. Confession: I am a cheese lover; creamy, sharp, firm, sweet, musky… rank, stank, or dank. I’m like part mouse. So I kind of lose my mind in front of a good cheese section at a market. Honestly, I could spend all of our monthly reserves (and then some). And the practical part of me is like, it’s just cheese… wouldn’t you rather save that money for something else? Vacation? Pedicure? Getting your roots touched up? And the answer is no. Because I love cheese. And I never feel guilty about buying food. True story. Because feeding my family is completely justifiable. I wish you could have seen all of the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan that was in our baked ziti last night.
So, on our monthly pilgrimage to Trader Joes (because it is about an hour away) I admittedly got carried away. I allow myself to let loose because anything with the “Trader Joe” label (or Trader José or Trader Ming) gives effort to uphold the following standards: NO artificial flavors, NO artificial preservatives, YES colors derived only from naturally available products, NO MSG, NO genetically modified ingredients, NO partially hydrogenated oils (artificial trans-fats), etc. Those kind of things matter to me. (For a full discloser of the Trader Joe policy click here.)
According to cheese.com, cheese was born around 4000 years ago when people started to process the milk of their animals. It is a food made mostly from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. I’ll tell you, it was a stroke of genius. Wikipedia says, “Cheese is a food derived from milk that is produced in a wide range of flavors, textures, and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein… usually acidified…” Yadi yadi yada… It’s delicious. There are around 500 different varieties recognised by the International Dairy Federation, but nearly 1,000 identified through other standards, ranging by starters and moisture contents, etc.
Buenalba? What is that? Do I like it? Probably- because it’s cheese. There’s only one way to find out. Emmentaler and Gruyère? I love my Swiss cheeses… Fondue anyone? It is perfect for these chilly evenings! Comté and Brie? A nod to my French heritage. I could finish off that roll of Chevre by myself… with ease… and delight. English Stilton? It’s pear season for crying out loud! It’s always time for Greek Feta. I bought some great American cheddar. And just like that, I’ve been to Europe and back- via cheese. I’m in love. And it never gets old, maybe aged. That’s a cheesy joke.