Tag Archives: Cheese

So Many Bacteria-Laced Milk Products and So Little Time

Warning:  Though proper writing limits the overuse of adverbs, with this post that rule has been officially flushed. Please enjoy.

 

Are you a lover of cheese? If so, what is your favorite, perhaps Bleu Cheese? limburger cheeseIf this is the case does your allegiance lie with the all American Maytag (a middle of the road cheese strength wise, but tangy and full of flavor); the Danish Bleu, considered mild; or the pungent Roquefort named for the town in France from which it hails? A dusting of Feta turns a salad into a meal fit for me. A creamy Brie spread across a cracker is something to savor.  Gruyère piled high over a perfectly toasted crostini, floating in a bowl of onions soup, and melted until bubbly and brown is something to cherish.

That’s the thing about cheese, or at least one of the things, for there are many. When you name your favorite cheese, you’ll soon find there’s no such thing,  instead you began to compile a list. So let the compilation continue.

Four simple words, “extra sharp cheddar cheese,”…could you possibly say it any better than that? Well, please allow me to answer that question. Can you say Parmesan? I don’t mean the stuff you grew up with shaking from the green can.  I am speaking of the crème de la crème, none other than Parmesan Reggiano! There, are you satisfied because I pretty much said it all… Well, then again maybe not.

Can you even began to utter the word cheese without adding that all-important prefix?  “Macaroni and.”

When I speak of macaroni and cheese I’m not talking about the stuff in the $.25 box with elbow macaroni and a packet containing a suspect orange powder.  I’m speaking of a cream based white sauce infused with fontina, asiago, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. The sauce is mixed with the perfectly cooked pasta, slightly underdone to allow for the extra time in the oven to bring the dish together; topped with a thin layer of homemade bread crumbs and then baked until bubbly with a light crunchy top layer.

How about a burger with Swiss Cheese and mushrooms or freshly grated Pecorino Romano on those meatballs swimming in marinara? A pizza covered with gooey mozzarella that refuses to disconnect even when a slice is removed from the mother pie. Instead, this cheesy lifeline stretches valiantly in a vain attempt to remain with its siblings. Or that smoky taste of provolone on your favorite sub or the delightful flavor of a melted piece of Havarti toasting in the Panini press?

I suppose I must extend an honorable mention to those individually wrapped slices of processed food we all know as “American cheese.” Even though it cannot be legally sold in the US as cheese but rather “processed cheese” it is still very popular.

I could go on and on and after that go on and on and on, but alas there are too many cheeses to name within the average person’s life span; however, I would be remiss if I did not venture into the dark side of the cheese world.  Yes, I’m talking about the cheese that some love to love, but most love to hate. A cheese that when fully ripe oozes from within its protective rind as a viscous blob of pus ready to consume any and all it happens to touch.  I suppose I could pen a novel entitled, “Knights of the Round Cheese Wheel,” where good King Cheddar and his cohorts, Sir Provolone, Sir Swiss-A-Lot, Sir Roman-O-Had, Sir Pecivere and a host of brave cheese warriors defeat the rhinasious pus dragon.

Alas, I must be true to myself and especially my loyal readers, the heinous glob I speak of is none other than, “Limburger cheese.”

If you’ve never had the good fortune of inhaling this odiferous concoction, it’s not hard to get an idea of the odor the real cheese exudes.  Each day the young blocks of Lindbergh are wiped down with a solution containing the same bacteria that causes our body odor.

If the beginning of this post stimulated your appetite, the ending sure washed it down the gutter.

With that I bid you a fond ado until next week……

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For Once, Just Leave it Alone and Eat it

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables (Photo credit: nutrilover)

 

Food. We fork it off our plate or pick it up with our fingers, insert it into our mouths, masticate, swallow and repeat. Food. Necessary for survival and in most cases, it brings great enjoyment. During the summer months, we look forward to the fruits and vegetables at produce stands, backyard gardens and pots sitting on decks and window boxes, all displaying fresh wares.

 

We see cattle grazing on the tender shoots of grass, chickens running through yards, plucking out June bugs on the wing, and luscious walking-pork chops wallowing in the cool mud.

 

Artisan bakers producing loaves of bread, baguettes, croissants and all matter of baked goods.

 

Artisan cheese makers drawing the milk, adding the rennet, separating the curds from the whey, compressing the curds (depending on the type of cheese), adding salt and aging the cheese for months and gently turning it until it reaches optimum quality.

 

All these things I have mentioned are part of the wonderful bounty we have before us on which to dine.

 

I have but one question to ask: Why then do we choose to eat a 25 cent box of macaroni and cheese?

 

Or instead, we can pull one of the many frozen dinners out of the freezer and nuke it, having dinner on the table in a matter of minutes.

 

What could be better than a fast food burger with a side order of fat-laden potatoes and a drink sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup?

 

A lot, apparently. According to Scientific American, HFCS not only increases the risk of health-related diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, but there is evidence that it actually inhibits the brain’s ability to tell the stomach that it is full. The result? Over-eating and obesity.

 

We’ve taken wonderfully healthy food that our bodies were meant to ingest in order to operate proficiently, and traded it for boxes, cans, and frozen containers of processed crap, all for the sake of convenience.

 

I remember when I penned my first short story. I found myself very impatient and wanting to finish. I took the enjoyment out of writing for the sake of instant gratification. I told myself that I would never be able to write a novel for the very same reason.

 

Luckily, I made an about face. Now, I choose my words carefully and take whatever time is necessary when re-writing and editing. The same philosophy applies to eating.

 

The time it takes to prepare a decent and healthy meal is minimal, considering the benefits you receive. Would you put old, regular gas in a brand new Ferrari? Of course not. Then why load your body up with garbage?

 

I will now return to my re-writes and my cored and slices apple. After all, you know what they say: An apple a day…

 

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