Cheese is milk’s leap towards immortality.
– Clifton Fadiman

If butter and I ever have a falling out, cheese will quickly and easily take its place. The transition wouldn’t even be that rough because they’re both made from dairy, are both fatty and a little salty, and I’d take either melted on pretty much anything. Recipes that call for butter and cheese practically put me under the table. Cheese is what makes the world great; practically everyone loves it and I’m fairly certain if America were to bestow a grilled cheese truck to every country, war would cease. You can quote me on that.

My best foodie friend, S, has a best friend who works at a cheese shop. To say that I covet S is an understatement — cheese plates whenever she wants them (more or less). They eat cheese while watching “Glee.” They eat cheese on the weekends. A couple months ago they visited a cheese festival in downtown Portland. Theirs is a relationship that should be immortalized and then revered.

On the other end of the spectrum, one of my closest friends is married to a man who hates cheese. He doesn’t like the way it tastes or the texture and would rather it be left out of all recipes. Perhaps I married a Republican, but at least he loves cheese.

Everything J hates about cheese is what I am so in love with. It triggers my tastebuds just thinking about it; salty creaminess and a sharpness that can sometimes shock you, but then settle in the more you devour. Cheese melts beautifully and you can pour it over vegetables or bread or pasta or potatoes. I remember the first time I ever had fondue — it was warm and gooey, and as I dipped my bread cubes in, it produced a lovely stringy mess that got on the table and my hands. Husband and I went to the Oregon coast for our honeymoon and on one particularly gray, drizzly day, we headed to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where I am pleased to report they were busy making hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of cheese. I sampled each type at the end of the tour, savoring the special reserve sharp and munching on the squeaky curds. And the dessert following the best meal I ever ate (more on that at a later date, I promise) was a seasonal cheese and fruit plate with this lovely cheese, creamy pale yellow swirled with pink. In trying to pinpoint one significant memory I have with cheese, I realize it is impossible. It was sharp and bright when it needed to be and warm and comforting when I was blue. I constantly crave cheese.

If you, too, crave cheese every day, visit: http://www.ilovecheese.com for recipes, a cheese guide, and entertaining ideas.

Advertisements