With the world awash in bad news, I was delighted to learn that science has just proclaimed cheese to be good for you.
For years science insisted that cheese clogged your arteries and would kill you in five to 75 years. Well, as it turns out, a modest, daily portion of cheese improves heart health. Instead of sending you to an early grave, a chunk of cheddar, a glob of gouda or a morsel of mozzarella will keep you out of the cemetery for days, weeks or decades on end.
I’m going to savor these findings until science changes its mind.
Cheese, you see, is my dietary weakness strength. Nothing tickles my tastebuds like a slice of 20 year-old Wisconsin cheddar or a dollop of baked, buttery Brie on a sesame cracker. I could eat cheese from dawn to dusk and then again from dusk to dawn. Hard, soft, semi-soft, liquid or gas — I just can’t get enough of the stuff.
I’m fond of fondue. The sizzle of saganaki is music to my ears. Also … Feta cheese omelets. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Mac and cheese. French onion soup simmering under a blanket of baked, browned gruyere.
Nachos, quesadillas, lasagna, a cheeseburger with a side of cheesy fries, spaghetti carbonara — I could eat it all in one sitting and still have room for cheesecake topped off with a few healthy shots of Cheese Whiz.
But I like my cheese straight up, too — unadulterated and unembellished. I’ve got two bad knees and am older than dust, but if I hobble into a cocktail party and spot a heaping tray of assorted cheese cubes 50 yards away, I’ll be there in about six seconds and don’t get in my way.
Cheese balls, cheese curds, cheese wheels, cheese sticks, cheese slices, cheese shreds, cheese spray. Mild, moldy, sharp, creamy, flaky, salty, sweet, pungent, peppery, white or yellow. Low-fat, no-fat, full-fat or extra-fat. It’s all good to me, just as long as it’s cheese.
The fact that cheese pairs well with chardonnay doesn’t hurt, either.
No homage to fromage would be worth its rind without sharing the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch, so here goes:
I hope you enjoyed that. By the way, if you haven’t tried Venezuelan beaver cheese, you really are in for a treat. (Costco shoppers will find the Kirkland Signature beaver cheese to be quite savory: moderately musty, with a delicate swampy aroma.)
Sliced, diced, cubed, grated, shredded, melted, baked, broiled or fried, cheese cannot be beat. My dream is to order a deep dish pizza and hold the crust and sauce — just a big, creamy sea of hot, gooey cheeses bubbling up from a 12″ x 2″ non-stick pizza pan.
(Image credit – Wikimedia Commons)