Thursday, March 10, 2011

fromage snob

No lie: there is a cheese factory exactly 1 mile north of my house (on my road) and a cheese factory exactly 5 miles south of my house (on my road). I pass a cheese factory every day of my life. Living in cheese country, I have cultivated a true adoration for all of the ways milk, salt and enzymes can be combined.


I enjoy the smooth creamy sweetness of Havarti and Gouda. I like the salty bite of a good Swiss or a block of Parmesan. I enjoy the tang of Brie, the full-bodied flavor of an aged Cheddar, the sour surprise of Blue cheese. I eat cheese every day--I shave slices of Colby to make grilled cheese sandwiches, grate Mozzarella to mix with pasta, bite into the squeaky fresh curds for snacking. A little bit of Cheddar makes any fruit or cracker better. Brie wrapped in pastry and served with blackberry jam tastes divine. I'll nibble on a triangle of Parmesan while drinking a glass of wine. I lavish my salads with Feta crumbles. In my view, a party isn't complete without a cheese platter--and I'm not talking those pre-cut squares layered in with circles of sausage and salami.

How lucky to live in the Dairy State!

But! There are "cheeses" that never pass over my lips. "Cheeses" that I never buy or use in my kitchen. There are "cheeses" that I sneer at when passing through the grocery store--Bah! You--you poseur! You are not cheese! You wish you were cheese. Please. You disgust me!

*
Shredded "cheese" sold in bags--this began as real cheese, but after the shredding process it's sprayed with a coating to keep it from sticking to itself in the bag. Bags of pre-shredded cheese are akin to movie stars who have undergone cosmetic surgery. Not the real deal.

* Cheese in cans. WTF?

* Cheese in jars--ditto.

* The sandy grated "Parmesan" sold in green and white plastic shakers. That's not real Parmesan any more than Hawaiian Fruit Punch is real fruit juice.

* Velveeta. People, it's a "cheese product." Says so on the label. (For the record, I live with a man who believes Velveeta is cheese. This is blasphemy in my opinion.)

* "American" cheese. In my mind, there is no such thing. You want a mild, orange-colored cheese? Get a mild Cheddar or Colby.

I accept no substitute cheese, and living between 2 cheese factories I don't have to--and yes, everyone in my house knows how to say "Cheese, Gromit!"--with proper hand motions.

Spill it, reader. Are you a fromage snob? Or some other kind of snob?

31 comments:

  1. Haha! I love our cheese state. I live about 20 minutes from Sargento. :)

    I eat all the cheese. All of it. Cheese products too. I love cheese. I have cheese everyday too. :)
    I think my favorite is Muenster. Or Colby. Or Colby/Jack. And a good mild cheddar. Or fresh Mozarella. And Parmesean. Ooooo.

    Mmmm. I love cheese.

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  2. I am such a snob about SO many things that it's not even funny! We live close enough to the border that we reap the benefits of your gloriously cheesey state :) We constantly make Beer/Cheese runs---a girl can't live on bread alone, but Spotted Cow and real cheese could do the trick!

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  3. wow. a well versed cheese snob. a fan of WALLACE AND GROMMIT!!

    I'm a big believer that the world is a awesome place full of tastes and textures and things to explore. one should not limit themselves to preshredded cheeses and non-zombie films.

    wow. you are a green girl after my own heart! :)

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  4. I'm guessing Laughing Cow Cheese would be on your NOT list? ;)

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  5. My Dad once told me I was an anti-snob snob, and I guess it's true. But I do love most cheese and Wallace & Gromit. But alas, I usually have to eat 2% cheese, which I don't consider to be proper cheese. Until my metabolism magically increases 50% it's what I have to live with.

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  6. You are slamming all of my family's favorite cheeses! (All the boys'.) There is a great love for Velveeta here, as it is the base of quick and easy queso, and squeeze cheese is a road-trip love.

    Me, I prefer the real deal. My stay in your guest room is looking better and better! :)

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  7. Yes, your hubby believes Velveeta to be cheese ... but he's from Iowa. Our peoples believe Velveeta to be cheese, just like we categorize Tang as a fruit.

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  8. Mmmmmm. I get a smoked cheddar from our farmer's market.

    I admit to being a freshly ground coffee purist.

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  9. Not a cheese snob by any means, but I do like trying different types of cheese. We really like dollops of goat cheese (over pesto) on our homemade pizzas :-)

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  10. I confess. I use shredded cheese. I know, I know, it's a sacrilege. Butoh, the convenience!

    I do love a good Munster. And Bree - mmmm.

    One thing you can get that we can't is cheese surds - squeek, squeek!

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  11. i love cheese. i admit to buying shredded cheese but only because it's easier for ron to use. i buy sliced cheese for other things - colby, cheddar, provolone, etc.

    i would love to live near cheese factories. yum yum yum.

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  12. I'm inspired. Off to have some cheese right now. The good stuff too! Now I want to go back to France where I could live off of their cheese...

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  13. LOL! I too, love cheese of all kinds, except for some of those imposters you pointed out.

    We eat so much that we have to buy those humungous bricks from Costco.

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  14. You are so right about cheese. We live near a wonderful cheese factory and store...love to go and get the cheese curds.

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  15. I am most definitly a cheese snob. In fact, what you call Gouda, I do not consider the real thing. Real Gouda is made in Gouda and tastes quite different. One week from now I will be on my way to Holland. If Customs allows, I'll bring you back a piece.

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  16. I love cheese in all its forms--I agree with you about fake cheese, BUT there's nothing like a grilled cheese sandwich made from Kraft American cheese and tomato soup--that's just a little bit of childhood on a plate.

    Goat cheese is my absolute favorite. I make a pizza with goat cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, red peppers and basil that is divine.

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  17. Sadly, I don't like cheese. I mean, it's okay on pizza and tacos but that's about it.

    I'm a pretty good coffee snob though!

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  18. Since we switched from the green canister to real Parmesan, there has been no looking back. I broke my best grater last week, and it's driving me crazy not to have a decent grater in the kitchen. I must replace it!

    My husband is a beer snob. He claims that Bud Lite is to beer what Velveeta is to cheese.

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  19. I'm pretty easy when it comes to cheese. I do actually like the shredded cheese that comes in bags. My youngest son loves cheese so much I call him 'Mousie' and he'll eat all kinds of cheese, even cheese in a can.

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  20. I love cheese! I was supposed to have a special "alps" cheese while in France-but I never found it
    xoxo
    SC

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  21. Cheese, eh? I was introduced to cheese curd by my upstate-NY husband. It was... squeaky.

    So the love for all things Velveeta is indigenous to Iowa. That explains a lot about my sister-in-law who makes chocolate chip cookies from bisquick and brown sugar. Eew.

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  22. My Grandparents owned a cheese factory back in the day. I still have the original cheesemaker license.
    Munster is icky. There is also one really stinky (something died in here) cheese I can't remeber right now ... double dare icky.

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  23. I love all cheese, even the fake ones that you loathe.

    I have special memories of sitting around the campfire at Jellystone and Mom passing out squeeze cheese on crackers....the cheese was squirted into our initials. :)

    And every once and a while a velvetta grilled cheese is a little slice of heaven.

    Tell Mr. d to come on up for a Velvetta sandwich sometime. :)

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  24. My parents owned a cheese shop when I was in high school and working there was my first job (besides babysitting). I developed a deep, DEEP love for real, fresh cheese that has not spent weeks suffocating in plastic.

    However...what would Rotel dip be without Velveeta? And I agree with Juggling Jenn that a Kraft American grilled cheese is heaven with a bowl of (Campbell's*) tomato soup.

    So I guess I'm very snobby about the good stuff while still appreciating "cheese food."

    *Campbell's tomato soup MUST be reconstituted with milk - never, EVER water.

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  25. Cheese and Milk snob. Whole milk is the only way to fly in Lynda-Land. We eat Tillamook cheese with our Berkeley Farms milk and Tropicana, Not from concentrate, Orange/Tangerine juice.

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  26. Oh boy, do I miss squeaky cheese! I actually bought some online, but it just isn't the same if it isn't brand new.

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  27. I'm cautious with cheese. Anything with mold on it doesn't pass these lips of mine! (Too many food poisoning episodes have cured me of that.)

    I enjoy real parmesan, but I daily use the sandy green can stuff. It's just easier, so cut me a break, man.

    I am a snob about juice - nothing but real fresh-squeezed, unsweetened. The only reason kool-aid packets are in my pantry is because I make playdough. (Yet another thing I'm a snob about.) I also don't "do" the frozen canned juice. It's watered down crap. I could be on welfare, unable to afford rent and heat and I'd still be buying the real (and therefore expensive) fresh-squeezed orange juice. Or making it myself.

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  28. I'm not a cheese snob, but I do consider myself a cheese connoisseur now that I've been in Wisconsin upwards of 10 years. Heck... one of the veggie drawers in the fridge is a cheese drawer! I knew we'd gone native when we went to a party where the hostess asked guests to bring a dish to pass... and we brought cheese and sausage. But I digress. I despise Velveeta and American cheese. Oh, how I love fresh mozzarella! Cheese is good.

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  29. I admit that I like American cheese. It's so smooth and salty! Other than that, I'm a cheese snob too. I like cheddar so sharp it cuts the tongue.

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  30. Years ago, we had a potluck lunch at work, so I got several blocks of cheese and a small edam, sliced up, put on platter with crackers. One man came up picked up some cheese, and asked, "Velveeta?" In total reflex, I answered, "No, it's real cheese", after which my husband tried to slink away unseen. I didn't realize till later just what I had said, and burst out laughing.

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Spill it, reader.