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?