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?


  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.

  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!

  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! :)

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

  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.

  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! :)

  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.

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

    I admit to being a freshly ground coffee purist.

  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 :-)

  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!

  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.

  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...

  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.

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

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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.

  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.

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

  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.

  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.

  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. :)

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.


Spill it, reader.