Sunday, June 14, 2009

The cheese inquiry

Ideally, balls of cheese should come out of bronzed vats of creamy milk filled straight from the udders of contented cows via buckets carried by smiling milkmaids. The vats of milk should sit in a cold, dark cellar for months on end until they form lumps, and then for months more until lumps form on the lumps, and then for another year as the lumps congeal into one giant, smelly ball. These balls should smell like old boots, and be kept in congealed globs of candle wax - (or, if you are English, they should smell like congealed globs of candle wax and be kept in old boots). They are then rolled down the top of very high and rather dirty hills for pimply-faced young lads to run after and catch.

But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a very unideal world, and when we look for cheese, what do we get? We get gobbets of a custard-coloured substance, tasteless, odourless, homogenised*, cut up into geometrical shapes, shrink-wrapped in a horrid plastic, and sold to you in fluorescent-lit stores by spotty-faced teenagers who really could be doing more productive things with their time (like breaking all their limbs by running down high hills.)

Nowadays, it is less likely to come upon a cheese with the aroma of an old boot than to have it cut up into little cubes, and given to you with circumcised cylindrical sections of cabanossi sausage at a party by a person with a face like an old boot. The wine and cheese night sets come to drive out the cheeses of old - the gleaming red waxy balls of Edam, the blue-veined cheese with extra blue-veins, the amoebic blobs of mozzarella so large and soft that you could pitch a tent embassy in it (and frequently did)?

Reclaim the cheeses! Before it's too late!

*'Homogenised' foods, like 'homophobia', should be avoided wherever possible. 'Homonyms' and 'Hommus' aren't so bad, though.


James Joyce said...

Well, and what's cheese? Corpse of milk.

The Bible said...

And Cheeses wept.

TimT said...

Edam it all, I knew somebody was going to bring religion into it.

Maria said...

"blessed are the cheesemakers"

"Do not take the Lord's name in blue vein!"

Dan said...

..and then there was light. A pox on "light" low-fat cheeses.

TimT said...

They've got quite a cottage cheese industry going, I hear. Though admittedly their Swiss division is full of holes.

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