Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Short and Cryptic Post About Cheese

I love cheese. Hey - who doesn't? But for my money there is one cheese that stands tall above all others: your legendary Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar.

There's nothing quite like biting into a brick of Wisconsin sharp cheddar. At first, it's smooth. Then, the powerful sourness seizes the the back of your tongue, which causes the tendons in your neck to tighten. And once you've swallowed a big bite, the residual tanginess forces you to take a big swig of beer. If you have even an ounce of testosterone coursing through your vessels, you have gotta love that. Cheddar is manly cheese. Cheddar is cheese by attrition.

I grant you, that there are some - including cheese "experts" - that claim that good ol' Wisconsin Cheddar is a second-rate, appealing-to-the-lowest-common-denominator type of cheese. They may be right. Perhaps a nice Roquefort or gouda is a superior cheese if you compare them side by side with a checklist of objective cheese-quality factors.

But I am a humble child of Wisconsin, and I have to support the cheese of my forebears. So I won't even consider a cheese from another cheese-producing polity. I refuse to even purchase a widely-acclaimed cheese that hails from a non-competing, non-traditionally cheese-intensive region. I'm sorry if it makes me provincial, but I have to support the home team. And I do not understand those who put their exacting cheese preferences above the well-being of our local cheesemakers by habitually going off the reservation and purchasing some far flung cheese brands with little staying-power under some pretense of absolute purism.

I do know of what I speak. While those that would bang on Wisconsin cheese are usually wrong, I am always correct.

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