Just say cheese (and crackers)
Readers of the Voice know I love food, cigars and wine. All of which explains why I seek out local restaurants and specialty stores for feature articles. (And no, we never tie these stories to advertising and in 99 percent of the cases, the businesses have minimal ad budgets).
To keep up, I subscribe to three magazines devoted to my passions: Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Cigar Aficionado.
Wine, cigar and the “foodie” movement are all open to criticism of being elitist. It’s probably one of the reasons a local wine and micro-beer store chose “Snob-free zone” as their slogan.
When I read wine reviews I chuckle. I can detect dry, overly tannic wines. White wines with bracing acidity are easy to pick out, as are creamy Chardonnays. But when the reviewer begins to detect notes of Guatemalan strawberry or New Caledonian mango, they cross a line.
Cheese is another of my passions, and I do enjoy different varieties and so-called boutique artisanal cheeses. Then again, a Philly cheese steak isn’t real unless Cheez-Whiz is present. My cupboard is also stuffed with Ritz’s cheese and cracker (with plastic spreading tool) “Handy-Snacks”.
The cheese is soft, but it ain’t brie.
So, while reading one of my many back issues of Cigar Aficionado, I came across an article written by Marc Wortman entitled “Making Cheese.”
The first line appears to be as over-the-top as one can muster: “Until I tried making cheddar cheese, I never knew how working with raw milk compared to loving a beautiful woman.”
Try comparing your significant other to raw milk next time you’re trying to enhance the mood.
But Wortman doesn’t stop the metaphor there. He quotes a veteran cheese maker: “Raw milk is like a beautiful woman. You think you know her and then suddenly you say, What happened there?’ ”
The writer then adds even more gag-reflex producing prose: “He might have added, like the a beautiful woman if you capture the milk’s nuances with just the right touch, the sensual pleasure can’t be matched.”
The last line sums it up. “But even at home, true cheese lovers can learn to make their own artisanal cheddar with the heartbreaking soul of a beautiful woman.”
I guess those male Green Bay Packer fans wearing cheese wedges on their noggins are making more of a romantic statement than I ever imagined.
I’ll never look at a slice of Velveeta the same way again.
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