Cut the cheese!

Seriously, that’s the best title I could come up with.

Remember back in the old days when you were invited to something that had snacks or hors d’oeuvres there was always good food? I can barely remember that myself. Today you will find cheap crackers and cheese with grapes.

The cheeses are usually white American, yellow American, Velveeta and if it’s an upscale activity there will be a round of brie.

Perhaps many people (at least in the US) were raised on bland cheese but I wasn’t. My German-Austrian background introduced me to Muenster, Swiss, Gouda, emmentaler and bunch I can’t spell, early in life.

This past weekend I went to an art show. I had met the artist and his wife once before and knew they were great cooks but after all, it was an art show. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of food — maybe some wine and crackers.

There were the usual tasteless crackers (why do people think they need crackers to eat cheese?) but there were six different bricks of lusciousness thay ranged in color from lily-white to a pale mellow shade with black spots.

Expecting that these were varieties of American cheeses disguised as the real thing, I did a tasting. The first one blew me away. It was so stinky that it barely made it past my nose into my mouth. (Stinky wouldn’t stop me. I’m almost like a dog…I said almost! I don’t roll in poo!)

It was delightful. It hit my taste buds with a flavor that burst in my mouth. I moved to the one with black spots hoping it wasn’t a form of “blue” cheese (one of the very few I don’t like).

It was a truffle cheese that was smoky and earthy (that means it tasted a little bit like dirt). It was so strong that it would take over anything it was on or in. Not a fan. I needed a cracker to get the taste out of my mouth. (So that’s what the crackers are for…)

I moved quickly through the rest. There was a smoked Gouda and something else that I didn’t know. My guess is a Swiss derivative but definitely not Jarlsburg.

I asked a busy and harried hostess what the stinky one was. She answered into the trash can looking for the wrapping. With my hearing I couldn’t hear what she said nor did I want to trouble her to repeat it.

Locally we have a few great cheese shops but I worry what I would get if I ask for a nice stinky cheese.

Note: If you serve cheese at a function, put a card there saying what it is….unless it’s American or Velveeta. Most people can guess those. For those of you who love American and Velveeta, they are great in mac and cheese. No judgments.

Author’s note: We are having wonky (or intermittent) internet service. My desk top doesn’t get it but my Kindle and new lap top do. Can’t figure that out. We are waiting for a repairman who will show up between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (that’s the best they could pinpoint the time. I’m hoping it’s today. I’m sure this will end up in a post.


52 thoughts on “Cut the cheese!

  1. My wife bought a cheese recently and when she opened it up I thought I was going to die it smelled so bad.
    People really need to take the odors into consideration before they put that stuff out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love all cheeses, except Blue Cheese and Limburger!
    My Mom gave me Muenster Cheese a lot as a kid. Yes that and Provolone, etc definitely rate higher than American cheese.
    Oh and you can’t forget Parmesan Cheese for your spaghetti! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My hubby will only eat tasteless Colby. When he knows I am making mac and cheese, he always begs me to make it his mother’s way. That means greasy, tasteless gobs of melted, stringy Colby and over-cooked macaroni, smothered in milk (Milk and Colby won’t mix). Yuck!!! When I was growing up, mac and cheese came from a box. Double yuck!!! Real mac and cheese has a rich, tasty combination of at least five different cheeses, not least of these being a sharp, aged white cheddar… I better stop there. I’m making myself hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colby has it’s place. I wouldn’t consider it a “tasting” cheese as it’s bland but if you want cheese on a turkey sandwich it would work. I never had mac and cheese from a box. My husband won’t eat it. A few weeks back I bought a frozen one. The sauce wasn’t too bad but it was so soupy that I made a cup of macaroni to add to it. If I would have had some nice sharp cheddar that would have been good too. I should have made my own from scratch!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmmm, just so ya know, I don’t serve “Velveeta” or “Cheese Wiz” ! So when you come here, you will get a more gourmet selection! (Unless someone else brings it!) I don’t think my Mother particularly liked cheese, so we had very little of it growing up. Consequently, I did not enjoy cheese until well into my adult years. I truly have learned to enjoy some wonderful cheeses, but blue cheese and brie are not on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never said I didn’t like Velveeta. My mother would occasionally make a quick mac and cheese with it. No cheez whiz though! We always had cheese to go with the balongies and sausages. What I never had as a kid was spaghetti or pizza.


  5. I grew up with European parents and ‘plastic’ cheeses (that’s what my mother called them) simply didn’t make it into our house.
    I had velveeta cheese for the first time when I was in university. I wasn’t impressed … and haven’t had it since.

    We are both quite adventurous with food and trying different cheeses is something we love. I can’t think of a cheese I don’t like – although I have a preference for hard cheeses over soft, which is the opposite of my husband. In other words, our fridge normally has several kinds of both hard and soft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some descendants of my mother (her great granddaughter) will only eat Kraft’s mac n cheese. (She’s out of college and working!) Another grandson will only eat buttered noodles. I don’t know how that happens. It wasn’t allowed in my house growing up. My mother was first generation here. As generations become more American they lose their taste for ethnic foods. Now I’m hungry for goulash!


  6. It’s cool that you grew up with REAL cheeses, Kate! Rats, why couldn’t you have posted this a month ago? Another artist and I had a September show and served cheeses I can’t pronounce. Unlabeled. Yep, with dull crackers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love stinky cheese! American is only good on hamburgers. Cheddar better be aged and white and from Vermont or something. My favorite brie right now is — get this — from Costco. Well, it’s from France by way of Costco (Isigny, I think) and it crushes the artisanal stuff from local places and Whole Foods.

    Also, brie is best with a baguette. (Crackers?! Blasphemy!)

    I can talk about cheese almost as much as cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My parents were foodies so I grew up on all the cheeses you mention plus Irish/English ones, too. I didn’t know about American cheese until I went to elementary school, and saw all the kids eating it. Never really took to it, truth be told.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In our family we learned to eat unusual or smelly things early. Cabbage was king whether fried or fermented as sauerkraut. Lots of strange foods. If you are started on them when young, they don’t seem so scary. However, still don’t eat raw sushi.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I always try to find unusual cheeses to serve when visitors come over – and stuffed olives, and meats. I’ll never look at grapes and crackers the same again! But you can be dang sure that now I’m going to try to make sure nothing is boring! LOL ~Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG, are you kidding me? I’m Italian. Sharp cheeses with Italian cold cuts and giant green olives were set out as snacks. My favorite is Fontina. I remember my grandma always putting out one called Fontinella. That was a sharper version of Fontina. The provolone cheeses from the regular store are bland. But, getting it at an Italian store, if you can find one, is where you’ll find the sharper flavor of it. I’ve never been a fan of American cheese. My husband likes those slices in the plastic wraps. Bleh. BTW, yes, if a cheese is to sharp for someone’s taste buds, that’s what the crackers are for. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Love cheese, but not a fan of stinky ones. They just can’t make it past my nose–LOL! Especially love smoked cheeses. Not a fan of Velveeta unless it’s in Mac n’ Cheese. Growing up in the Minnesota farm country you’d think we would have had all kinds of cheeses at our house but just American or mild cheddar. I branched out a bit after I left home. 😉 I agree they should label those cheeses!


  12. Love cheeses… especially the older Cheddars. Then there is Wensleydale, Cheshire, some Irish variations with Guinness … and so the list goes on. As for crackers? I guess they are a convenient vehicle for transporting the cheese to its ultimate destination!

    Liked by 1 person

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