Sunday, January 03, 2010

Everything's Better with Cheese

I love cheese.

Cheese is one of my favorite foods. Almost any savory food goes better with cheese. Even some desserts go better with soft, mild cheeses. Take cheesecake, for example. Cheese is its prime ingredient.

My favorite types of cheeses are the softer varieties, such as brie. I’m less of a fan of mozzarella. I don’t like pizzas that are made from whole slices of mozzarella, because it tends to gum up in my mouth, which makes it difficult for me to chew and swallow. That’s why I don’t eat steak; I have a phobia against swallowing anything that doesn’t dissolve away as I chew it. Shredded mozzarella works best on pizza for me.

I love goat cheese. It really perks up the flavor and texture of spaghetti. Brie goes especially well with eggs and smoked salmon. And on a sandwich, it’s hard to beat havarti.

At the Old Spaghetti Factory, they serve several dishes with mizithra cheese. Mizithra with butter sauce over angel hair pasta is one of my favorite dishes in the world.

But out of all the different varieties of cheese that I’ve enjoyed, and there have been lots of them, one of my favorites is plain old American process cheese. Process cheese is a blend of cheeses, usually Colby and cheddar, and sometimes other added ingredients such as salt and whey. They are made with emulsifiers so that they melt more smoothly and don’t separate when heated like most non-processed cheeses do. For that reason, they are great for cooking or for placing on hot sandwiches, such as grilled cheese sandwiches and on cheeseburgers.

In the U.S. process cheese is usually called American cheese or pasteurized process cheese food (if there are other ingredients besides cheese in it). It is sold as “cheese slice” in the UK, “Laughing Cow” in France, and simply process cheese or processed cheese in some other countries.

I also like cottage cheese, which is the only cheese I know of that is eaten with a fork as a side dish. It consists of a mixture of broken curd and whey.

When I go to the movies, I always order a little tub of cheese dip with my popcorn. I like queso dip and other cheese spreads such as Cheese Whiz. And of course, I like Velveeta, which is classified as a process cheese product rather than a process cheese food because it has less than 50 percent actual cheese.

Finally, one of my favorite cheeses for spreading and dipping is Philadelphia cream cheese. It is also great with scrambled eggs and in omelets.

So why did I deviate from my usual, more controversial topics in writing this blog entry? I was just snacking on one of my favorite cheese snacks, one of the Mini Bells, along with some sardines and I started wondering if other countries sold American cheese as pre-wrapped singles. So I decided to do a little research on the Web. My policy is if I am going to do research on something, I might as well write about it. So there you go.

1 comment:

EVA MAHONEY said... hit quite the gammit..from god to cheese. Interesting posts. I'll be back. :)