In Praise of Fermented Curd – Red Deer Advocate
So you’re sitting with the guys watching the hockey game and having a few nights out when an insidious odor begins to creep into the room like a poisonous gas mist. And inevitably, someone dramatically pretends to choke and says accusingly, “Okay, who cut the cheese? “
When something is hokey or cheesy or lame, we say it is “cheesy”. A close-up is “Big Cheese,” and when you want someone to smile for the camera, what do you say? We say, “Say Cheese!
To be bored is to be “emptied”; when the gangsters want your money, they say, “Give me the cheddar” (or more precisely: “Gimme da chedda!”). If someone acts like an idiot, it’s a “cheeseball”. The British, when they want to point out that two things are very different from each other, they say, William and Harry are like “chalk and cheese”. I love this one.
I could go on, and I do often, but what I mean, if I have one, is if we didn’t have cheese we wouldn’t be having one of the greatest comedy sketches ever. never created. I am of course referring to the famous sketch “Dead Parrot” by Monty Python.
Just kidding – this is the second best comedy sketch – the “Cheese Shop” sketch takes cheddar cheese. For those of you poor rebellious souls like my friend Grant who claims to have never heard that classic piece of famous madness, let me just say that in the gloriously British TV skit, a man in love with cheese walks into a cheese factory which doesn’t really have cheese at all. After listing almost all 1,800 types of cheese in the world (including ‘Czechoslovakian sheep’s milk cheese’ and ‘Venezuelan beaver cheese’) and getting 1,800 versions of ‘no’ in response (including ‘ Sorry, the cat ate it ”) – well, that’s five minutes of pure Golden Cheese.
But even if you don’t like silly British humor, chances are you love cheese as much as the neighbor. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a piece of cheese gouda to make your feta of the day.
Personally, however, I didn’t think much about cheese until I, like a good Gruyere, have aged enough. Even though my dad was a butter maker at the creamery, I don’t remember a lot of cheese in our house, except for that yellow, liquid alien stuff mom put on some cooked cauliflower, which made it worse. perhaps one of my less favorable dining experiences. Now mum was a good cook, but I never understood how someone so kind and caring as she could inflict on her beloved flesh and blood something as unspeakable as cabbage- steamed flower soaked in what I was horrified to find later was actually hot, melted cheese whizz. Which, as everyone knows, contains about as much real cheese as a pot of foul swamp water. (I apologize if I triggered your gag reflex, I certainly triggered mine.)
I finally discovered the cheesy cheer of the Best Half family when she was still the GF (Girl Friend). His father and parents arrived in Canada right after the war, coming from France and bringing with them the love of what Monty Python calls “fermented curd”. And various delicious types of “cheese edibles” were served at every meal I attended at their home as a BF. Just another thing to be thankful for from this family, even if ultimately running off with one of their daughters is even higher than cheese.
But all of that cheesy talk made me feel hungry. I am from Switzerland, I had the time to sit on my asiago and taste some French cuisine. Brie or not Brie, that is the real question.
Harley Hay is a writer and filmmaker from Red Deer. Send him an idea for a column at [email protected]