Things That Bring Me Joy: Cheese

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I don’t know why these posts always seem to bring a confession out of me, but here’s another one:

I’m a bit of a cheese snob (Tillamook extra sharp or bust!).

If I was forced to make the decision between giving up chocolate or cheese–heaven forbid this ever happens–I think I would have to say adios to the cocoa.

And that’s saying something because I’m a chocolate FREAK.

But if you were to inspect my daily eating habits, you would find that almost every meal I eat consists of cheese in some form: cheddar melted over avocado, mozzarella and barbecue sauce on pizza, feta in a strawberry and spinach salad, parmesan in a homemade alfredo sauce…

I’ll have you know I’m salivating all over the keyboard, drool dripping between the space bar and “M” keys.

Perhaps my obsession stems from the fact that among my fondest memories, there are several that consist of me eating cheese and crackers at my grandma’s house every Sunday night while we played cards, or maybe it’s because a good slab of queso fresco always brings me right back to my mission in El Salvador, spent among some of the nicest people I know.

Now I know that most of the things bringing me joy thus far on this here blog have to do with food in some form, but what can I say?

When you know, you know.

(Side note: in high school, I used to have a saying that would get me out of uncomfortable social situations a little early. After stuffing my face and engaging in the necessary social conventions like saying hi to the general room and not chewing with my mouth open, I would give a hearty little wave and say, while practically skating out the door: “Hate to eat and run, but it’s better than not eating!”)

Even though our budget currently does not allow me to indulge every single cheese preference I have, there are a few things I don’t budge on:

1. We do full-fat cheeses. Why buy an indulgence if you’re only going to be able to half-enjoy it?

2. If I’m going to be able to actually taste the cheese (aka if it’s not being grated or mixed into something), I will sometimes condescend to using a cheaper pre-grated cheese. But if I’m tasting that cheese, we buy Tillamook sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, even though it’s about three times as expensive as anything else.

3. Life is too short to waste on generic cheeses.

4. Try a new cheese whenever we can afford it. Last month, my treat was a block of soft mozzarella, which I promptly slathered all over the bruschetta you see above.

Long live good cheese!

If you were asked to choose between chocolate and cheese, which would you pick?

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