Some call it the coagulated lactate of the Gods. Asian cultures accuse Westerners of reeking of it. In Holland it is considered currency. Ever since Pier Tellermoncrete discovered the substance whilst hording a selection of Donkey milk in a soggy cloth under his bed in 634AD, people have been asking "Where's the Cheese?" Whatever way you look at it, Cheese is a big part of our everyday lives. Without Cheese we probably would never have gone to the moon, discovered penicillin or defeated the Nazi's. Look at any supermarket in the world, and certainly you'll find whole refrigerated rows dedicated to the stuff. Pizza cheese, sliced cheese, cubed cheese, fancy cheese, party cheese, cheese in sticks, cheese in tubes, space cheese, celebrity cheese, French cheese, Italian cheese, Dutch cheese, Tasmanian cheese and cheese from bags.
Cheese really is wonderful!
So why would someone not want to eat it? Yes, as shocking as it sounds there are people within the developed world who freely choose not to eat Cheese. Sure, there are far flung corners of the world that still haven't heard about the joys of shaving with Cheese or using it as an insect repellent but to know all this and still choose not to indulge? Questions must be asked! Lactose intolerant they call themselves. Well, they have certainly got the last part right. If we are to listen to English author Gilbert K. Chesterton they must all be poets!
He once quipped "The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." Poets may be silent, but true artists like The Mighty Boosh choose to elevate Cheese to its rightful place through their work. One need only look to seminal 'Cheese Song' from the Mod Wolves episode, to see beautiful rhyming verse celebrating the golden goo;
Cheese is a kind of meat, A tasty yellow beef. I milk it from my "teet", But I try to be descreat! Ohhhh CHEESE! Ohhhh CHEESE!
According to Wikipedia, Cheese is traditionally valued for it's portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. This makes it much like most American 80-somethings on those motorised carts in Florida. Unlike them, Cheese doesn't do too well in the sun but looks great in a two-piece swimsuit. It is said Cheese can be intimidating and that is understandable. Firstly the names like Cottage Cheese are misleading. Fact is it isn't made of cottages, but actually the milk from tents. Then there is the pairing with wine. However, Cheese can be enjoyed with many other liquids such as mythical waters, bears urine and some lighter versions of oils such as extra virgin and engine.
Despite its high status today, Cheese-making hasn't always been so popular. Only 15 years ago, before the likes of Irish Cheese whizz Ricky St Martin revolutionized the scene, Cheese-making was deemed nerdy and dangerous. It was mostly practiced in garages and cardboard box shacks by gents who look nothing like today's chiseled LA, cheese-sticks. These geeks gave the practice a bad name, overdosing on their own goods and having such terrible dreams (or Cheese-mares) that separate wings were developed in local psychiatric institutions to deal with the fall out. Nowadays, the whole practice has been polished to present something much cleaner. Which means we can go back for another slice, guilt free.
So, both Peter and I want to know....Where's the Cheese?