The Cheese Stands Alone
For instance, when I was a little kid, I don't remember foods like Mexican or Indian being prime attractions. Don't get me wrong, there was always exotic cuisine to choose from, but my theory is as people have evolved, so have their palates.
So I suppose it should come as no surprise that since there are many more food options out there, that there are even more options within those options. Case in point, all things cheese.
Back in the day cheese meant American, Swiss or Provolone. Brie and Muenster was for the, "upper crust, Buffy speaking, sweater around the neck wearing" types. Exotic cheeses were relegated to being white, yellow or if you were really daring, Pepper Jack.
But now it seems like cheese has taken center stage more than ever, bringing with it a plethora of "new" flavors to choose from. Say for example, Asiago cheese. A few years back, Asiago cheese bagels were my favorite. I had never heart of Asiago cheese and I surprised considering it was downright delicious.
So I got to thinking about it. Just where, exactly, is all this new cheese coming from? After all, cheese itself originates from a cow. According to Wikipedia, there are hundreds of types of cheese from all over the world. The way they make the different flavors is by mixing milk from various mammals with differing butterfat ingredients. So the more they played around with the standard, the more cheese, and ultimately, the more lactose intolerance was born.
Thinking back on it, I suppose I can sort of pinpoint when the reign of the Big Cheese was beginning to take center stage. For me, it all goes back to those Cheese Kraft Idea commercials. Surely you remember those. Each randomly numbered "tip" had a corresponding number and along with it. #3 would follow #31 and so forth. I assume there was a master list of great ideas somewhere but these were the days before the internet and show they instead chose to show a "best of" cheesiness, if you will.
Most of the time their ideas were common sense. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on your favorite soup! Add cheese to bread and grill it, cutting it on the diagonal! None of it was news, nor was it anything to melt over, although some of the recipes did call for it.
But now, cheese, formerly an accompaniment at best has become a minor cult favorite amongst the great lead in foods. And with good reason. Cheese goes well with a number of things like pepperoni, crackers, pasta, fruit and sandwiches, though not necessarily all at the same time. It's a great multi-purpose food that pleases all those that are able to cross its path.
For once, the Kraft battle can be settled as well. Is it Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or is it Cheese and Macaroni? You can say what you want. Just remember to just say cheese.