Cheesy Does It

This holiday season, give thanks for a very cultured food.

My love affair with cheese started, like most people’s, with those limp, bland Kraft singles and has evolved, over the years, into something much more sophisticated. I love a good Gruyère or a sharp cheddar, I gobble up Gorgonzola, and I cherish chèvre. I wholeheartedly believe that cheese, like deep-frying, makes bad food good and good food better, and I don’t think a burger, sandwich, taco, plate of pasta or bowl of vegetable soup is quite complete until you add cheese. Part of this, I suppose, can be blamed on my mother, who hails from Wisconsin, but most of it is the fact that cheese is clearly the best food on earth. During the holidays, party-planners and etiquette experts advise you to be sure to have cheese, crackers, nuts and wine on hand for unexpected guests who might drop by to make merry. My presents may not be bought until Christmas Eve or wrapped until Christmas morning, but at least I’m ahead of the holiday curve on that one: I always have cheese, crackers, nuts and wine on hand, whether I expect company or not. Cheese, despite its high calorie count, is a good source of calcium and protein, and some studies show it might reduce tooth decay. So deck the halls with brie and Havarti, ring in the new year with Taleggio and Swiss, and be thankful all year long for cheese, glorious cheese!

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