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cheese cheese lifestyle

Quesadilla

Peo­ple insist on invent­ing new pro­nun­ci­a­tions for this word, god knows why. I bet you could find entire regions in which the pre­dom­i­nant pro­nun­ci­a­tion of this word is kway-sa-dilya. "Can I get one kway-sa-dilya, and a side of ranch dress­ing, please?" To be sure, que­sadil­la is what lin­guists call a "loan" or "bor­rowed" word. In most cas­es, bor­row­ings are mod­i­fied so that they con­form to the pro­nun­ci­a­tion rules of the new lan­guage, but there's some­thing espe­cial­ly insult­ing about mis­pro­nounc­ing a word as seem­ing­ly wide­spread as que­sadil­la. I would feel way more sym­pa­thet­ic to some­one who stum­bles through "smoked trout nicoise sal­ad with hearts of romaine and dijon vini­a­grette" than a word that is on the god­dam Taco Bell menu. The tru­ly mys­te­ri­ous thing is that the peo­ple who mis­pro­nounce "que­sadil­la" are inevitably peo­ple who look like they prob­a­bly know the Taco Bell menu by heart. I can see why peo­ple are inclined to say "kweh-sa" or "kway-sa," because "qu" is "kwa" in words like "qui­et" or "ques­tion." And I can under­stand why peo­ple of French-Cana­di­an descent may be inclined to pro­nounce the "qu" as "ka" or "keh." I guess I can also under­stand say­ing "dil­la" as "dilya" or "dil­lah" rather than "diya," but I'm rel­a­tive­ly sure that these same peo­ple pro­nounce "tor­tilla" cor­rect­ly. But maybe they don't. Maybe they say "tortilya." When you string all of the mis­pro­nun­ci­a­tions togeth­er, and you get things like kway-sa-dilya, or kah-sa-dil­lah, it just makes you sad for the state of civ­i­liza­tion, for the future of lan­guage, for the like­li­hood that things that mat­ter will be fur­ther erod­ed by peo­ple who sim­ply don't pay atten­tion. On the oth­er hand, it's also a per­fect exam­ple of peo­ple vot­ing with their feet, or their mouths as the case may be. Which is inter­est­ing yet ter­ri­fy­ing, as always.

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Camping with cheese

If i could only give one piece of advice in regard to camp­ing cheese, it would be this: avoid ched­dar. the worst is the cheap, gener­ic ched­dar, which turns to moist, crumbly shag car­pet­ing after about 18 hours. when i was camp­ing in wash­ing­ton this sum­mer, i brought a pound of fan­cy wis­con­sin three-year ched­dar because i thought it would be dry enough to with­stand three or four days of hik­ing. wrong! the cheese expe­ri­enced a major mal­func­tion some­time dur­ing the morn­ing of day 2, and i mis­er­ably choked and gagged on it for the next week. the best camp­ing cheeses are the parme­sans and dry goudas. why didn't i bring them? who knows? it maybe had some­thing to do with the fact that i was wicked­ly hun­gover when i was shop­ping. there are some with­in the back­pack­ing com­mu­ni­ty who believe that the cheese argu­ment has been moot since the cre­ation of indi­vid­u­al­ly wrapped mozzerel­la sticks. i would like to point out that (a) i can't find any doc­u­men­ta­tion prov­ing that those sticks are actu­al­ly cheese and not some par­tial­ly hydro­genat­ed fac­sim­i­lie, and (b) they have this nasty, flac­cid, rub­bery qual­i­ty that is un-food-like and frankly repul­sive. as far as the best camp­ing cheeses: argen­tine parme­san is cheap and not too crumbly like its sis­ter the reg­giano. old ams­ter­dam is clear­ly packed with the sweet sweet sodi­um that i crave on the trail. any of the asi­a­go fam­i­ly are rea­son­able; i'm 'bout em, even if they're not as tangy or tasty as the oth­ers. remem­ber, avoid ched­dar. avoid it!

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Bacon

Now, I know that this is a forum for talk­ing about cheese, but I want to take a minute and talk about cheese's great friend, bacon. Bacon's role in the down­fall of many a veg­e­tar­i­an regime has been well-doc­u­ment­ed else­where, and that is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the recent arti­cle in Food and Wine about Cap­tain Bacon, which fea­tures a tour of arti­san smoke­hous­es with the man who owns the Grate­ful Palate, which fea­tures more than one kind of Bacon of the Month Club. Instead of hav­ing a book club, why don't we have our own Bacon of the Month club, where we eat bacon and dis­cuss its sub­tleties of fla­vor?

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Rainbow Cheese Department

I would like to take back any neg­a­tive state­ments I may have made in the past regard­ing the Rain­bow Grocery's cheese depart­ment. It's a very good cheese depart­ment, with many cheeses I've only seen at Arti­san, like mimo­lette and Sal­ly Jack­son aged sheep's milk, wrapped in chest­nut leaves. On Sat­ur­day night there was a very friend­ly staff per­son behind the counter, ready to answer any ques­tions. And he gave us free sam­ples of mar­cona almonds, very tasty. I think my real prob­lem with the Rain­bow is not its cheese depart­ment but its sta­tus as a veg­e­tar­i­an col­lec­tive and how in oth­er places there would be an alter­na­tive to Whole Foods where you could buy bacon and lamb shanks or even a can of tuna for god's sake, but here in San Fran­cis­co there is no such place. Port­land, Madi­son, they all have Rain­bow-esque stores with MEAT. So it's not the cheese depart­ment per se, but shop­ping while sur­round­ed by peo­ple who don't even eat cheese, let alone bacon. I always feel like a major­i­ty of Rain­bow shop­pers don't even par­tic­u­lar­ly like food.

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Mac 'n cheese

I think mac­a­roni and cheese is the dish that first intro­duces you to how good cheese can be, and how much bet­ter good cheese can make some­thing taste. Call it what you will — shells and cheese, mac 'n cheese, quat­tro for­mag­gi, — the com­bi­na­tion of bak­ing pas­ta and cheese togeth­er is one of the best uses of cheese in the world. It's also a good way to use up any cheese you might have sit­ting around in the cheese draw­er. I made it this week­end using fis­cali­ni aged ched­dar reserve, mixed in with a lit­tle cave-aged gruyere and some reg­gie. MMMMMMMMMMMMM.

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Humbird

I'll be vis­it­ing here in a few hours: Humbird Cheese Mart. I'll let you know. I'm not sure I did this link right.

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Civilized Living

I've always been a pro­po­nent of civ­i­lized liv­ing (and I think we are all agreed that cheese is the bedrock upon which civ­i­liza­tion is con­struct­ed) and today, after an unex­treme­ly unciv­i­lized wait at the post office to turn over things that already had postage on them but weighed more than a pound and were only going to two sep­a­rate address­es but were in six sep­a­rate pack­ages (why can't the intern ever grasp the dif­fer­ence between inter­na­tion­al and domes­tic mail? why?), I real­ized I need­ed a good dose of civ­i­lized liv­ing. So I went to lunch at Metro­pole and had a nice sand­wich. More impor­tant­ly, I had a glass of wine with my lunch. Why are we not drink­ing wine or beer or cock­tails at lunch? Because Specialty's doesn't serve them? What has hap­pened to the hey­day of the three-mar­ti­ni lunch? Here's the thing—it real­ly took the edge off, that glass of wine. Civ­i­liza­tion is end­ing (it feels like the entire known world is hurtling towards apoc­a­lypse) and so maybe we ought to be tak­ing advan­tage of as much as the civ­i­lized world can offer us—drinks with lunch, an entire cake of Hum­boldt Fog to our­selves, the con­so­la­tions of High Life.

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Wisconsin

Wis­con­sin researcher makes a bet­ter ched­dar — Asso­ci­at­ed Press — Pub­lished March 12, 2003 — MADISON, Wis. — A Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son pro­fes­sor says he's found a way to take the bit­ter­ness out of ched­dar — a dis­cov­ery that could save cheese­mak­ers some seri­ous bread. Food sci­ence pro­fes­sor Jim Steele said an enzyme reduces the bit­ter taste that afflicts low-grade ched­dar cheese. "It has the poten­tial to give con­sis­ten­cy to the qual­i­ty of cheese that we pro­duce, and save us a whole lot of mon­ey,'' said John Umhoe­fer, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Wis­con­sin Cheese Mak­ers Asso­ci­a­tion. Cheese­mak­ers start by mix­ing a med­ley of bac­te­ria called a starter cul­ture with warm milk. They some­times add a sec­ond batch of bac­te­ria, called an adjunct cul­ture. To make ched­dar, they mix in an organ­ism called Lac­to­bacil­lus hel­veti­cus, which smooths out the cheese's taste and reduces bit­ter­ness. Steele and his team have worked to iden­ti­fy what in the organ­ism pro­duces this desir­able effect. They hoped they could then find a way to pro­duce the effect in the starter cul­ture, which would drop the cost and improve the cheese. The researchers sequenced the 2,400 genes in Lac­to­bacil­lus in 2001, and Steele's team iden­ti­fied the desired gene with­in six months. Cheese­mak­ers can now add that gene to starter cul­tures. Paul McShane, sales man­ag­er for the small Brook­field cheese com­pa­ny Roth Kase, thinks Steele's enzyme would take the mys­tique out of cheese pro­duc­tion. "Cheese­mak­ing is an art, and you lose some­thing — a qual­i­ty — when you try to take short­cuts,'' he said. But Bill Schlin­sog, chief judge at this week's 2003 U.S. Cham­pi­onship Cheese Con­test in Mil­wau­kee, hailed the dis­cov­ery as a weapon against bit­ter cheese. "It's unde­sir­able,'' he said. "And if it can be avoid­ed, then that's great.''

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Rumblecheese

hey you guys: Who do you think would win in a rum­ble between Bi-Rite employ­ees and Rain­bow employ­ees? They could meet down at the docks. No knives or chains allowed. I think the Bi-Rite employ­ees might be stronger than Rain­bow employ­ees, because Bi-Rite employ­ees prob­a­bly eat more meat and have more mus­cle mass than Rain­bow employ­ees. I bet Bi-Rite employ­ees pan­ic eas­i­ly though. Rain­bow employ­ees would prob­a­bly coat their bod­ies with patchouli oil, which would make them slip­pery and hard to punch.

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cheese cheese lifestyle

Cheese

Cheese. ('chEz), noun, a food con­sist­ing of the coag­u­lat­ed, com­pressed, and usu­al­ly ripened curd of milk sep­a­rat­ed from the whey.