Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
11:03 am
16 June 2019

Stop and smell the cheese

illustration-astronaut-on-cheese-moon
Illustration: Megan Mericle

Every day and with every meal, I’m living the dream.

It’s a perfect day for a dip in the cheese. The creamy golden-yellow waves of nacho cheese wash over me as I do the butterfly stroke from one end of the pool to the other. After I jump out, I towel off with cheesecloth, recline in the cheese chaise lounge, sip a piña cheeselada, and enjoy the view of the young women in their string-cheese bikinis.

Oh, a light sprinkling of Parmesan is coming down. I better get back inside my cheese cube house. I’m so glad I moved out of Cottage Cheese. Look, here’s the mailman, Mr. Limburger, with a delivery. It’s probably my “Merry Mozzarella” basket from the Cheese of the Month Club. 

I’ll put it in my cheese cellar, where I can cool off, too. It’s hot today, almost hot enough to melt the town. Another gooey day in paradise. This is Cheeseland. And I’m the mayor. (I unseated Mayor McCheese.)

Then I woke up. It was all just a Homer Simpson-esque fantasy. D’oh!

block-of-cheese

From time to time, I attempt to give up certain foods that are supposed to be “bad.” I heard somebody say recently that “dairy is the devil” or something ridiculous like that. But if cheese is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I can never stop eating cheese. The weird thing is, I don’t remember liking cheese that much as a kid, well, except for grilled cheese sandwiches. I didn’t even care much for pizza. What was I thinking? It’s a giant circle of cheese!

Now, I can’t get enough of it: Cap’n Cheese with Cheeseberries for breakfast, cheese stacked high between two slices of cheese for lunch, cheeseloaf with cheese tots and cheese on the cob for dinner, and cheese chips with cheese pop for a snack.

The mind reels. Imagine the perfectly melted slice of cheese on top of a burger. Gooey, sloppy cheese mixed with every type of pasta. Chicken parm, veal parm. Mozzarella sticks, perhaps the greatest invention ever. Potatoes au gratin—the French get what I’m saying. Cheddar and Swiss and provolone and Monterey Jack. Orange and blue and yellow and white. Slices and chunks and crumbles and sauces. Cheese, glorious cheese!

Cheese is everywhere—just like God. It’s a good time to count our cheesy blessings. This sounds cheesy but cheese is our friend. Think about it: has cheese ever let you down? Has cheese ever stolen your identity? Does cheese ever cheat on you? Has cheese run a government into the ground? No. In fact, in times of trouble, the nation turns to cheese. When people are in need, the government issues surplus cheese. “Surplus cheese.” The phrase alone is enough to make me salivate. (It’s also a good band name. “Ladies and gentlemen, from Kenosha, Wisconsin, please welcome Surplus Cheese!)

space-mouse-holding-cheese

But for the love of cheese, don’t call me a “cheesehead.” I wouldn’t be caught in a mousetrap with those types. Who would put cheese on their head? Swim in it, yes. On my head, no. And I’m not what you call a connoisseur. I don’t know all the “great fromage regions” or the breeding habits of the goats that produce the best cheese-making milk. Leave that to the foodies over in the Menu section.

So, why do we consume so much cheese and why does cheese consume so many of us? I almost did some research and came up with these completely undocumented alternative facts about cheese’s mysterious qualities:

  • The consumption of cheese produces a warm, fuzzy feeling—a comforting drowsiness really—that encircles the brain and makes the cheese eater feel safe, as if they’re back in the womb.
  • A love of cheese is linked to intelligence, attractiveness, and the ability to make a sandwich.
  • In mass quantities, cheese is the greatest known aphrodisiac.
  • The moon controls the tides, and the moon is made of cheese.
  • Theologians and scientists agree that cheese will one day save the planet.

There you have it. No insightful conclusion here. This column has made me hungry. I’m going out to buy some cheese.

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