A cheese slicer cuts the cheese nicely, whether it's the flat-metal variety or the wire type, although the flat-metal slicers can foul up a hunk of semi-soft cheese. The wire kind or even a butter knife can handle semi-soft cheese, but I usually cut the cheese with something like a steak knife.
Whether or not a cheese slicer can cut it doesn't matter, really. How you cut the cheese is not so imperative. Eating the cheese is the important thing. That's the good part.
I've been a connoisseur of good cheese since I was a kid, when my mother would serve me tomato soup accompanied by Ritz crackers dressed up with Kraft pimento cheese spread. That crazy cheese was sold in little glass jars with pry-off, pop-off lids. Does Kraft still make that stuff? If not, it should!
Sometimes my mom prepared me soup along with a grilled cheese sandwich, made with Kraft American cheese. That was so delicious, more than delicious, but my mother's father – that would be my German-American grandfather – enjoyed eating the most stinky cheese I've ever smelled. That beloved man loved limburger cheese. I hated it. Avoid limburger cheese; that's my advice.
Most other cheeses? Go for it. Chow down, cheese fans. Of course, I realize that many people out there will tell you to stay away from cheese, or at least eat it in moderation, because they think dairy fat is going to put you six feet under. Yet, others will tell you that dairy fat can be good for you. Who do you believe?
According to Men's Health magazine online in 2010, cheese is good for you. It listed full-fat cheese among it's nine best foods for weight loss. "This dairy product is an excellent source of casein protein – one of the best muscle-building nutrients you can eat," wrote David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding. Along with milk, iced coffee, grapefruit, apples, eggs, beans and salmon, the boys also included pork chops. Pork chops! That's my kind of list. Zinczenko and Goulding must know what they're talking about. Pass the cheese, please, and don't hog the chops.
My ultimate cheese fantasies were fulfilled when I lived in Paris. The French produce some fantastic, incredible, superb cheeses. No, better than that. I'd say magical. Hell no. Mythical! That's it! When I die, I want to be sitting along the Seine in Paris, with a bottle of Côte de Provence, a fresh-baked baguette and a hunk of brie. Let me know if you see the old grim reaper heading my way, and I'll book my flight to the City of Light.
Maybe I'm going overboard here with my cheesy spiel on fromage. My friends do say I think about food too much and probably eat too much dairy fat. Yes, I do drink a lot of chocolate malted Ovaltine and consume great quantities of chocolate-chip ice cream, and I gobble down cheese every day. I ate a gouda omelet this morning, and I've got my eye on some cheddar for the evening dinner menu.
It's hard, however, to go easy on the cheese when you live with a Norwegian. Those Vikings make some good cheese too. Ost, or cheese, is a culinary standout in Scandinavian cuisine, so those folks are always buying and eating cheese. Just look inside my refrigerator. You'll find Norwegian ost, Danish ost, Dutch kaas, French
fromage and American cheese. Just two days ago, at two markets in St. Louis, me wife picked up a half-dozen imported cheeses, including Norwegian goat cheese and some Norwegian semi-soft cow cheese. Those went into the cheese bin with the many other packages of cheese – sliced, grated, blocks and wedges. So, you see? I have no choice. I must eat cheese.
It won't be long, and before you know it, lunchtime will be here. I could fix a healthful salad with grated or shredded cheese on it. Or little, diced, cheese chunks mixed in it. Ham and cheese on a gluten-free, wheat-free bun sounds good, too, yes? Hey, listen to this: some nutritious corn chips, jalapeno peppers, diced tomato, chopped onion and avocado chunks, all covered in hot, melty, oozing cheese. Hot damn! Gotta go!
I've got to go chop some veggies and cut the cheese.