January 24, 2011

Cheese Evolution

I was just doing a fridge-rummage  getting some ingredients together for my Sunday dinner.  I counted 13 different kinds of cheese in my dairy drawer.  Is that too many kinds of cheese?  It seemed like a lot to me.  I grew up in a family where we had one kind of cheese in our home.  Cheddar cheese.  Usually it was purchased in large one foot long blocks, grated up with Mom's food processor, and put into a large plastic container for easy access.  A handful of grated cheese made a quick snack at my home.  Sometimes there may have been a block of swiss (so fancy!).  If there was an extra sharp block of cheese it was reserved for slicing and sharing.  When my husband-to-be came up to my home one time, and he felt a great sense of acceptance into the family when my father shared a precious slice of cheese from the "sharp block."  Still that is only 3 types of cheese that I had been exposed to by the time I was 23 yrs old.  I was totally confused as a teenager when a rival school teenager made an insulting comment one night after a basketball game.  He asked me "So are you from Provo High?"  I told him yes (he was from Timpview), and he tried to make a stupid joke comparing Provo High to provolone cheese.  Something like "What do they serve you guys for lunch over there a bunch of provolone?"  I wasn't even sure what provolone was and I had to go and look it up.  And in case you were curious, no that didn't get him far with me and no, our cafeteria did not in fact serve provolone cheese, although it would make perfect sense right?

Recently I got a bit of flack from one of my Utah relatives over my post observing Utahisms that I notice whenever I am in town.  I even got a call from my brother who ribbed me a bit telling me that I shouldn't make fun of Utah when I am a Utah girl.  I remember (back when I had never lived outside Utah) feeling offended by non-Utah people bashing Utah when they would come there for college.  I'd think "why are you here then? If you don't like it then leave, just don't complain to the locals for heavens sake!"  Now I understand a bit more about where they are coming from.  I still don't think you should poop where you live.  Having lived in many places I think you should always look for what is good about your place of residence.  Especially when you are among the natives.  But his statement about me being a Utah girl makes me wonder... Am I still a Utahn?  It's where I came from and I am proud of that.  But I have changed in many ways since I moved away in 1994.  I think one of those ways might be cheese related.  Would I have evolved in the world of cheese if I had stayed put?  Maybe.  I can't really say.  I can say that I'm grateful that now, my dairy is varied.  I recommend branching out.  So, now I'm curious, tell me fellow bloggers... what cheese is in your fridge and where are you living? (I promise I won't judge)  For the record here are my cheeses: cottage, ricotta, string, swiss, cheddar,velveeta (maybe I shouldn't count that), parmesan, mozzarella, havarti, monterey jack, babybel, laughing cow, cream cheese and we just ran out of gorgonzola!


Melinda said...

3.Cheddar - mild
4.Cheddar - sharp
5.string cheese
9.Colby Jack
10.cream cheese
11.Laughing Cow spreadable Swiss

Only 11... but, I'm a Utah girl!

Kelly said...

Impressive! Did you grow up in a diverse cheese home Melinda?

M-Cat said...

First off - I read every word of this post even though the picture made me gag - I HATE CHEESE. Detest. Abhor. Is there a stronger word?

Totally a Utah girl. All my life.

In my fridge, we have mild cheddar. I think there might be some string cheese for Sissy. But that's it.

And yes, I have indoctrinated my children. If they want to branch out to other kinds of cheese, they can - just not on my watch : )

Kelly said...

I sort of wish I hated cheese since it's fattening. I can't believe you don't like it! Different strokes I guess.

Cherie said...

We are cheese lovers here and I have to say we have the same ones as you plus blue cheese and Feta )which I use in salads) and Pepper jack among others I am sure - YUM!
I am a California girl living in Idaho now but I really don't think it has to do with where you live. I think it has more to do with how your mom cooked and how you your self cook. I am a recipe lover and am always trying new ones and over the years I have tried many with different cheeses.

I am glad you are "Grate - Ful" Ha ha - get it!

Katie said...

Well, I definitely don't have 13 different kinds, and I really need to go to the store, so off the top of my head I know we have:

colby jack
mozzarella, in the form of string cheese

I think I had tried colby jack, cheddar, and mozzarella when I was a kid. Not from Utah, but from a thrifty family.

noyb said...

ricotta, swiss, cheddar, brie, cream, parmesan and i think one more, but i dont want to go into the kitchen to look. i grew up with cheddar cheese or american slices only, but quickly branched out when i got married and started to cook. i cant think of a cheese that i have tried and not liked, but i dont like great quantities. not a utah girl

Tracy P. said...

Always Parmesan (the good stuff, not the powdered stuff) and Blue, also sharp cheddar, swiss, farmer, regular cream cheese and honey nut cream cheese, and no...you can never have too many cheeses. I swear I bought havarti sliced cheese at the store Friday, but it has disappeared. I'll probably find it in 3 months, moldy and stinking where it slid out of the grocery sack and under the seat in the car.

Tracy P. said...

Also, on "Pushing Daisies" (my fav show ever), they refer to the refridgerator as the "Cheese Box"!!

Kelly said...

Cherie- you are probably right. My mother didn't like to cook and I do. I also usually have feta for my salads. Remember the Single's Ward movie where some uncultured room-mate makes a lasagna with feta cheese. So funny!

Tracy-The powdered parm is never allowed in my home either. Kraft makes a great parmesan cheese that comes inside a plastic grater but I can't find it here. They had them in Iowa of all places!

Carrie Stuart said...

LOL!...dairy diversity! Love it. It made me realize, that even though we (I) have come to the conclusion that dairy is of the devil, that we have every single one of those cheeses mentioned, except havarti, gorgonzola (but we do have that sometimes) and Velveeta...but PLUS feta, Kraft singles and muenster. For one trying to rid my family of dairy, we sure do have a lot of it. I guess because I love to cook and there is so much cheese in good cooking.

I love it when people make little connections and share insights like this one. Thanks for opening my eyes!

Kelly said...

Do you really think you should count the Kraft singles?

I am surprised that you can get such a variety from your commissary.

Jack, Merry & T-Man said...

Kelly, we are so in sync, we were just the same in our family when we were growing up except sometimes we would add cheese curds to the stash. And now we also have a ridiculous amount of cheese in our fridge. Also a lot of different kinds of mustard I think that goes along with it. I am an Idaho girl and I make fun of it even though I love it. But I don't think I could EVER move back.

Kelly said...

I am a two kinds of mustard kind of gal myself...