Cheese . . . Friend or Foe?

Pure cream . . .

      The media often gives me info I use, but other times? Well, a TV Panel was discussing the fact that 80% of us are over weight, and, if you, like me, enjoy eating Cheese? Don’t read my words.
 
      They told nothing new. That the wonderful stuff we grate, slice, toast or sprinkle, and in any form, color, or price, is nothing more than big blobs (yes, they used that word) of pure, thick Cream.
 
      Any cheese, they kept repeating, new or old, cheap or expensive, starts with the very same stuff we guiltily push to one side if whipped and served on a piece of pie. Form and age, the only difference, and I cringed, for they were hitting my eating habits with a vengeance.
 
      When the whey (milk) is discarded, and the cream curdled, then stored away from two, five, ten or more years, the more tasty, and expensive it gets. But only the Form changes, and basically, it remains pure cream. And puts the pounds on.
 
      They romanticized it, telling how, thousands of years ago, our ancestors, ‘blundered’ upon it as they milked their cow, sheep, goat, buffalo, or whatever lactating animal available, and if they tossed out the whey, and then left it alone,  they had created (probably the first) food that did not spoil, in hot or cold weather, and remained a nourishing food for years. We call it Cheese.
 
      And even today’s experts, use the same ‘recipe’, that the shepherds did, and as well as over half of the world’s population also does today. Nothing has changed except ‘details’. The Process? The same.
 
      Everyone of us has favorites of that wonderful stuff. For me, when it is grilled between slices of rye bread, it becomes a sandwich that makes my mouth water, and cheeks ache, even now, as I write about it.
 
      The TV group was torn in their opinions, too, trying to undermine our love for Cheese, and blaming a big portion of our extra poundage upon it. We forget, they said, exactly what we’re eating.   They named dozens. Stilton with its green mold? Cream. Feta, with a saltiness to make any salad sing? Cream. Cheddar? Cream. Mozzarella? Cream. Parmesan? Cream. Cream Cheese? Of course, Pure Cream.
 
      They ended up agreeing that the desert people all depend upon it for their daily food. But we with such a great, varied diet, should not over-indulge, and become aware that, in cheese, we are eating nothing but big blobs (again their words) of Pure Cream.

      The experts noted that we love it so much that we’ve made ‘Macaroni and Cheese’ a food that’s right up there with Apple Pie as a national favorite. And Pizza a close second. And yet we frown when served a dab of the same basic stuff, on some dessert.
 
      It’s all pure, plain, cream, turned into cheese, from today’s sanitized, refrigerated factories, to desert people, also of today, who make their cheese out in the open, with the animals it came from right alongside. By the very same process.
 
      Cheese has been a basic food wherever people live on what food they could/can  find in the fields, and often is the only difference between living and starving.

      Author, Laurie Lee, chose to remain in Spain when Franco, egged on by Hitler, began WW 2, and wrote of the two years he lived and fought with the families who dwelt in the deserts and dry mountains of that Iberian Peninsula. And how he learned to respect, and depend upon their stone-hard cheese, which they carried in their pockets, or sacks, and whether in summer’s heat or winter’s freezing, fed them as they fought.
 
      Cheese, they said,  is perhaps the world’s first ‘invented’ food. All we’ve changed is just how to fancy up the flavor and presentation. And according to the experts, must learn how to use it correctly, or keep our extra pounds. Oh me. 
 
      What they told was interesting but not new. They, too, couldn’t make up their minds as to whether to put Cheese on a no-no list, or not, but at the same time, they took away my joy of using it in my meals. Truth isn’t always fun.

ethelbrad@comcast.net

2 thoughts on “Cheese . . . Friend or Foe?

  1. Oh Ethel my favorite food is… cheese … I buy it in every country that I visit also in your country but….. sorry…. not the french, not the America cheese, not Italian, no for me I am crazy about the DUTCH cheese, young, old, for me all it is good, and you don’t believe it I eat sometimes 2 pound in a week, for me not a dieet without cheese!!!!

    • corry, thank you again and again. You brought a bit of sense to my thinking. After all, you’re certainly NOT over weight, AND YET YOU EAT CHEESE. God bless you and your common sense. ethel

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