Cheddar Is The Best Cheese

March 3rd, 2009 by Potato

There are a great many cheeses to choose from in the world; each Eurpoean town seems to have its very own (or one for each day of the year). However no cheese can hold a candle to Cheddar, the God-Emperor of cheeses. There are a plethora of positive attributes that make Cheddar the best: its ready availability, its gentle, non-footy flavour, its pleasing colour and texture. However, the reason that elevates Cheddar to god status is its omnipresence and malleability. No other cheese can transmute itself into so many forms, from organic dairy farm goodness to powdered horror and still be recognized as Cheddar. It can be mild or aged strong; uniform in appearance or marbled (my personal favourite). It’s good cold or melted, in solid cheese form, semi-solid slices, or powered and/or liquified. As a “flavour” it can appear on crackers, gators, fish, and a variety of other fried or baked snack foods that turn your hands orange.

In fact* Cheddar is so synonymous with cheese that in some languages/dialects Cheddar is the word for cheese, and the locals may know of no other types. The French word for cheese, fromage, comes from the word for mold or form, which is used in the making of Cheddar-like cheeses. Here at UWO we are going to have a brain imaging study starting very soon (as soon as we get funding and ethics approval and MRI time) that will objectively prove that when people think about “cheese”, they’re really thinking about Cheddar (and a non-significant activation in the “smiling for pictures” region of the brain). A serving of Cheddar contains 20% of your daily calcium & B12 requirement as well as all kinds of other good stuff, yet as little as 5% of the lactose of milk, making it suitable for lactards such as myself. It’s also stable in the fridge for over a month after opened, and up to 6 months before that, very important for shut-ins who don’t like to grocery shop very often. You can find it in the deli counter, the fancy cheese section, and the general dairy case in your local supermaket simultaneously, and that’s just for its most common chilled cheese form. Cheddar is also the only product that can be put between two pieces of bread on its own and still be considered a “sandwich” (indeed, two sandwiches depending on whether heat is available: a cheese sandwich or a grilled cheese — peanut butter requires the help of one other item, usually jam or bananas; bacon, itself a prince amongst meats, requires both lettuce and tomato to become a BLT). Cheddar is often the glue holding together other foods, originating all around the world, such as KD, quesadillas, casseroles, grilled cheese, nachos, and cheeseburgers (note that it requires two pieces of cheese to hold a cheeseburger together; this is not the common distribution of double cheese cheeseburgers, but should be).

Cheddar also does not rely on the action of mould, nasty fluffy stuff that invades your basement, to make the magical transformation from milk to manna in its wax chrysalis. Many other cheeses mistakenly went bad in antiquity, picking up mould veins or fuzzy coatings, and people ate them. Continue to, in their ignorance, despite the fact that starvation is no longer the only alternative, and that mould and fungi are not from one of the three kingdoms of life that humans have evolved to eat (plantae, animalia, and petrochemical). This makes Cheddar one of the few cheeses actually suited to human consumption and digestion, even without the purifying effects of fire cooking. If we need an antibiotic we’ll call you, Roquefort, but for something to put in my mouth I’m going to stick with Cheddar.

Yes, if it weren’t for the need to have mozza (the queen-consort of cheeses) for pizza we could in fact get by with Cheddar as the only cheese in our society. And we would be happy to devote ourselves to the God-Emperor of cheeses.

* – not an actual fact.

[Photo credits: wikipedia, flickr user srboisvert, Kraft Canada. The idea for this post came from Mr. Cheap]

2 Responses to “Cheddar Is The Best Cheese”

  1. Mr. Cheap Says:

    Great post on a subject the blogosphere needs to consider more often. I predict a surge in traffic to your blog as Cheddar lovers from across the Internet beat a path to your site!

  2. Netbug Says:

    Long live Feta!