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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Foods I don't like..... so far #3 Blue Cheese

It's really all about cheese isn't it?  Just ask any person in France.

Let me start by saying that Swiss cheese is one of my favorite cheeses.  Gruyere, Emmental, anything that closely resembles Swiss is always a "go to" cheese.  A plate of melted raclette (a type of cheese that has it's own named melting devise), boiled potatoes, and tiny pickles with a huge slice of crusty French bread is a lovely winter meal. The laughing cow cheese, with it's triangular shape wedges has a special spot in a refrigerator drawer.  Such a quick thing to throw in the lunch box.  I also like the little Gouda cheeses with the red wax. Something about unwrapping it makes it like a little cheese gift during the day.

Though I try not to eat processed foods (just don't put a bowl of M&M candies near me), I do find that the lovely square American cheese,  that comes individually wrapped,  has graced more than one grilled cheese sandwich or hamburger in my lifetime as well as the lives of my children.  My youngest even wanted to be a "grill cheese cooker" as his chosen profession.  Ok, he was only five or six years old, but mama was teaching him how to cook.  There is just something child-like about cutting that sandwich in half and trying to see how far you can pull it apart before the cheese melts.  The melt-y cheese clothesline of hot lunches. As an adult, I use different kinds of cheese for my grilled cheese, but I would absolutely eat one made with the individually wrapped cheese.

Greek cheese!  According to many of my American friends, Greek cheeses are strong in flavor.  I like the strong scent and crumbly texture of many of the cheeses of Greece.  It's a link to my past. We had feta and tomatoes with our eggs for breakfast when I was a little girl. Chunks of feta, olives, and bread could keep us at the table snacking and talking before our huge family Sunday dinner.  I'm so glad it is so popular now as I love it on pizza!

Italian cheese is pretty much known everywhere. Freshly grated cheese is so good on pasta.  Fresh mozzarella cheese is so different than the ones in the stores.  I purchase it by rounds or slices and dress it with basil and olive oil.

I enjoy most any kind of cheese except the ones with any kind of visible mold that is a delicacy to many. When I was in France, I heard a girl yell at her sister that she had taken all of the blue of the cheese!  Some things one never forgets.  While in France, I tried to find the perfect Camembert and Brie.  I was trying so many that I would just save the round cover from the cheese box so I would not have duplicates.  Of course my favorite was the kind with the most percentage of fat.  The petite suisse French cheese was one that captured my heart as a breakfast cheese. Creamy, tart, and ready to be eaten with a spoon was a joy to have for breakfast.  I could go on and on about French cheeses, and I have tried so many.  I have tried so many of the blues and the "greens" and just have never developed a liking for them.

I have found that going to many parties and "pot luck" dinners, that I must be in the minority. I cannot count the times I have put food on my plate, or being served a salad and thinking, "please let this be feta, please let this be feta" (when the crumbles are so tiny, they lose the "blue"). When my niece was about 2 or 3, we were at a restaurant. Being that Greeks eat salad with just about every meal, she wanted a salad. When they asked her what kind of salad dressing she wanted, that sweet little voice said: "Blue cheese please".

Included in the cheeses that I do not like are the "no-fat", "low-fat", or "veggie cheeses". In my opinion, those are not truly cheeses, but a way to trick the mind into thinking that it is.  It didn't work for me.

So if you are ever at my house and you are served a hearty ziti dish with the aroma of cinnamon and crumbled cheese on top, remember that it will be Greek feta cheese and not blue that adorns the dish.

This is a photo of my summer "Chicken Parmesan". Instead of tomato sauce, I just used fresh garden tomatoes.  It was delicious.

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar