Cheese? Yes please
My friends returned from Paris after the break in education they have here in the UK, known as half term. What did they overindulge in while they were in the City of Light? It was cheese, Gromit.
After over 18 months of eating domestic delights such as cheddar and other goodies, they went cheese-mad in the land of brie and morbier. Yes, the UK has more types of cheeses, but this was different cheese. A combination of giddiness about being abroad, and the prospect of eating soft cheeses with truffle layers, goat and blue cheeses. They were rolling in and out of restaurants over the long weekend, stuffed with the cheese courses.
Cheese is like that. It adds a level of happiness in consumption, of which I suspect a nut paste glued together to resemble cheese will never hit for consumers. Basically cheese is not so much a product, as an artisanal construct. It does not seem to matter if it is mass-produced or created by hand and stored in caves.
In the UK, cheese is bought by 98 per cent of British households, with the average person eating 30g per day. Meanwhile, on the Continent, French, Italian and Greek consumers eat about twice as much as the British do. Iceland is also a very high consumer of cheese as a nation.
Another funny fact about cheese, from the UK’s Centre for Retail Research, is that cheese is one of the most frequently stolen food item in the world. People crave cheese in a way that you don’t see in other food products, I suspect.
This is also seen from our meal last night. I had purchased cauliflower, with the idea that I might make a tempura batter and deep fry it. My husband said hopefully when he saw it, are we having cauliflower cheese? Yes, was the answer.
- Suzanne Christiansen, editor, Dairy Industries International.
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