Monday, September 15, 2008

EMPS: A Tale of Two Cheeses (We're Out of Cheddar)

a bag of Babybel cheeses

Mousebender: You do have some cheese, do you?
Wensleydale: Certainly, sir. It's a cheese shop, sir. We've got...
Mousebender: No, no, no, don't tell me. I'm keen to guess.
Wensleydale: Fair enough.
Mousebender: Wensleydale.
Wensleydale: Yes, sir?
Mousebender: Splendid. Well, I'll have some of that then, please.
Wensleydale: Oh, I'm sorry sir, I thought you were referring to me, Mr Wensleydale.
Mousebender: Gorgonzola?
Wensleydale: No.
Mousebender: Parmesan?
Wensleydale: No.
Mousebender: Mozzarella?
Wensleydale: No.
Mousebender: Pippo Crème?
Wensleydale: No.
Mousebender: Any Danish Fynbo?
Wensleydale: No.
Mousebender: Czechoslovakian Sheep's Milk Cheese?
Wensleydale: No.
Mousebender: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?
Wensleydale: Not today sir, no.
Mousebender: Well, let's keep it simple. How about Cheddar?
Wensleydale: Well, I'm afraid we don't get much call for it around these parts.
Mousebender: No call for it? It's the single most popular cheese in the world!
Wensleydale: Not round these parts, sir.
Mousebender: And pray what is the most popular cheese round these parts?
Wensleydale: Ilchester, sir.

For this week's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, Carly asks us to photograph some cheese. When she mentioned that there were hundreds of kinds of cheese, I was inevitably reminded of Monty Python's Cheese Shop sketch, and could not resist quoting from it above.

The brand formerly known as La Vache Qui Rit

Around here, I will occasionally snack on cheddar or semi-soft cheese, but mostly I melt cheddar or mozzarella over various meats and pastas and pizza. Right now we're completely out of my favorite kind, cheddar. I meant to buy more (and to photograph it too!) when I went out early this evening, but I was distracted by veggies and Safeway's upcoming Grand Reopening, and I forgot. So I can only show you the two kinds we still have in the house:

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

This, believe it or not, is Kraft Parmesan Cheese. Months and months ago, they came out with a new packaging that I thought was a good idea. Instead of pre-grated cheese, it came in a brick, impaled on a green stick attached to a dial / wheel thing at the top. The consumer was supposed to turn the dial to force the cheese through a plastic grater at the bottom of the jar, resulting in freshly grated cheese with no mess. But it didn't actually grate very well, and the stick soon broke. For months I've had the remains of the brick in the fridge. If I want grated Parmesan, then I have to get out my rusty, 50-year-old flat grater and go to it. The green jar of grated cheese may have been less elegant, but it sure was easier!

Three stages of Babybel preparation

The other kind we have on hand, as seen in most of the photos above, is Babybel brand semisoft cheese, made by Laughing Cow. When I was less than half my present age, this brand of cheese was part of several successful Atkins diets I went on in that era. One difference, though: back then, the company's French name, La Vache Qui Rit, was on all the packaging. I loved that. The Cow Who Laughs.

Now, I bought this latest bag mostly as a healthy snack for myself. But inevitably, especially since we ran out of the Lucerne brand sticks of cheddar, they've become dog snacks as well. It turns out that the dogs love it even more than cheeseburgers, or grass, or cheddar. But of course, I've known for years that dogs love cheese, as witness this poster I made in July, 2007:

Judging by the current dogs' performance this evening, I'm not likely to see either of them behave as well as Tuffy did around cheese, not until they've had much more (and more effective) training. They were beside themselves with impatience.

A slightly different attitude.

I tried to get them to sit a little further back, so they wouldn't be close enough to lunge for the food (and so I would have a fighting chance at a photo). But even as I held Cayenne back with one foot, Pepper would be sneaking forward.

Oh, well. Here you go:

Be sure to stop by Carly's blog Ellipsis with your own cheesy photo contributions. And check back there every Monday for a new Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot. I know I will!



Carly said...

Ahh yes, Intense cheesy yearning, yes, oh yes, I know it well! LOL.

Paul said...

Mmm, cheese. I loves me some good cheese. Currently in my fridge are:

A wedge of Balderson's (a local cheese maker) two year old aged white cheddar.

A brick of Parmigiano Reggiano

Part of a wheel of Beemster. Mmm, beemster. My favourite cheese.

Also, some Kraft slices for grilled cheese for Matthew. Me, I make my grilled cheese with the two year old Balderson's, but Matt doesn't like it.

Jama said...

I only have sliced cheddar and some mozzarella at home now, maybe I'll just photographed one of them.