Today is National Cheese Lovers Day, a day to celebrate cheese and the people who can't get enough of it. It may sound like a funny holiday, but unless you're lactose intolerant (in which case, let me direct you to The Intolerant Gourmet, a cookbook packed with recipes for those with dietary restrictions), I bet you have a soft spot for cheese, so, really, this is a day about you. And how can a cheese lover like you celebrate this little known holiday?
Maybe the most infamous tribute to cheese is the annual rolling of the cheese in Gloucester, England. The event, though officially cancelled, has taken place every spring for hundreds of years. To win, you must chase an 8-pound Double Gloucester Cheese down a steep hill and be the first to grab it. The hill is steep, and injuries are common.
If chasing cheese isn't for you, you can celebrate like I do, by watching one of my favorite TV shows. Episode five of the first season of "The West Wing" is called "The Crackpots and These Women" and is centralized around "Big Block of Cheese Day." It's an episode loosely based on a historical event at which the public was invited to help consume a giant block of cheese at the White House. The accessibility of the cheese is a metaphor for the one day a year that an average citizen can get an audience with a White House Staffer; what's not to love about that?
Of course, the best way to celebrate National Cheese Lovers Day is to treat yourself to some delicious snacks. The pairing options for cheese are endless, from fruit, meats and crackers to beverages, like beer and wine. Check out our selection of gourmet food baskets for inspiration; they're perfect as gifts and are an easy way to have extra food on hand for parties and other events. You could also make cheese fondue in honor of the day; try combining two or three kinds of cheese, like cheddar, Gruyere and Emmentaler. Want to make cheese the star of a meal? Try this recipe for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, which is excellent paired with a tomato soup or a butternut squash soup.
Grown-up Grilled Cheese
4 slices pumpernickel bread
Mild cheddar cheese, sliced (mild melts better)
1 Tomato, sliced
Barbecue flavor potato chips (kettle style chips work best)
1 T. Butter
Heat up the oven to broil. Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Spread mayonnaise into one side of each slice of bread and place the slices mayonnaise side up in the pan. Place slices of cheese onto the mayonnaise side of two bread slices. Place the tomato slices on the other two bread slices. When the bread is toasted (five minutes or so), transfer the bread to a cookie sheet and move them into the broiler, allowing the cheese to fully melt. Remove from the broiler and cover the cheese with barbecue flavor potato chips, and then top the chips with the other side of the bread. Cut into triangles and serve immediately.
There must be other shows about cheese and other ways to celebrate National Cheese Lovers Day. How will you celebrate? What is your favorite cheese?
Posted by Jessica Gezon