Butter and Cheese

January 2, 2010 at 5:29 am (By Ron)

See,you wake up and you know what the post title is.  It’s the big phrase at the top, the one people will read first.  So you help them out, you show and not tell.



Now if I were writing a network news piece I’m practically done.  I just have to jaw about what ever hobby horse I’m on, mention Edward R. Murrow, and I’ve got the “…itzer” part of some prize I’m supposed to win.

But we’re smarter chickens here aren’t we?

If this were a foodie blog, I’d have to be complaining about Danish butter distribution in Idaho.

If this were a health blog, I’d have to compare the dairy industry to IG Farben.

If this were The New Yorker, I’d have to use the word “avoirdupois” more than once.

And, lastly, if this were Vanity Fair I’d have to compliment supermodels on their moral superiority in choosing cocaine and cigarettes instead of butter and cheese.

Somehow, I now feel the need to talk about butter and cheese themselves, but why?  We all know them; we may feel rueful about some of their aspects, but, hey, it’s not like they’re raising our taxes or invading other countries are they?  (no, really…are they?  No?  Whew!  You just don’t know who to trust these days)

While ambivalence is our mise en place here, (sorry, must’ve got some New Yorker on me) I’m going out on a limb and start the New Year by just flat out saying ‘Yay!’ to Butter and Cheese.  My boldness is even giving me an attack of the vapors.

I hope my fellow Ambivaloids love something enough to wax on about here at some point this year… at their repose, of course!


  1. Jason (the commenter) said,

    I love cheese. It’s always great to have some in the fridge, you never know when you might want to add some to a dish.

  2. El Pollo Real said,

    The best winter cheese tradition is the classical Swiss fondue: equal parts Emmentaler and Gruyere, with enough Appenzeller thrown in to tart up the blandness; some garlic; white wine keeps the whole thing together; a measure of Kirschwasser for flavor (though we tend to omit it). My wife has the secret recipe that she learned in der Schweitz. Sadly we’ve tried making it with domestic varieties of the cheeses, only to get oleaginous separation–there’s something about what the Swiss do (or don’t do to their cheeses that matters. Presentation is also important: we have a bona fide pewter and brass set up with an old fashioned caquelon. The quality of the bread matters too, the crispier and frenchier the better. The Swiss have strict customs surrounding the proper consumption of a fondue- no cold beverages are allowed, only hot tea or wine is permitted, lest one risk curdling a cheeseball inside one’s stomach. I’ve violated that rule just to test the limits (I had beer with a fondue) and nothing happened to me, but I have seen others writhe in pain of the dreaded cheeseball.

  3. William O. B'Livion said,

    Butter and Cheese are–in appropriate measures–good for you.

    Especially butter and cheese made from cows (or goats) eating fresh grass.

  4. Randy said,

    What I’d like to know is why the butter we ate while in Britain was so delightfully flavorful. The butter we have here is positively bland by comparison. I know some people swear by Kerrygold Irish butter, which is imported to the US. It saw it at Costco once and tried it but found it not appreciably different than regular store-bought, save perhaps it was a deeper shade of yellow.

  5. Rod said,

    Randy: Maybe the butter tasted better because you were on vacation?

  6. El Pollo Real said,

    Randy- it’s probably all to do with cow’s diet and exercise (or lack thereof). :)

  7. Chris said,

    I always love entertaining with a Beaujolais, a fresh baguette, a few Bartlett pears, and a ripened round of Epoisses, an unbelievably delicious unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese that’s highly, well, stinky. The one or two adventurous guests clear the path through the odor for everyone else, but it’s rare that there’s any left at the end of the event! It’s also a great conversation piece since it was Napoleon’s favorite cheese and it has supposedly been banned on Parisian public transport.

  8. amba12 said,

    Irish butter!! I spent a week in Ireland with my younger sister in 1967 (ages 21 & 17). We stayed in B&Bs, including a farmhouse in Sligo. The bread and butter were sheer ecstasy. We’d pig out at breakfast, bicycle all day till teatime, then come back and pig out again. It was all you’d ever need.

  9. amba12 said,

    Since then poor Ireland! It’s been through a boom and a bust and must now be feeling like Cinderella back sweeping the hearth after the ball. (OT)

  10. Ron said,

    I love the alchemical aspect of cooking; you take things you know when and combine them into something else you also love in very different ways. I made some pasta with butter, cheese, milk, to make alfredo sauce…I hadn’t had it in awhile and it was just the thing…

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