I Have Abused My Cheese All of My Life|
by Peary Perry
for the past couple of months you’ve heard enough from me about my surgery, house
remodeling and the hurricanes. I thought this would be the time to make a change
and give you something to think about.|
You know, I told you last year
I was going back to college and get my degree. I missed a lot of things when I
was in high school and junior college. My mind wasn’t on the courses at hand and
I admit I wasn’t much of a student. So, here I am quite a bit older and looking
to improve my mind and make up for lost time. I think we all should do the same.
In my travels I’ve talked to a lot of folks who tell me that they missed a lot
of classes on some of life’s more important points. I can’t remember any classes
telling me how to balance a checkbook or what kinds of insurance I’d need to buy
as an adult. I would have liked to learn how to cook. I certainly could use that
information much better than what I learned while taking geometry and Latin. How
many pints make a quart is more important to me today than calculating the volume
of a sphere.
you know I think of this column as my ability to enlighten and inform the folks
who read my stuff. For example, this morning I’m reading a very lengthy article
that is telling me about how I have abused my cheese all of my life.
dear reader, I was never taught about the proper methods of cheese handling. I
have failed cheese. I am so ashamed.
For example, cheeses should be stored
in temperature and humidity controlled environments. You can’t just shove them
into the old refrigerator along with the eggs and milk. Various cheeses have to
be stored at different temperatures and humidity levels. In fact, one of the newest
kitchen appliances (about $300) is a countertop cheese machine. It’s expected
to become a standard item along with your toaster and microwave.
is a guy in California (where else?) who is adding on a 300 square foot cheese
room to his wine cellar at the cost of an additional $50,000. I can’t find my
wine cellar, and my wife thinks I’ve lost my mind when I asked her what happened
For your information, those of you who might have missed that
day in high school when proper cheese handling methods were discussed, cheeses
should be stored as follows: cheeses should be kept in parchment paper or waxed
paper. Never, ever keep your cheeses in plastic, since plastic apparently ‘suffocates
the cheese’. Also if a cheese it too cold, it will dry out and too warm it will
ripen too quickly.
My heart was broken when I read this. Since I’ll be
the first to admit that I have been suffocating cheeses all of my life. I never
knew, no one taught me, I was underprivileged, I was ignorant….yes, I was a cheese
jerk. Until I read this article I never knew I was a cheese abuser. I’ll try to
do better in the next few years. I promise.
Yes, I promise to unwrap all
of those little cheese slices that Kraft puts in plastic so they will age naturally
and not ‘suffocate’. I unwrapped a few a couple of minutes ago and thought I could
hear a sigh of relief. Might have been my imagination. I feel better about doing
For your information, Gouda, cheddar and parmesan can last for months
if stored at 55 to 60 degrees and 80% humidity. Blue cheeses will do better at
45 degrees and 90% humidity since they ripen faster. If you like Camembert’s,
you must remember you can only store them for a few weeks and that they must,
I repeat, must be turned over every day to allow their moisture to be distributed
properly. Your failure to do this will certainly result in a deterioration of
the cheese, something you want to avoid at all cost.
Come to think of
it, I wonder if Kraft knows how they’re abusing millions upon millions of cheese
singles by putting them in those little plastic wrappers. Just choking those little
suckers to death and I’ll be they don’t even know it. I might send them a copy
of this article to inform them.
I might also see if I can contact the
person who wrote the article I was reading. I have no idea what the proper temperature
and humidity is for rattrap cheeses…and I need to find out the proper methods
of storing my Velveeta. Till next week.
By the way, I forgot to mention
that Velveeta and rattrap cheeses go best with wines such as Thunderbird or Ripple…..July
was a good month for both.