It’s alive!

Yesterday we talked about the language of wine. It seems I left out half of the equation–the cheese. I wrote about oenophiles but ignored the poor turophiles.

Readers commented to me on and off line that cheese descriptions can be just as confusing or haughty as ones pertaining to wine.

Upon waking this morning, I pulled my copy of The Cheese Course off the shelf. This book is mostly about the preparation of cheese dishes, but there’s an introductory section I found amusing. Author Janet Fletcher wrote in 2000 that “We Americans are clearly in the midst of a cheese revolution.” How did I miss that? Also, I’m fairly certain, if I were editing this book, that I’d have found a better place for the discussion about cutting the cheese than in the Cheese Etiquette section.

I then embarked on some further exploration of online cheese glossaries. What struck me about the descriptions of cheese flavors was how many are human traits. One cheese might be “mild-mannered” while another “assertive.” One might be “weeping” while another “gassy.” And don’t we all know at least one human, maybe old Uncle Cletus, whom everyone in the family regards as “barnyardy?”

Sorry, I know that was cheesy.

3 Comments

Filed under All Things Wordish, Food, Reading

3 responses to “It’s alive!

  1. anonnickus

    The cheese descriptives are amiable and maybe even humourous. They don’t seem to have any snob appeal though. At least I have never met a cheese snob. Love your word choices. May I say they are ‘brilliant’. Love the blog.

  2. Deirdre

    While the descriptions may indeed by silly, the pursuit of the perfect cheese can be divine. Are you familiar with Sister Noella The Cheese Nun?
    http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/289928/The-Cheese-Nun-Sister-Noella-s-Voyage-of-Discovery/overview

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