Look, I’ve never pretended to be the funny one on this blog.
I’m going to continue in this spirit of forthrightness and say up front: I don’t believe this blog is going to work, OK? I’m not like Amy. I haven’t been cowering from cheese since childhood, scraping out the fillings of my cakes and going without dessert in case one of them has accidentally touched a raspberry. I eat cheese.
Let me explain. I don’t like strong cheese flavours. I don’t really like the texture of cheese, unless it’s melted or cooked. I’m not sure why anyone ever decided to eat cheese given that it’s clearly just milk that’s gone funny and it definitely smells like that’s what it is.
But, you know, I’m not a monster. I’ve eaten pizza for years. I love a good cheese panini. I don’t even really mind a cheesy pasta bake. It’s just that point of the night where the cheese board comes out that I feel a bit… overfaced. Threatened. Ganged up on. Why are we letting this one food become the entire course of an otherwise great meal? GUYS, WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT CHEESE?
I’ve decided I need to find out.
I’m going to be more systematic than Amy because, quite frankly, I think her method of learning to eat new foods is silly. I wrote about this in more detail on my other blog, so to summarise: you can’t tell if you like a food by eating it once. You have to eat it multiple times, in multiple forms, over a sustained period of time. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to eat one cheese at least three times over a month, and blog about my experiences. And the cheese are going to increase in difficulty/strength over the year. So yes, you only get one blog a month from me. But I promise you, I’ll make it count.
We’ve started on a beginner’s setting, with cream cheese. Which I definitely already eat. But it’s January and no one wants things to be difficult in January because let’s be honest things are already crap enough.
The first way I eat cream cheese is at work, on a bagel, with smoked salmon. This is pretty predictable stuff if you’ve ever read any of my blog posts before. I can see how that creaminess works with the rich saltiness of the fish. But I have to ask an honest question… does no one else think that cream cheese just tastes like sour milk? Because guys, it does. I can get used to it, sure, but I’m never gonna go mad for cream cheese on a bagel like some people do.
My stepdad used to eat plain white bread with philadelphia and jam when he was at his poorest, and I think I might actually get that more. Sweet sharpness works well with cream cheese. Which inspires my second experiment… Cheesecake.
I started eating cheesecake at university, as with most foods, because it would look silly not to. And because it’s mandatory to choose cake over no cake, no matter what kind of cake that is. Still, I resented the people who put cheesecake in front of me. Because they could easily have served real cake, and they chose not to, and that’s just insane.
Anyway, the cheesecake I made was a banoffee one, and to make it, I basically just stirred a tin of caramelised condensed milk into two tubs of philadelphia and whipped cream. The sweetness of the caramel definitely masked the sharp flavour I don’t really like, and the dessert was delicious. I took it into work to stop myself eating the entire thing in one go, and my colleagues groaned with pleasure and a mild sense of horror that I would inflict that on their January diets. I declare it a thorough success.
My final cream cheese quest was to tackle an old foe – Tiramisu (which is made with mascarpone, which basically is just cream cheese, yes?). I have long held a grudge against Tiramisu, for the simple reason that I love Italian food, and it is often the only dessert on a menu at an Italian restaurant, and it pretends to be a chocolate cake, when it is, in fact, cheese and coffee. My mum told me Tiramisu was chocolate cake when I was eight, and it most definitely DEFINITELY was not, and it was the biggest disappointment of my life.
I’m starting to sound like Amy. It wasn’t actually the biggest disappointment of my life.
Amy and I went to an Italian restaurant to celebrate… nothing, to be honest, I think we just wanted pizza. And we both ordered the Tiramisu. And actually… it was delicious. Sorry Tiramisu. Sorry for ever doubting you.
3/3 ain’t bad. Next month… mozzarella. I know, I know, that doesn’t count either. Go easy on me. Or, if you’d prefer, suggest future cheeses in the comments.