Wednesday, February 6, 2019


     I am an unabashed cheese-aholic. Cheese, of all foods, is my favorite thing in the world. Damned near any variety, too. I’m not a “cheese snob” in the French fashion; I’ll subsist on Kraft Singles if nothing else is available. Why, there was this one time back in Africa that I was alone in my trench, facing a tide of ululating savages with nothing to hand but a pointed stick and a wedge of Romano...but I digress. Were cheese to be denied me – and let me tell you, Gentle Reader: it’s been tried by some very tough M.D.s wielding bludgeons forged in the flames of Cholesterol Hell – life would no longer be worth living. If I must die an early death due to my various dissolutions, let it be with an uncorked bottle of Chateau Lafayette Reneau's Dry Riesling before me, a full wineglass in one hand, a hunk of cheese in the other – for such an auspicious occasion, preferably Cream Havarti with Dill – and a mouthful to be savored as I depart this vale of tears.

     But hark! What have we here?

     A big dzięki to our friends in Poland: namely Professor Maciej Banach of the University of Łódź. For Banach and his plucky team of researchers have just completed a thrilling meta-analysis of 29 cohort studies that confirm what we’ve always chosen to believe: cheese can help you not die.

     Thus spake the scientists: ‘cheese and yogurt were found to protect against both total mortality — death from any cause — and mortality from cerebrovascular causes.’...

     Studying over 20,000 adults over 11 years, consumption of cheese was associated with an 8% lower total mortality risk. Not bad, cheese, not bad at all.

     Glory Hallelujah! I’ve always known it at some level, but the confirmation simply makes my year! 2019 shall henceforth be known as The Curmudgeon’s Cheese Year.

     Cheese is essential to my grand plan. It’s been verified that if you live to 120 years of age, your risk of death drops to zero! (What, you don’t believe me? Who have you known that died after reaching 120 years of age? Go ahead, ask around; I’ll wait.) My sainted father advocated the consumption of raw clams washed down with Schaefer, but I detest raw clams, Schaefer appears to be out of business, and anyway, Dad’s dead. So thank You, Professor Maciej Banach – and thank You, God, for the blessing of cheese.

     (For a further reflection on this most hallowed of all non-transubstantiable foods, read this old chestnut. It’s a longtime favorite.)


Amy Bowersox said...

I'll remember that as I pick up another block of medium cheddar from King Soopers on my way home from work. (Not Walmart. Theirs is too "rubbery" for my tastes, whereas the Kroger brand is nicely firm.)

I just hope Sabrina doesn't notice as I cut a few slices...I'll have to bribe her with a few more! :D

Linda Fox said...

It makes perfect sense - the mold in the cheese serves to protect against many pathogens. Milk wouldn't have the same effect (although, buttermilk might).

I just finished a Havarti with garlic - incredible!

Weetabix said...

I always believed this to be the case. Mrs. 'Bix's cheese tastes are rather limited from an unfortunate upbringing.

I have, however, attempted to broaden my children's horizons. When they were young, and Mom was out of the house, we'd have "Stinky food night." Various cheeses, smoked oysters, canned fish of several varieties, prosciutto, a variety of olives, etc.

My youngest is away at basic training. When she was back she was excited that I'd planned a stinky food night for her time at home.