Ten Ways to Make Your Cheese Behave

At a recent party, an acquaintance of mine had the temerity to serve room-temperature brie in a covered dish.

Can you imagine my horror? Alors, it is very possible you cannot.

I removed the offending lid, helped myself, and left the table without covering it again. I had to free the brie, as it were.

The lid, however, found its way back.

Yes: in a move equally as passive-aggressive as mine, the bumbling charlatan of a hostess had replaced the top of the container, smearing the lovely cheese along the lid’s inner lip. Did she not care that she was wasting precious grams of brie?! Imagine my further shock when she brayed to another guest, “Well I think the cheese is behaving just fine with a cover.” I was certainly meant to hear.

© BurgTender
(Image Source: Flickr, BurgTender)

Behaving just fine indeed! If she thinks she can do pretentious cheese better than a fifteenth-century Frenchwoman, she has another thing coming!

So I give you: “Ten Ways to Make Your Cheese Behave.”

  1. First, for my acquaintance: don’t smother your cheeses; let them breathe; give them space to reach their potential.
  2. Brie can be watery and weepy. Let your soft cheeses cry it out. This will help them sleep through the night.
  3. Don’t be taken in by glib claims of maturity. Your cheddar won’t have to tell you it’s mature; you will know by its fine table manners, its respectful way of addressing you, and its strict observance of curfew.
  4. Don’t preemptively stop your cheese from making bad choices. If you tell it not to touch the hot stove, should you hover next to it, waiting to pull back its curious hands? No! Let your cheese touch the stove. It will learn its lesson, and will surely see that you have its best interest at heart.
  5. Smoky Gouda can be scared straight with some carefully-placed anti-tobacco campaign posters.
  6. Corporal punishment is a contentious issue in cheese behavior modification, but I say “Spare the blade, spoil the chèvre.”
  7. Whether or not you pasteurize is your own choice, but you should still teach your cheese to cough into its sleeve and wash its hands regularly.
  8. Strong-smelling cheeses can be very sensitive if you confront them directly about their hygiene. Just set a new bar of deodorant on your cheese’s bed; it will get the message.
  9. Remember that your cheeses learn from watching you: if you speak as though cow cheeses are the norm, who’s to say that your cheese won’t go around repeating your sentiments to goat or sheep cheeses?
  10. Your curd will become a manchego before you know it, so don’t forget cherish the time you have together.

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