Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why Cheddar?

My first entry should address two questions: why Cheddar and why a blog?

If you discovered my blog because you are mad about cheese or you are an enthusiastic foodie, you must be thinking to yourself that there are plenty of other cheeses that I could or should devote a blog to. Why Cheddar, and why not a more "gourmet" cheese, like Camembert? The reason is that no other cheese has as rich and international a history as Cheddar. Cheddar has traveled the world and taken it by storm. It's the world's most popular cheese type. Camembert can't boast that. Cheddar is a jet-setter, keeping homes all around the world, just like a professional tennis player, who might own a Spanish-style villa in Florida to practice with the Williams sisters, an apartment in her hometown in Serbia to keep it real, and a residence in Monaco to avoid heavy taxes. This tennis player is so international and multilingual that one easily forgets where she's from. Likewise, Cheddar has so comfortably incorporated itself into the cuisines of the Anglophone world (chiefly,
the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the British Isles) that people forget its country of origin—England—and claim Cheddar as their own. Case in point, my friend who writes a wonderfully insightful and humorous blog from Berlin, lists Cheddar as one of the basic American foods that she misses in her new hometown. (I am sure she knows that Cheddar is English—she knows a lot about food. The point is that she regards the English cheese as fully American.) It's almost like an English woman in Berlin yearning for French Camembert.

So, why pollute cyberspace with another blog? Well, I want people to know about Cheddar's obscured history and to know more generally about how the foods we eat end up on our forks. The more we know about the food we eat, the wiser and healthier we are. And, from a more selfish point of view, Cheddar allows me to travel the world, from Tasmania to Modesto, Calif., and take you with me.