10 07/17/2012 life Food

Say (It Ain’t) Cheese

For Canada Day festivities, all my awesome neighbourhood peeps came outdoors to party street-style: it was basically a huge grill-fest for young kids and old kids alike, with all the side salads, chips, and accoutrement to go with all the meat things we barbecued, including the burgers and dogs. It was quite a scene until 2:30 AM. (Heh.)

Amongst a few other things, nearly last-minute, the idea of “cheese” for the burgers came up. I was headed to the store for some items, so I said I’d get it. You know, the orange cheese-in-plastic kind of cheese. I was happy to fetch it and purchase it, but I was pretty certain we’d forget to serve it, or no one would opt for it on a burger, and after the party I’d be stuck with the offensive package of nuclear orange plastic cheese in my fridge for the rest of time.
Which is exactly what happened.
I hate this cheese.
Of course, I don’t mean I hate this cheese in every application – they belong on burgers from places like McDonald’s, and I love them for always including it. (You know I’ve almost always got a cheeseburger in my purse, right?) But it was really the only place I would ever eat such cheese.
My mother, who long ago coined the phrase “Nasty American Food” would lump said cheese into such a food-group, and would never buy it. Whenever we had a grilled cheese sandwich, it was usually grilled in the oven, open-faced on whole wheaty-seedy-grainy bread, with a thick slice of tomato underneath a blanket of melted, sliced cheddar. That she cut of a brick out of the fridge. It was usually white, though sometimes it was orange. I think once she even bought the marbled variety, but that might have been by accident.
When I was a child, I once went to a friend’s house when lunch was being served. My friend shrieked, “Grilled cheese! Oh, don’t you just looove grilled cheese?” She closed her eyes and swayed from side to side in anticipation of the BEST lunch you’ve every heard of. Of course I smiled my fool head off at the idea of such a wonderful lunch coming to me outside of my own home. Wow.
And so, imagine my surprise when I was presented with a two-ply white bread sammich with something bright orange oozing out the side. On a Mickey Mouse plate. My friend picked up a mini square of hers (they were each cut into quarters) and dipped the end into a huge pool of ketchup on the side of her plate. Ketchup also equalled “Nasty American Food” in our house. I tried not to be offended, and willed myself to just try it. How do you know you don’t like something unless you try it?
I bit into it, and it was… kinda… wrong. It didn’t taste like melted cheese should taste. Even the consistency was off. Too creamy, maybe? Kinda sweet, too. I could get into the fact that it was toasted and buttery on both sides, but I tried as I might to enjoy it, with even half the gusto of my blonde friend, I could not. I choked down half of it, and drank my juice instead. She picked up my last two pieces, and blotched more ketchup onto her plate, which by that point, totally looked like a murder scene.
Over the years, I’ve found myself in possession of said cheese. Sometimes left over from a party like I mentioned earlier, or possibly because the Processed Cheese Fairy has put some in my fridge overnight. *shrugs* And since I hate wasting food, every now and then, I make a note of buying some white sandwich bread, and I force myself to make a grilled cheese sandwich – with butter on the outside, grilled in a pan – and I try to make myself eat it.
I’ve probably tried this about a dozen times in my life.
But, no matter how I try… not even in prettying it up on an Hermes plate (thank you Awesome Bosslady Irene!) my palate does not accept this as a good thing to eat, and I’m pretty sure my pretty plate kinda feels like a whore.
It’s a sad day for sandwiches around here. Please pass the Havarti. (And hold the ketchup.)
What’s your favourite kind of grilled cheese?
  • Tracey


  • Julie

    oh no you di’int!!!!!!

  • Tracey

    If you melt the whole thing together, it might even taste better. Crispy-like. (Heh.)

  • Tracey

    Oh my, grilled gouda with smoked turkey or something? YUM! And I have nothing against ketchup per se – I love it on burgers and dogs and fries – it’s my Jamaican mother who finds it nasty. (Kinda.) I never need it with the grilled cheese. Or eggs. *shudders* But I’m not knocking the ketchup at all, I swear!

  • Tracey

    He must burn your chicken pretty good… *winks*

  • Julie

    oh yah, big NON to blue cheese. did i ever tell you all about when hubby and i were dating, one of the first things he made me was macaroni mixed with condensed tomato soup in a 9×9 pan and topped with delicious slices of processed cheese? i think we had wonder bread and margarine as a side dish, too. i still kept him! 🙂

  • Annabelle

    Hilarious. And gross. My good friend said it best. That “cheese” has as much flavour and nutritional value as the wrapper it comes in, so you may as well melt the whole thing together!

  • Alice

    I LOVE that you call it plastic cheese, too. That’s what I call it, to my husband’s disgust. You see, I was raised to eat whole wheat and real cheese (like you, though we did sully it with ketchup sometimes), while he grew up in suburbia with Wonder Bread and plastic cheese. It grosses me out, but now my kids willingly eat it on its own. For grilled cheese, though? These days, it’s gouda. In fact, it’s gouda for everything, since my dad gave me an ENTIRE WHEEL for Christmas this past year. We still have one quarter to go…

  • Tracey

    I think I love ANY cheese besides that kind. Oh, and blue cheese… no thanks.

  • Julie

    any and sometimes all the cheese that i have in the fridge with a side of dipping mustard. luv it!

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