Monday, 6 June 2011

What, No Cheese?

Americans have an obsession with cheese; and not in any 'la-dee-la' have you tasted this sheep's milk cheese infused with a hint of garlic and a sprinkling of chive way. No, it's the square, processed can be used as putty type of obsession.

Once you get over the initial cloying slightly plastic taste (oh and the luminous yellow color) it's not that bad. It actually has a nice flavor to it - but am I just lovin' the processed part? Plus it has a good melting consistency to it - all gooey and stringy - very nice.

But, what I want to know is - does everything have to have cheese in it? Let me enlighten you...

Like its 'rival' state NYC, Boston is well known for its sandwiches. Call them what you may - subs, panini's, grinders...they'll make whatever you want...all with added cheese. And to be fair, it's not just the great American slice that's your choice; there's also provolone, pepper jack, swiss and non British cheddar (Cor, do I miss a nice bit of British cheddar...said in my best Wallace voice). Picking up one half of a sandwich requires both hands and that's not to do with just the size but more to stop the filling from falling out.

Once you've accepted the cheese in your sandwich - comes breakfast and cheese. Even if "America runs on Dunkin' (Donuts)"...there's a plethora of other breakfast items like croissants, bagels and English muffins (yes, you can find English muffins over here - they love 'em). And whilst you can get it plain (the offer of some sort of cream cheese or butter is never far behind), the most popular way to have these breads is with sausage (flat patties - not the bangers that we're used to), bacon, egg and of course cheese! Sometimes because of our 'deep' English accents, they mishear us and forget the sausage altogether and we've ended up with just an egg and cheese muffin.

Pop into a restaurant for brunch and the scrambled eggs come mixed in with cheese. I'm not convinced how much flavor this adds - chives yes, spring onion or red peppers definitely, but cheese? Hubby doesn't mind it too much...I've yet to be convinced.

Why this post on cheese? Well, the other day I popped into get a sandwich from a local place. A sandwich of turkey on rye, black pepper, lettuce with mayo and the following conversation ensued...

Me: can I have a turkey on rye, lettuce, mayo and black pepper please?
SL (sandwich lady): did you want cheese?
Me: No (otherwise I would have asked for it, I thought)
SL: OK. So, that's turkey on rye, lettuce, mayo, black pepper.
Me: Yes, thanks
SL: No cheese
Me: (oy-vay), no...thanks
SL to assistant: Turkey on rye, mayo, lettuce, black pepper - no cheese
Assistant: no cheese?
SL: no cheese

For the love of all that is good! I'm asking for a sarnie without cheese not an assault rifle (although I'm sure that wouldn't be given a second thought if I did ask for one!) So, now the word will spread around all Cambridge sandwich out for the woman with a funny accent who doesn't like cheese in her sandwiches.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good bit of cheese as much as the next person...just not in everything...America - please forgive me!

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