An old colleague called it “cheddar weather.” Today’s weather is close to ideal for maintaining cheddar: cool, moist, overcast, with gentle breezes. These are the kinds of conditions that work best for curing most any cheese, cheddar included. They approximate the conditions in a natural cave, which is the reason they call cheese ripening rooms “caves.”
Another reason we might call it “cheddar weather” is because this kind of weather can stimulate our appetites for cheese. For some of us any kind of weather is good for the cheese appetite. We may prefer some cheese styles more than others depending on the atmospheric conditions, the same way that weather can shape our wine choices. Our taste for cheese may veer toward the lighter cheeses when it is hot outside, while the colder days suggest a heavier mountain style of cheese – the types that make their way into fondue.
It may be mid-summer but fondue sounds good, the primordial food that it is. Cheddar, by the way, is not the ideal cheese for fondue. Cheddar works well for melting over apple pie but the Gruyère family of cheeses is better for making fondue. Call it “Gruyère weather?”
- Max McCalman