The Near-perfect food

Many of the questions that I have heard repeatedly center on the nutritional values of cheese. Though many people say that they love cheese, they also seem to fear it, as though it might be a little bit of an indulgence to nosh on a morsel of cheese now and then. To allay people’s fears of cheese I simply mention that cheese is, after all, made from our first food – milk.

This is the “take-away” from the classes I teach: cheese is a near-perfect, near-complete food. Cheese also happens to enjoy an excellent track record for food safety. Recognition of these qualities is part of what has been driving this cheese wave here in the U.S. for the past several years. The per capita consumption of cheese here has nearly tripled since 1970. There has been a growing connoisseurship of cheese along with significant improvements in cheese making.

During a down economy the 2009 American Cheese Society conference saw a record number of entries into competition – 1,327 –representing only a fraction of artisanal cheese making here in North America.

One thing that we can say about Americans is that we are a curious people, especially when it comes to the foods that we eat. Numerous publications, in print and on-line, as well other media are continuously addressing food issues. Yes, we have been eating too much, but hopefully we are gradually eating better. If our knowledge of cheese continues to improve, I firmly believe that we will continue that steady increase of consumption.

Our Cheese & Wine 201 highlights the nutritive values of cheese especially when it is accompanied by moderate consumption of wine, and it addresses the safety concerns that many people may have. Part of our Master Series takes these topics to a more focused level.

When writing Mastering Cheese, Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager I wanted to start off with a chapter on the nourishment that can be offered by quality cheese – Cheese is Good – And Good for You. In a later chapter I believe it was important to address the raw milk issue – Raw Milk and Real Cheese. There has been so much misinformation presented regarding this topic that I believed that a full investigation had to be incorporated into a book by that title.

One reason that most of us love cheese is because cheese loves us!

Spread the curd!
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Posted by Max McCalman

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