Friday, June 22, 2007

Cheese, Minutiae, and The Communist Threat

By now you know that not all cheese is cheese. You can go to a little wooden hut on a cobblestone street somewhere in France and buy yourself a wheel of the good stuff, or you can jam your ride up onto the curb at Albertsons and grab a shrink-wrapped brick of what they call 'American processed cheese food.' Let's look at that slightly sinister phrase a minute. American... sure, made here, check. Processed... naturally. Made here. Cheese... the part that allows you to identify what you're supposed to be eating. Food... debatable, but hey, you are putting it in your mouth. I once heard a comic ask if processed cheese food is what they feed the cheese.
Anyway, the reason for this diatribe is that the other day, in one of those crew meal things, I scored a tiny chunk of Gouda. It was decent enough cheese, and has inspired me to seek out some real Gouda. But the nomenclature on the wrapper added another ridiculous layer of removals:
Gouda-type flavor? Is this to say that, when the lever was pulled on the assembly line, what came pouring out of the industrial vat into this incomplete APCF was not Gouda, not even the flavor of Gouda, but a flavor designed to taste like something that tastes like Gouda? The only reason I can see to manufacture something like this instead of just putting out bits of actual Gouda cheese is financial... I'm sure real cheese is expensive (though I'm not sure... I'm American, I've never had any). But how expensive do you think it was to hire a crack team of flavor-scientists to dissect Gouda and come up with a cheap-to-manufacture hallucinogen that presents plausible deniability? I envision (because I'm a dork) a Cold War project out in the Arizona desert where scientists in lab coats work tirelessly to create a chemical that approximates cheese, and then gray men in fedoras and thin ties are called in to make these scientists disappear while samples of their chemical are shipped to Poland where more scientists are subcontracted to mix a chemical that approximates the first chemical, the result of which is legions of flight attendants eating their cheese in a state of dim complacency, many grimacing but few noticing that it's not quite not quite Gouda. Well, wake up, people! Open your eyes! The Red Menace is closer than you think! Watch the skies! You're next!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just not gouda enough, eh?

6:41 AM  

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