A whole truckle of Wensleydale

I love cheese.   I love it so much that to this day, I can overeat enough of it to make me almost sick.  I love it so much that I kept a stock of the locally produced compressed milk pellets on hand to sate my cravings, even though they barely tasted cheesy.  Even cheese food is a wonderfully delicious product to my taste buds.

As a cheese lover, I’m always ready to try new shapes and flavors.  Most recently this took the form of a something-or-other round with cranberries in it.  What could be more delicious than cheese?  Cheese with fruit, of course!  Yum.  After sharing more than half a round with Corina, I was able to convince myself to stop consuming, but it was difficult.  It was, after all, a sweet, crumbly cheese – what could be better for dessert, for a perfect cap to any meal?  And after the cap, how about a recap?  I still get shivers just thinking about it.

If there’s one thing both thinking and deliciousness lead to, it’s research.  So, after a cursory interweb browse, I feel pretty confident that the cheese we consumed so rambunctiously was a Wensleydale.  Wensleydale comes from Yorkshire, specifically the town of Hawes.  I feel like I should now be talking with a Secret Garden accent. It has a supple, crumbly, moist texture (check) and a flavor that suggests wild honey (double check) balanced with a fresh acidity (quoi?).  What is ‘fresh acidity’, anyway?  And how does it relate to this totally delicious, totally sweet cheese?  Those cheese tasters and their weird ideas of flavor.  it’s almost as bad as wine connoisseurs.

The cheese comes in a range of sizes, the smallest of which is a a wax-covered round called a ‘truckle’, which evidently comes from the phrase ‘truck a wheel’ and can refer to the pulleys in a block or the wheels of a truckle or trundle bed, or any small wheels or casters.  The word ‘truckle’ can also mean ‘to submit’.  Ah, my little obsequious cheese!  Finally, this cheese is ‘suited to combination with sweeter produce’, commonly cranberries.  In England, they also eat it typically with fruitcake or Christmas Cake, which I can barely think about.  Those crazy little islanders…

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Avoiding the dreaded ‘popcorn lung’.

I had no idea, but evidently microwaves can do more than just turning your Styrofoam toxic or enlarging Peeps (the only good Peep is a dead Peep).  There is at least one consumer case now of microwave popcorn fume inhalation which may have caused lung disease.  of course, the conclusion is uncertain, but so far there is no other explanation other than diacetyl.  If you work in a popcorn factory, the risk might be higher than you want.  For the rest of you popcorn lovers?  I’d say you can still eat your popcorn – just don’t inhale.  Or it might be a good time to convert to air pop…

Thanks, Josue, for the tip (via Green Steam).

Double Stuf

Some of you may be familiar with the singer Harry Chapin, who does a variety of more ridiculous songs for adults.  I know him via his brother Tom, who was my childhood substitution for Raffi.  Anyway, one of Harry’s songs that I delight in is ‘30,000 Pounds of Bananas’.  Just picture it – a truck losing control outside of Scranton, sacrificing its load to the demon of bad breaks on a  treacherous road.  Now replace the treacherous road with a relatively flat and straight one, and substitute the bananas with 14 tons of Double Stuf Oreos, and you have today’s news.

While I find it ridiculous to envision literal TONS of cookies stopping traffic, there are other questions.  What happened to the driver?  Did he lose control?  Was he injured?  Did he have to eat his way out of tons of cookies after the spill?  The article claims none of the cookie bags ripped open (yeah right), but even for those cookies still in bags, are there legal issues to selling them after the spill?  Nobody likes crumbly Oreos.  Personally, i think the company should sell the goods at a discount.  Who knows what kind of invisible damage could result from the spill?  There could be a complete loss of structural integrity, resulting in dissolving cookie if I try to dip it in milk.  I vote, if not for a discount, at least for a random dipping test of the cookies spilled, just to check.  I would guess there are very few who like oreo cookie floaters in their milk, either.

Thanks to Kate for the article and keeping me up to date on the Midwest (woohoo!).