Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More Cheese, Please

I am a total cheese addict. Cheddar, colby jack, port wine, cottage, american - anything but the stinky or moldy cheeses. I can totally live without those. But my favorite has got to be mozzarella. Now keep in mind that this whole loving food thing is relatively new to me. I am used to pre-shredded bagged cheese that is coated in various starches (to prevent caking, or so the bag tells me) and has mold inhibitor (?!) in it.
Whatever happened to cheese being made from milk, just milk?? Such a novel idea, I know, but we'll talk about that another day.

Anyway, back to the mozz. In my former, non-foodie life, my only experience here involved string cheese and Pizza Hut. And then I had a mozzarella ball. A cherry-sized little ball of oh-my-goodness from the deli around the corner from my house. Wow. I was in love. From what I understand, people serve them with roasted red peppers and crackers, or with grape tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Whatever - they can have their fancy combos - I'm content to eat them straight out of the container. Since they barely stand a chance of actually seeing the inside of my fridge, it is imperative that I exercise portion control... "Just a half-pound today, Mr. Deli Man. Thanks!"

So, at this little deli, they charge $7.99 per pound. Pricey compared to the name brand $3 lunch meat I go there for, but I didn't care. Well, the other day I was at the grocery store and they had BelGioso brand on sale for $2.50 for a half-pound tub. Score! I only bought one tub (stupid willpower and all that) and it lasted almost a whole day. And let me tell you - I will NEVER go back to the deli for mozzarella balls again! The BelGioso ones are smooth and creamy and make the other ones taste like soggy cotton balls (not that I know what soggy cotton balls taste like, or even dry cotton balls, for that matter...). 

The next day, I needed some yogurt and salad from the grocery store. Unfortunately, I can't walk into a grocery store and just get what I went there for. It usually goes something like this - take the number of items on my list, double it, and add 5. I run in for milk, and two carts later, we can't pay our cable bill that month. Seriously, it's bad. So I sent the hubs. Knowing how particular I am about my food, he kept me on the phone while he roamed the aisles tracking down my specific requests. Before he was done, I added about six more things, including... you guessed it! More mozzarella balls. This store didn't carry BelGioso, but they did have a brand that makes a pretty decent ricotta, and it was $3.99.

He brought them home and I swear, I attacked them before he set the bag down on kitchen counter. What a disappointment. Soggy cotton balls. That was two days ago and three-quarters of them are still in the fridge. So, until there's another decent sale, or unless I can convince the BelGioso people to set up shop in my kitchen, do you have any suggestions? What is your favorite cheese? How do you like to serve it up?

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