corvi: (Default)
[personal profile] corvi
 So it is bad enough that I am currently spending five days a week in a different country than [personal profile] juli , but then! I bought a block labeled "Pizza Cheese" at the friendly local supermarket and it was cheddar.


Explain thyself, Canada.This will not stand.

Date: 2017-04-10 08:13 am (UTC)
spiralsheep: Martha laughing (Martha Laughing)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
Mature Canadian cheddar goes with EVERYTHING.


Date: 2017-04-10 03:42 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Except it's hard to get a meaningfully sharp/mature cheddar in your average Canadian grocery store! Everything up to infiniment fort is below what gets sold in the United States as sharp! Exclamation marks of mild frustration!

Date: 2017-04-10 04:08 pm (UTC)
spiralsheep: Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society (Sewing Circle Terrorist Society)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
Hmm, I only know that I can buy mature Canadian cheddar that is as good as most above average English Cheddars in any ordinary English supermarket. It's the only srs competition. Whether anything similar is sold in North America and in which areas (I'm guessing it's not necessarily big in Montreal, lol) I wouldn't know. I would cut it with mozzarella for pizza, or blue cheese for most cheese sauces (I like Shropshire Blue but Danish will do). I don't think I've ever seen any imported USian cheese except processed goo anywhere in Europe, even in American import specialists. When I was younger the US was notorious for terrible tasteless plastic cheese but I understand from my friends that craft cheese-making became fashionable in some areas a while back so I presume that's changed, especially with the growth in farmers' market type outlets for small scale manufacturers.

Date: 2017-04-10 04:22 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Yeah, if you buy a Canadian sharp or extra sharp cheddar in the United States, it's quite easily one of the strongest cheddars you'll find, and it tends to be commonly available.

Honestly, I've never quite understood the trash-talking about American cheeses. At least in my lifetime, while there are a lot of people who eat processed cheese goo, nearly everyone understands that's not cheese, and I've never been to a proper grocer which didn't sell many more varieties of real cheese. I grew up eating roquefort and good cheddar, spent my teen years on brie, stilton, and weird one-off cheese varieties, etc., and all from a mix of major producers based in the United States, and all widely available.

I'd say that the widely-available cheddar brands of the United States and Canada tend to be about equal, even if Canada has less or inferior cheese goo :) My experience in England is rather more limited, but I remember being rather underwhelmed after hearing so much English shit-talking about the state of American cheeses. My local supermarkets each stock a number of different cheeses closer to 100 than to 10, mostly of fairly high quality, though there are a few regional and national producers who turn out inferior product loaded with garbage they think sounds appealing. In each case, probably a 50/50 mix of American and imported across the whole range of producers. The imported stuff, increasingly, is the least appealing. I don't know any< cheese I can't find a good American analogue for, save for mimolette.

Date: 2017-04-10 06:53 pm (UTC)
spiralsheep: Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society (Sewing Circle Terrorist Society)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
I think the whole world agrees that the US makes the best cheese goo, and also what Brits used to call "processed cheese". BE PROUD! :-D

I think you've hit the nail on the head with "in my lifetime" and "a proper grocer" because stereotypes tend to be long-standing and based on average behaviours. But it's also true that European and USian worldviews, including about food, are often fundamentally incompatible and that in some cases Brits share more culture with our neighbours in continental Europe than with our linguistic offspring in North America.

I don't know any cheese I can't find a good American analogue for

Most continental Europeans would profoundly disagree with you because for them cheese isn't about a process of cheesemaking, which is what you're implying, but about the ingredients + the process, and anywhere outside the original region has the wrong soil, flora, cows, moulds and bacteria, climate, &c. So your analogues are missing basic elements except in as far as they've approximated a process. Brits tend to be more laissez faire, which is why we eat Canadian Cheddar in industrial quantities, but that doesn't mean we can't smell and taste the differences. And that's merely one example of mutually exclusive understanding of what "cheese" actually means. For connoisseurs it's a place and a time as much as a process undergone.
Edited Date: 2017-04-10 06:54 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-10 07:08 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Most continental Europeans would profoundly disagree

Hopefully not, because I used the word "analogue" to be clear as to what I was speaking about :) What I mean to say, is that there are American-made cheeses of comparable quality and similar type to most European cheeses I can think of, the exceptions being rare and noteworthy. The question being answered being that of the quality of American cheeses. As to the quality of cheese available in America, again: it has never been impossible to find very good European imports, with exceptions for cases where law and regulation get in the way. Whether the goalposts are on the quality and variety of domestic production, or are instead on the availability of real cheese from continental Europe (whether PDO or not), I think that the United States does pretty well. I think we've talked about both sets of goalposts without mutual comprehension of which is at-stake, and that that typifies a lot of European discourse about the state of real foodstuffs, i.e. aged or fermented ones with a lot of emphasis on process, i.e. beer, cheese, wine, and bread, available in the United States.

I agree that time is probably a factor, what with longstanding stereotypes, but then we hear rather more from the English about the non-existence of American cheese than from Americans about the quality of British Food, and I'd say that the changes in degree and their place in time of the two do not support that imbalance probably :)

As to what the average state is in the United States, it's so hard to say. Is it Wal-Mart? Is it the average of the grocery stores in the town I live in? Is it what's available if you go looking to get cheese? The English perspectives I most frequently hear seem to be rooted in two sources for perceptions of cheese available in America: gas stations and fast-food restaurants. Yes, that's a pretty dire situation. But it's also my experience that most people don't shop well when travelling, and tend to convenience stores, chain restaurants, etc. On that score, I'll take the state of the United States over that of, say, the Netherlands or Germany just about any day :) But I am also the sort of person who always hits supermarkets when travelling, so I am a bad test case for what it really looks like. I know when I lived in Hawai`i it was painful to hear and encounter tourists forming opinions of local food on the basis of what was available in the tourist zone, and what they got from convenience stores whose audience was tourists. The spam musubi in an ABC Store is awful and overpriced; the spam musubi in any hole-in-the-wall filthy convenience store is twice as good and half the price. That sort of thing.

Date: 2017-04-10 09:00 pm (UTC)
maellenkleth: (81st-ravens)
From: [personal profile] maellenkleth
Digital cheese is **way** better than analogue cheese.

Besides which: there are some excellent domestic cheeses being made (and here-enjoyed!) in Qualicum and Courtenay.

Date: 2017-04-11 06:44 am (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Agreed, although a couple of the more exuberant commercial cheesemakers in the Comox Valley seem to be at risk of producing a whole bunch of products it's hard to differentiate, whose defining features are that they've added a bunch of things to make it sound interesting, but which don't actually make it taste interesting. (Which is popular in much of Oregon and bits of northwestern California, too.)

Date: 2017-04-15 08:45 am (UTC)
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
I lack the ability to digest many cheeses so, unless it's a special cheese I'm prepared to research, I tend to avoid soft cheeses in general and haven't eaten rambol. Luckily I like mature cheeses so I don't feel especially deprived, and I can eat some less ripened cheeses in small quantities occasionally (except brie, which hates me! ::weeps and laments to the tune of a tiny violin::). My only extensive foray into soft cheeses was when I was much younger and decided I was going to perfect my family recipe for traditional English *unbaked* cheesecake, but I mostly tried Italian cheeses such as mascarpone because they're best known for having the combination of sweet/unbitter tang that I was seeking. You should be proud to know that "Philadelphia" cheese goo worked exceptionally well, lol.
Edited Date: 2017-04-15 08:46 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-15 09:17 am (UTC)
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep
Oh, and you might be interested to know that traditional English "melting cheeses", such as Lancashire, are specifically chosen because they *don't* go stringy when melted. :-)

Date: 2017-04-10 09:06 am (UTC)
solarbird: (molly-braceforimpact)
From: [personal profile] solarbird
ooooooooooooh here we go

Date: 2017-04-10 07:25 pm (UTC)
wordweaverlynn: from (Shakespeare)
From: [personal profile] wordweaverlynn
Many years ago I ordered a pizza in England. The cheese was cheddar, and it had a wisp of watercress garnishing the center. It was good, though it did not taste like an American pizza; its flavor reminded me tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Date: 2017-04-10 07:28 pm (UTC)
juli: 21 Novinskiy (america)
From: [personal profile] juli
I am suddenly reminded of every pizza [personal profile] corvi and I had in Ukraine and Russia. Mongolia tried. Boy did they try. So much more effort to match the American ideal. In many ways, such a worse failure!

Date: 2017-04-11 06:43 am (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
I mean, at least it wasn't aruul, I guess.

Date: 2017-04-14 04:44 pm (UTC)
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivy
When you cut it, or, like, immediately?

Date: 2017-04-10 08:56 pm (UTC)
maellenkleth: (raven-snow-fluffy)
From: [personal profile] maellenkleth
Translation time:

'Pizza Cheese' = 'Canadian Standard Orange Solidified Bovine External Sectretion Product'

Date: 2017-04-11 12:47 am (UTC)
unexpected_finn: Raven stamp from Finland (raven-suomi)
From: [personal profile] unexpected_finn
Well, I **do** live on the civilised side of the Drawbridge. ^_^

(Rather like, indeed, looking down the high street of the village, and catching glimpses of the snow-covered peaks of North America).

Plus, plus, plus: in the village park trees we have a breeding pair of ravens, both of whom have the leucistic gene, and who are thus raising a nest full of white younglings.

Date: 2017-04-11 04:01 am (UTC)
yam: (Nom nom nom)
From: [personal profile] yam
I think you have been tricked and should RIGHTFULLY FEEL INDIGNANT, because pizza cheese should be mozzarella by default, also WHO CALLS ANYTHING "PIZZA CHEESE." I mean I'd totally eat a pizza made with cheddar, but I'd be surprised if that's what I got without asking for it special.

Date: 2017-04-11 06:47 am (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
I feel like if something is called "pizza cheese" it should be low-quality low-moisture mozzarella for when you want to disappoint yourself with pizza at home, like it's probably a conspiracy between the major pizza delivery chains to make you think only they can satisfy you. Probably sold as a very indirect loss leader.

Cheddar, tho.

Then again, I routinely enjoy the late-night pizzas of Vancouver and Victoria (Fresh Slice, Second Slice, etc., the pizza that's specially formulated to come back up smooth), of whose constituent cheeses no one can speak.

Date: 2017-04-11 10:34 am (UTC)
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] artsyhonker
Doubtful. I suppose, in a pinch, a very mild cheddar would do.

But all of a sudden, I miss cheese curds. I've heard rumours of some cheesemongers in London stocking something a bit like them, and I've been almost afraid to try them just in case they are a sad, secondary disappointment.


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