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Why do people so often claim that Cheese has to be eaten with something else?

I often see, hear or read here or elsewhere that people damn near have to eat Cheese along with not just a beverage, but also "crackers" or some type of "snacking" meat, ya know? I for one don't always believe that that's necessary. As examples someone might say/believe "you've gotta eat Jarlsberg with crackers" or "there is no way (better) to eat Cheddar than to pair it with meat cubes", right?

Sure, it is nice having a deluxe Burger paired with a nice Cheese or to mix up some sort of Cheese(s) in another tasty recipe, but Cheese doesn't always have to go with something as far as I'm concerned. Is (good or quality) Cheese actually bad if it's not paired with a "snacking" meat or crackers anyways? I, quite frankly, don't think so! I like Cheese alone more often that not, as I can then experience its "true" flavor in all its glory, ya see? That's as important & vital as I could imagine it would ever be on realizing whether or not a Cheese is preferable or even good at all when you really take everything into account.

In the end, you all can say or do whatever you want, but I definitely feel it necessary to comment on whether or not it's actually mandatory to eat cheese ONLY with something else. I can see that perhaps at first, yet not practically all the time, ya know? I take a look back at when I was first trying not just a few different Cheeses, but Cheese in general & it was quite a task to take in & enjoy because of how pungent & intense its flavor & smell can be, yet I eventually found my way(s) around it. I'd simply put a few different types of Cheese in a small bowl & to hopefully prevent throwing it up I'd instantly take a few bites of some Pepperoni or a Blueberry Bagel, ya know? Now, then I considered it a good idea & somewhat important having some Pepperoni or the Blueberry Bagel alongside to hopefully keep me from throwing up, yet I definitely DON'T need that anymore. Why, if at all, do some of you believe that it's so important or even recommend always pairing Cheese along with a beverage & something else? Please let it all out.

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    1. I know someone who chows down on cheese with a knife and fork, can easily consume a pound or two in a sitting, and does this fairly often. I know other people who love cheese but can't deal with too much at once. It is at least partly genetic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: texanfrench

        Interesting thought about genetics. On the other hand, as far as genetics go, there are also many families that love one thing, yet there could be 1 or 2 members that absolutely can't stand it, so...

      2. Because, ya see, room temp or chilled cheese doesn't offer much in the way of texture. It's fancy fat, ya know? Many, if not most, folks prefer combining it with something to balance the mouthfeel, be it a food or alcohol. YMMV, YK.

        5 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          I like that explanation. Kind of like asking why most people insist on eating butter with another food. I like cheese, and will nibble on a small amount of an interesting cheese by itself to really get the flavor, but it's not something that I chow down on large amounts of to satisfy my hunger. Just the thought of that makes me a little queasy. I guess I view cheese as almost more like a condiment. Or maybe it's like wine - I enjoy wine all by itself very much, but pairing it with food is a whole different experience. But as you say, YMMV.

          1. re: cookie monster

            I kind of like that comparison between Butter & Cheese, yet I can't recall the last time I saw somebody eating a stick of Butter anywhere all on it's own...lol.

            1. re: ShowUsYourRack

              I'm sure it's happened - don't they sell deep-fried butter at state fairs?

              1. re: cookie monster

                Well, there are people that will eat damn near everything. That doesn't mean that it will always be good though. Especially in a competition...lol!

              2. re: ShowUsYourRack

                Except for very young kids who haven't experienced the discomfort of ingesting too much fat in one sitting.

          2. The notion bamboozles me . I grew up, in the 1960s, with cheese courses after the meal. There was bread if one cared to emply it but no one ever did. We just nibbled off the fork or, if you were Uncle Smegma, off the knife blade. When I wwent to France for my first trip at age 11, I did not notice anyone caring about wolfing down the fermented curd (sorry. Mont Python shows up always)

            1 Reply
            1. re: hazelhurst

              That's getting up nice & close for ya, huh...lol?

            2. To me pairing cheese with meats, breads and crackers can detract from the pleasure of eating the delicious cheese but I love the stuff, the stronger and bolder the better.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MamasCooking

                I just tried that Beecher's Smoked Flagship last night & it's a "rocker."