Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Friday at Caleb and Isaac's school is always a half day.  During the rest of the week they are served a hot lunch that includes something from all the food groups.  But, on Fridays, since most kids leave shortly after lunchtime, they get a sack lunch with a sandwich.  They school tries to get creative with their sandwich options, but usually it is 2 pieces of bread, a slice each of turkey, tomato, and cheese, and a piece of lettuce.  Now, my kids will eat salad, but lettuce and tomato on a sandwich is definitely out.  Frankly, the don't really eat sandwiches all that much unless they are of the burger variety.  Caleb detests peanut butter, I KNOW!  And Isaac, while he will eat peanut butter, prefers it by the spoonful and nowhere near jelly.  Even Trader Joe's Sweet Whole Cherry Preserves does not tempt him.  And, both of them would rather have their bread on the side.  So, I can get them to eat egg salad or chicken salad or turkey, but not actually on bread.  I shouldn't complain, I could stand to eat a little less bread myself, but this penchant for food groups and plates does make eating on the run a bit challenging.

Last Friday, as we headed home, we talked about that day's lunch and I was informed by Caleb that he ate only his bread and turkey and threw out the rest.  Isaac chimed in that he ate the cheese too, but only half of it.  I asked Caleb why he threw away the cheese and he replied that it was the wrong kind.  In response to my query "what kind was it?" he replied without missing a beat that it was "white cheese."  We then had a long discussion about cheese and how it is classified many ways, but usually not by color.  Caleb and Isaac were stunned as I rattled off endless varieties of cheeses and explained which came from cows and which from sheep or goats.  We talked about wheels of cheese and rind and smoked cheeses and cheese mixed with herbs and fruit and mild and strong flavors and all the different things we eat that have cheese in them.  I suggested that maybe we needed to sample some of these cheeses and then we could decide which we liked based on more than just color.  Caleb and Isaac agreed and asked to start immediately.  I was able to put them off, but not for long.

Tonight for dinner we introduced 3 "new" kinds of cheese: Romano, Havarti and Gouda.  We talked about the country of origin for each variety and the differences in texture and flavor.  We discussed what animal each cheese came from and how it was made.  We compared them to the cheeses we are already familiar with (i.e. yellow, white and feta).  Then, we tasted them. 

The verdict: a resounding YUM!  

Caleb was a fan of the Havarti and Isaac preferred the Romano, but they both enjoyed the "ham" flavor of the Gouda and had generous helpings of each type.  We decided in the future the boys would come along for the shopping part of this adventure and select our next varieties (Isaac has already declared he is bringing home "an enormous blue cheese" YUCK!).  I'm certain they won't love all the kinds we sample, certainly I do not believe that all cheese is created equal, but at least we have moved beyond white vs. yellow and in the process discovered the wonderfully diverse and gastronomically exciting world of cheese.  


Cecily said...

Nate's a blue cheese lover, but I'm with you on the "yuck" classification. Want a great Seattle area cheese? Try Beecher's Flagship. There's a serious YUM.

Lauren in GA said...

I love the way you made this into a lesson about the different varieties that are out there. Good job to your boys for being willing to try other kinds.

Next week's lesson can include the delicacy that is Cheez Whiz!!

...just kidding ;)

MBusse said...

Children after my own heart.

robin marie said...

i LOVE cheese and i am so glad they are going to love cheese!

Hazen5 said...

You are a good Mommy! I want to come to your next class on cheese.


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