Now, I am the first to admit that one of my many weaknesses is cheese. They used to call me ‘mouse’ as a kid, I ate so much.
But how did Cheese Lovers Day come about I hear you ask? Funnily enough, no one actually knows, all we know is that someone (or a group of cheese enthusiasts), started this day on the 20th January and it simply caught on.
So, what’s your favourite cheese? Mine, without doubt is goat’s cheese, in particular Sainte-Maure de Touraine.
Sainte-Maure de Touraine is a French cheese produced in the province of Touraine, mainly in the department of Indre-et-Loire. It is named after the small town of Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, in the department of Indre-et-Loire, at equal distance from westly Chinon and eastly Loches. It is an unpasteurized cheese made from full fat goat’s milk, it’s white and soft under a greyish mouldy rind and is rolled in wood ash.
My wife however, prefers a Brie, her favourite being Brie Cheese Baker. She slightly warms it until it’s a gooey mess, then plunges in with freshly baked bread. The whole thing can be gone in minutes!
Cheese Lovers Day however isn’t just about eating cheese.
Tastings, cheese rolling, special restaurant menus, costume parties and giant fondues have all been features of the day. If you’re planning your own event, you may find that dairies and shops need only a little persuasion to get involved, especially if you live in a small community.
Now cheese rolling, that is a sight to behold.
Every year, during Spring, the South West England Gloucester region hosts the annual cheese-rolling event where people from far and wide travel to watch competitors launch themselves down a hill in pursuit of a round of cheese. Sound a bit strange? Indeed it is, but that’s what adds to the fun.
There are a couple of theories of how the sport came about, which is estimated to be in the 15th century. The first is that it was used for maintaining grazing rights on the commons. The second explanation is that the event is of pagan origin, where people would throw bundles of burning brushwood down the hill representing the New Year after winter ends. This belief is why the Masters of the Ceremony scatter buns, biscuits and sweets at the top of the hill to encourage ‘the fruits of harvest’.
Here’s a bit of cheesy trivia just for fun.
- Cheese is more flavourful at room temperature.
- Americans consume over 31 pounds of cheese per year. But, that’s nothing. But that’s nothing compared to the French, who eat over 50 pounds of cheese per year.
- Historical records vary, as to when cheese was first made. It was somewhere between 7,500 and 8,000 B.C. Records suggest it may have first been discovered, by accident, in Poland or Arabia.
- The world’s largest cheese was put on display on this day in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. It weighed over 34,000 pounds.
So go on, have some fun today – Cheese Lovers Day!