One of my dearest friends tweeted this over the weekend: “Without cheese, is there any point?”
What makes it so coincidental is that her tweet happened about the exact same time my husband and I were involved in a discussion over what one food we could not live without.
His answer came quickly without him even having to think about it: Chicken. No surprise here, my man loves that bird. When we were dating, my mother always used to predict that one day, he’d start clucking. I’m happy to report that hasn’t happened yet.
When I asked him why, he explained that chicken can be prepared in so many ways and he likes all of them. I half expected him to launch, Forrest Gump-style, into a list of all the things you can do with chicken: Chicken gumbo, baked chicken, fried chicken, Buffalo wings, pot pie, noodle soup. … You get the picture.
When I asked my mother, she couldn’t come up with any one food. Everything she came up with she rejected, saying, “I could do without that if I had to.”
That was, until I suggested coffee. My mom isn’t a huge coffee drinker by anyone’s measure. She has about two cups every morning and rarely drinks it throughout the day. But God help her if she doesn’t get those two cups (God help the rest of us, too).
“Oh, I thought that was a drink. If I can include beverages, then yes, definitely coffee,” she concluded without hesitation.
My answer? Cheese.
There’s a reason why the tweeter and I have been friends for nearly 30 years. We think alike on a lot of subjects, and sometimes we’re even thinking about it at the same time.
I did not arrive at cheese haphazardly. Narrowing it down to just one food took some work. I had to round up the usual suspects: crab meat, bacon, ice cream, pizza (but that sparked a mental debate over whether that was actually more than one food — bread, tomatoes, cheese and whatever else was on it), salad greens — but would I still want them without some vinaigrette? Hmmm …
There’s bread, of course, but without butter, not so much. Pasta will always be on my top 10 favorites list, but without sauce, nah.
Then there is cheese.
Not too many days go buy when I don’t have some kind of cheese. Blue crumbles in my salad, a slice of cheddar or provolone on a sandwich, a sprinkle of Parmesan on pasta. But the real reason I settled on cheese is that it I’m just as happy to eat it plain as in combination with other foods and either way it satisfies.
I can make a meal out of cheese cubes. Sure, crackers are nice, but it’s really the cheese I want. As the song goes, “the cheese stands alone.” Or as my tweeting friend likes to say, “The cheese will never stand alone as long as I’m around.”
All of this waxing poetic on cheese started me wondering what foods others could not live without. I recently found out a friend who had started to follow a gluten-free diet was back on bread. She feels worse when she eats it, but she missed it so much she’s willing to suffer the consequences.
What one food do you love so much that you couldn’t live without it? Even if you knew you wouldn’t feel so good after, are you willing to suffer for the sake of it?
Let me know. Send me an email, give me a call, drop me a note or a message on Facebook. My contact information is at the end of this column.
Remember, just one food, so keep your bread and butter on separate plates. Send a brief explanation about why your love and devotion is so strong. I’ll be sharing some of the best responses in a future column.
So sit back and ponder it for a while, but remember I want to hear from you. While I wait, maybe I’ll just have a little piece of cheese or two.