If sweet dreams are made of cheese, then who are we to dis a Brie? We’re not entirely mature Cheddar at Young Post, and we love a Gouda cheese pun or two – especially when we’re feeling a little blue. In honour of Grilled Cheese Day (that’s today!), here are five facts about one of the world’s best foods, as well as five places you can grab a grate(d) grilled cheese sandwich in Hong Kong.
Cheese as far as the eye can see
There are thousands of varieties of cheese, but they tend to be put into one of four categories. Fresh cheese (like cream cheese and mozzarella) goes bad very quickly and can’t be kept for too long. Soft cheeses, like Brie, are aged a little longer before they are sold and taste very mild and creamy. Hard cheese, like Parmesan, is dry and crumbly. These are sharper in taste and aged the longest. The harder the cheese, the less moisture there is in it. Blue cheese, like Stilton, have the mould Penicillium added to them. The mould isn’t toxic. People like it because it makes the cheese taste super creamy and tangy.
It’s been around for, literally, thousands of years
According to a 2012 article in science journal Nature, broken bits of pottery in Northern Europe suggests that people might have been gaga for cheese since 6,000BC. Scientists aren’t completely sure, but the pottery shards look as if they were used as “cheese-strainers”. But did they make pizza with the cheese? We don’t think so.
Cheesus, take the wheel
For hundreds of years, people have come from far and wide to a village in the county of Gloucestershire in Britain, to take part in an annual cheese-rolling event. In Brockworth, on the last Monday of every May, they race down a very steep hill after a huge round of cheese … just because. A huge 3.5kg round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled from the top of a hill, and people throw themselves after it. The first one across the finish line wins glory – and the cheese. Injuries are VERY common.
To cheese, or not to cheese?
American cheeseburgers are not complete without a slice of Kraft cheese in them – except it’s not really cheese. In the US, Kraft Singles are sold as a “cheese product” because the US Food and Drug Administration says a food can only be identified as cheese if it contains “at least 51 per cent real cheese” – and Kraft Singles don’t. Among other ingredients, Kraft Singles contain food additives and thickeners, lots of salt, and lactic acid.
Cheese is strong enough to kill a giant …
… in a roundabout way, anyway. In the fairy tale The Brave Little Tailor, a boy pretends to squeeze a rock so hard that water comes out of it. It’s a hunk of cheese that he is squeezing, not a rock – but the giant threatening to kill him doesn’t know that. It’s one of the “feats of strength” that the tailor proves he can do that helps him defeat the giant, win a kingdom, and marry a princess!
Wanting some cheesy goodness right about now?
Here are five places in Hong Kong that sell a great grilled cheese sandwich.
- A classic grilled cheese sandwich from The Flying Pan (in Central and Wan Chai) will set you back HK$39.
- A rainbow cheese toast at Kala Toast (on The Peak) costs HK$38. Make sure to snap loads of photos of the multicoloured cheese, before you eat it, for Instagram.
- A grilled cheese sandwich from the Mid-Levels and Causeway Bay branches of Elephant Grounds is pricey at HK$100, but it comes with a tomato soup for you to dip it in.
- Fork over HK$90 at Morty’s (Central and Wan Chai) for their grilled cheese, which they call “The Ultimate Grilled Cheese”. Bold claim.
- Shake Shack (Central and Admiralty) will make you a grilled cheese sandwich for HK$34 if you ask for one, even though it’s not on the menu. Try your luck – the worst that could happen is that you get a little cheesed off when they say no! Geddit? We’ll see ourselves out …