People have different food soulmates throughout their lifetime; mine varies between a fresh Shipley’s kolache and a snickerdoodle, but one lover I’ll never let go of is cheese.
Yes, the most majestic of dairy products. If you’re a cheese hater, just check out these recipes and you’ll change your mind in no time. Not long ago, when I was a young and naive nineteen-year-old, I thought I could go without it forever.
I was just starting a new phase in my life where I ate vegetables and woke up early to work out six days a week. I enjoyed my new energy and zest for activity, but I wondered how I could take it one step further. One day, as I stood in line for my salad at Leaf, I wondered if the cheese to top my salad was really worth it. Or the cheese on my sandwiches, or even eggs.
I took the plunge and decided to order a salad without cheese (please hold your applause until the end; many call me the bravest girl they know). And to be honest, the salad was still pretty good. It gave me such a thrill — I was eating healthier, and I was only saving myself for the highest quality ingredients. Or so I thought.
The break up began, but it wasn’t what I expected, so I’ve outlined my experience for anyone who dares to take this plunge as well.
1. Ugh, cheese
It’s on everything these days. So clingy. So gooey.
2. This dish wouldn’t be good without cheese
Is this even a good dish? It’s covered in mozzarella — is there crust beneath it? A salad? I’m not sure.
3. It goes with you everywhere
Your friends haven’t seen you eat a dish that doesn’t have cheese on it in all the time they’ve known you. They’re worried that this is unhealthy behavior.
4. But it may be time for you to let go
Although your bones are very strong from all the dairy, you’re feeling the effects of eating at least one wedge of artisanal cheese daily.
5. It’ll be better for both of you
Cheese deserves someone whose love isn’t as spotty as Swiss.
6. So you break up
It’s difficult and emotional — even, dare I say, cheesy — but you’ll make it through this. It’s not you; it’s brie.
7. You are invincible
The self-empowerment you feel is intoxicating. You can leave that greasy cheese behind, right? You’re better than that.
8. Feta isn’t the only way to improve a salad
You’ll put sunflower seeds instead. And craisins. Yeah, that will work.
9. See? You’re doing just fine without cheese
You’ve got all the vegetables in the world to eat. You never think about cheese. At all. Ever.
10. Tex-Mex is totally still just as good
Salsa’s super flavorful. Warning: contents may be hot.
11. Steak restaurants, too
Straight up protein. Who needed au gratin potatoes anyway? Not you, that’s who.
12. Veganism isn’t hard
That new restaurant opened up down the street. It even makes cashew cheese, which is totally the same. See, you could be vegan if you wanted to.
13. Except for eggs
Too bad you love eggs too much to be vegan. Remember when cheesy omelets were a thing? Haha. Glad you don’t eat those anymore. Just straight. Up. Eggs. Yum.
14. Looking at shredded cheese and wondering how long it took to process
Probably, like, a month. Ew.
15. But then looking at shredded cheese for just a little too long
Way to make it awkward. Now cheese will wonder if you’re having second thoughts. And you’re totally not.
16. Resolving never to think about cheese again
You’re better than cheese. You delete all the cheese recipe bookmarks from your phone and untag all your old pics of you and cheese from Facebook.
17. Ordering a pizza without any cheese on it
It only had vegetables. It was a shadow of its former cheesy self, and you wonder what you were trying to accomplish. You don’t want to think about this pizza ever again.
18. Going to parties and being jealous
Did you see cheese there with another woman? Slathered all over that cracker with jam like your relationship meant nothing. No respect.
19. Remembering the good times
That grilled cheese you once made was really good. Also, remember that baked brie you had at that bistro that one time?
20. Remembering the bad times
You can’t think of any bad times… but you’re committed to this break up.
Chocolate is your new vice, and it does a good job of filling the vacuum that cheese left behind.
22. Loving the rebound
You feel fulfilled, although your dentist is less than pleased.
23. Questioning the rebound
It’s hard to put chocolate on everything and justify it the same way you can with cheese.
24. The inevitable break up with the rebound
To be honest, you’ve seen this coming for a while. Chocolate just doesn’t speak to you the same way cheese does.
25. Making it on your own
You blast “Miss Independent” and “Survivor” and resign yourself to a life absent of food vices but with a lot of cats.
26. Learning to like it, sorta
Being alone is scary, but you can handle it…right?
27. Realizing you made a mistake
All the articles and quizzes and blog posts about cheese make you think that maybe there’s more to cheese than sadness and regret.
28. Admitting you’re wrong
Who are you kidding? You don’t have a dairy allergy; you were just doing this to make a statement.
29. Coming to terms
A lot of ice cream is involved in this step, and you’re woman enough to admit it.
You go to the grocery store, buy enough fancy cheese to entertain even the largest gathering of PTA moms, and eat it all by yourself. It’s amazing and everything you ever wanted.
You’ll never make the same mistake twice.