Why I Actually Hate Cheese

One Food Network Staffer and real-life cheese hater gets real.

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It’s risky for me to write this. Since, if you’ve ever interacted with the outside world, it seems like everyone LOVES cheese. And not the way people love to sleep in or love that cute top you’re wearing. People *L O V E* cheese, to a point that if you even so much as utter one slightly negative comment about the stinky, moldy food, you’re bombarded with an endless tirade that only ends one way: cheese is God’s gift to humanity, and you must be a psychopath if you hate it. Cheese is apparently “the BEST” – but I beg to differ.

Full disclosure: I do like mild cheeses like brie and gouda, and ones with spice or fruit bits to mask that cheesy taste. And I do like cheese on pizza. (I’m not a total monster.) I’ll accept it in lasagna, and I am cool with it in risotto. I can appreciate a well-made mozzarella stick from time to time (marinara sauce is crucial though). And mac and cheese, if done well, is a staple indulgence for me.

So I don’t think cheese is all bad. But:

I do hate grilled cheese. Like is that even a sandwich? It’s so lazy. it feels like one of the least nutritious things you could put in your body. And its flavor doesn’t even justify its lack of nutrition. How can something so limp feel so aggressive at the same time?

So does chicken Parm. Cheese melted on fried breaded chicken, drowning in sauce. It’s dairy on carbs on oil on meat. AGGRESSIVE. It’s just a chunk of something that makes me feel terrible – and doesn’t even taste good. Meat deserves simpler cooking and seasoning. Just a coating of breading will do. Sauce alone will amp it up. Not 800 things crowded onto one plate.

Which leads me to: cheeseburgers. I’m sorry, but cheese does not belong on everything. I love a good hamburger. As in a stack of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and a plain beef patty sandwiched between two nicely toasted buns. It’s already a well-balanced meal. But once you force a piece of cheese in there? Ruined.

Photo by: Lauri Patterson ©Lauri Patterson

Lauri Patterson, Lauri Patterson

Why does the cheese need to be there? A burger is great on its own. And when you add cheese, it overpowers the whole thing – like it does with most foods it has no business being in – with its grossness. All those fresh flavors are dulled.

Gosh darn every piece of cheese that’s been mistakenly put into my order.

I’ll also say this: cheese does not need to be grated over pasta. Or salad. Thank you for asking, but please put the cheese grater away, server at Olive Garden. And it doesn’t need to be in tacos. All of these things are wonderful on their own. But everyone, it seems, just wants to taste cheese. These dishes are just being used as vessels for it and I’m over it. Taste something else.

With a few exceptions, cheese doesn’t make food taste any better. Sometimes it’s even worse. SO LIKE, WHY? ADD? CHEESE?!

As for cheese by itself, let’s get a few things straight. Raclette looks amazing. How can anyone, even a cheese-hater, deny the coolness that is a layer of cheese sliding right off a giant cheese wheel onto a plate? But if you’re the one behind the camera of that photo-worthy moment, you can barely breathe. It does not smell good. And neither do most supermarket cheese aisles. I’d rather spend 30 minutes in the freezer aisle in short shorts than spend more than two in the cheese section. Can you blame me? More than half the stuff in there is milk that’s molding.

As in: DECAYING!!! Since when is decay supposed to smell good?!

And more often than not, it tastes just as pungent as it smells. It makes me want to vomit, like pull-my-2 o’clock-sandwich-out-of-my-stomach vomit.

And just – don’t even get me started on American cheese.

All in all: cheese-haters like myself do exist! It does not deserve the hype it gets! Don’t @ me!

Photo: iStock

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