The Great Cheese Controversy

Over Easter weekend, the Hub and I went to a lovely Easter lunch hosted by friends.

We brought the cheese.

On the way there, we had a bet over when my friend who was hosting -- another American expat along with her Spanish boyfriend -- would serve what we had contributed.

Let me explain: Americans think it's O.K. to serve cheese as a pre-lunch or pre-dinner nibble. Usually along with crackers, it sits on the coffee table, while guests sip their beverages. In contrast, in England (and France too), cheese is usually served after a meal, alongside dessert.

While I find this post-meal tradition great and sometimes very useful (i.e. if you didn't eat enough of the main course you can top up), I also love eating cheese before a meal.

The Hub and I get along really well most of the time, but there are a few things we just cannot agree on. These include robots, football and when to serve cheese.

I learned of the cheese issue the first time we invited his friends over. There was a lot of interrogation over what I would be serving and when. The gist of it was that I was not supposed to serve cheese before supper, unlike with my friends. I mean, how could I be so uncouth?

I was very glad last weekend when my friend allowed the cheese to be eaten before the meal. There was an Italian in attendance and he took my side too. He said cheese should be eaten before and during all meals. Grazie!!

Of course like many things in marriage, the Hub and I have reached a happy compromise: sometimes we just serve cheese as the meal, by making a cheese fondue for our guests.

What's your stance on the right time to eat cheese?

Photo credit: art on the plate –the perfect charcuterie via photopin (license)

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