Yes, it really exists.
Today is a food holiday. A cheese holiday in fact. It is one that will bring smiles in the hearts of millions of people, and even those who didn't know that it exists may still reap the benefits. In researching this fabulous adventure in food, it became clear that nearly every article, story or blog written on this topic had the same question with varying degrees of vulgarity.
What the hell is National Cheese Purchase Sacrifice Day?
No one really seems to know the origins of this national food holiday. One thing is for sure - it is not to be confused with National Cheese Lovers Day - which is on Jan. 20 - or any of the other days to celebrate specific cheeses or foods made with a lot of cheese the calendar is peppered with.
Some suggest that the day was invented to utilize cheese to rid your home of rodents, or possibly an excuse for risking life and limb in the name of cheese. Some think it is an excuse to just go out and buy or eat some more milky goodness. Others take a more exploratory approach and suggest people should spend a little extra money and try a new kind of cheese. It is also possible that the name of this food holiday should be National Cheese Splurge Purchase Day or Buy Fancy Cheese Instead of Paying of Your Credit Card Bill, which may be more relatable names.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but nobody seems to know, and while there are theories circling around, nobody seems to care because almost everyone loves cheese.
It is not uncommon for cheese lovers to wait until payday, stand in huge lines at places like Zabar’s, Murray’s, Trader Joe’s, DTLA or their favorite specialty cheese shop and spend money they don’t have on what many cheese connoisseurs call a “perfect food.”
The varieties of cheese are vast. They vary by location, milk from which animal, aging, texture, time, additional ingredients and various other factors.
There are the classics, but also the runny, gooey, stinky, crumbly, stringy, soft, buttery, unpasteurized, blue, smoky, with truffles, holey, creamy, sharp, mild, processed and more.
Eat cheese alone or mix it with honey, beer, nuts, veggies, charcuterie, pickles, fruit, wine, meat, crackers, and the hands down favorite, bread.
And then there are recipes. As today is also National Lasagna Day, perhaps these holidays were meant to go hand in hand?
Cheesy cuisine is everywhere. It can be prepared in any way, and can be the star, guest player, bit part or extra in a dish.
Our own Chef Flowers even instructs on making a yummy fondue.
You can even simply take some Alouette garlic herb spread, put it on a crispy tortilla and you have a party.
Try as we may, vegan cheese does not make the cut with any of our experts. And the benefits of organic cheese are a bit debatable. There is the maggot filled Casu Marzu. Further proof that cheese is not is boring.
Proper storage is almost as important as the kind of cheese you buy—avoid plastic wrap, unless it is called for—Bries sometimes do. Cheese likes to breathe. Cheese paper, butcher paper or waxed paper is best. And serving at room temperature is usually ideal.
In order to give the best information on what is important for cheese-lovers to know, many experts from different regions, with different specialties were consulted and answered questions that details of the ins and outs of cheese for all of us turophiles, or newbies.
After gaining their expert insights, even if you don’t engage in National Cheese Purchase Sacrifice Day, perhaps you may be inspired to go and buy and eat some delicious cheese.
There are many great videos of cheese making, but when a dairy makes a cheese called Dirty Vicar, it is worth a glance: