This is a paper I wrote for my class in college. However, it was under a time pressure. I think I had 45 minutes to write it. It had to be about the definition of a word. The word I chose was "cheese". I hope you like it!
A Cheesy Title to a Cheesy Essay
Isn't it cheesy how one of the most favored dairy products in the world was made by accident? An Arabic merchant brought milk along with him on his journeys. He did not realize that heat had activated the enzymes in the milk, causing it to curd into a solid. The solid food prepared from the pressed curd of milk, often seasoned and aged is defined as cheese. However, cheese itself is too general of a definition. For example, cheese can come in many varieties, textures, flavors, and uses.
Look at it this way: America is often defined as the "American melting pot" because many immigrants come here and mold their culture into the American society. As Professor McNeil has shown us through his demonstrations in class, these immigrants come from several different countries. Imagine if those people were different kinds of cheese. Cheddar cheese from Great Britain, Swiss cheese from Switzerland, or provolone cheese from Italy. Cheese comes in many different types and from many different places. In America, we experience these different types of cheeses from time to time. These cheeses mold and melt together to form a society of many cultures. Like America has been molded by immigrants, cheese has been molded into our food pyramid and our lives.
Several different American foods supplement cheese. Without cheese, some of these American foods may not exist. Some of these foods are nachos, macaroni and cheese, Cheetos (dangerously cheesy), Cheese-its, cheese sticks, pizza, grilled cheese, mozzarella sticks… the cheese goes on and on. Americans rely on these foods. I personally could not go a week without eating pizza more than twice. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and one of the foods I actually like. Without it, I would probably be lost. Pizza without cheese is just boring bread and sauce. To make it happen, it needs the "big cheese" or in other words mozzarella.
Cheese is not only a food. It has been useful in other means, even if food dominates all. This may sound a bit cheesy, but cheese has been used as an art. People have molded images into hard cheese. Why they do this, I am not sure, but it is a form of sculptured art. I saw an image of the Declaration of Independence meeting formed out of cheese, and it was a museum piece of art.
Cheese has also been one of the primary foods to catch a mouse. An old saying is that mice like cheese, so by putting them in a mouse trap, the mouse will sniff out the cheese and get caught trying to eat it, and eventually die. Yet, it is helpful because it keeps the pesky mice out of a house.
If you look beyond the typical definition of cheese, you can also see that the word cheese is interpreted in many different ways. The word cheese has developed into an unnecessary "filler" or saying. Cheese has been used as an expression in the game of baseball. When a pitcher throws someone the "high cheese" it means that the pitcher threw a high fastball. Metaphorically speaking, hitting a big block of cheese would cause the wooden baseball bat to explode into pieces. How it got this name, is beyond me, but it is still an expression widely used today.
Cheese has also developed as a slang term meaning "the big one" or "money". This can often be because it is such a crucial ingredient in cooking that it can be compared to things of importance in the real life. It is a term that references someone being on top or elite. This could possibly be because cheese is so valued today, just as much as money or that popular person. If you ask me, the name seems kind of cheesy, but it is a common metaphor to the definition.
Another example is when I get my picture taken, I say "cheese" before the camera flashes. Why people say cheese before they get their picture taken I do not know, but it seems pretty cheesy to me. I guess it is just something that has been molded into our society by immigration and the American melting pot of cheese. Or it could be that cheese is so flavored like every different emotion on our faces as the picture is taken.
There is young cheese, there is old cheese, there is your cheese, and there is nacho cheese. As if cheeses were immigrants, different cheeses offer different attributes. Some cheeses are hard like a rock (this is the kind that was used to make cheese art). Some cheeses are soft (the kind you would find in a Subway sandwich). Still, some cheeses are melted, like nacho cheese or grilled cheese. The melted cheese is often in a liquid type form and is usually warm. Blue cheese is a type of cheese that smells really badly, while other cheeses do not smell nearly as bad. Swiss cheese has holes in it. The point I am trying to make is that cheese can come in many different forms. Each form can have somewhat a different flavor and offer something different to the world, like immigrants offer something different to America.
Judging by the artistic value of cheese, as well as the ability of cheese to come in the forms of solid, liquid, and gas (aroma), cheese has a wide variety in the world. If a world could be made out of cheese, I can see it happening. There could be bodies of water made out of liquid cheese, the ground and all solids could be made out of hard cheese, and the moon could be made out of Swiss cheese. You are probably reading this and thinking I am a crazy person for thinking that a world could be made out of cheese. You also probably think that this is the cheesiest idea you have ever heard or read, but the fact that cheese is valued so much as a diary product in our society today makes a world of cheese possible. A world without nachos, Cheetos, pizza, and mozarella in the modern day would be quite hard to picture.
Cheese is not just the food we eat. It is more than that. Cheese is a big dairy product in the industry of America, even in the world. Ever since the early days when cheese was discovered, it travelled to different countries and the people in these places developed different types of cheeses. Often the cheeses supplemented different foods, were combined, made by milk of a different source, or had added seasonings. People have used cheeses in many different ways, both literal and metamorphic. I for one have used cheese to fill up this essay. Now it is served on a platter and into your hands.