Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alternate Uses for Bad Cheese...

My cheese experience was so unmemorable that there is nothing to say other than it was basically a food court Caprese sandwich with a few rubbery slices of mozzarella, two slices of tomato and piece of wilty basil between two oily pieces of foccacia. Blah. The gummy-ness of the cheese was such a let down. When you are eating amazing cheese everyday, you get a little spoiled. This is really only a bad thing when you badly order at a questionable restaurant. Otherwise, I say - huzzah for realizing the difference and knowing what you like!

So, I was searching the internet for inspiration having failed to experience any cheese related inspiration on my own, and hit across something kind of relevant. I am going to quote directly from the Sailing Navies Forum 1650-1850 Topics Related to Naval History and Literature because, really, how awesome is it that this forum exists in the first place?

"I rather liked this extract from The Times, of October 9, 1804 about making cement.

".... A most excellent cement has been prepared lately by the French Chemists from common cheese. The method is this: Cut the cheese in pieces, and boil it in water, stirring it with a spoon until it be reduced to a glutinous state. Then throw off the remaining water not evaporated, and pour cold water upon the substance. Let it then be pressed or kneaded, and renew the change of the water several times. Pound the mass afterwards upon a stone or in a mortar. In two days the cement will be fit to use, will be wholly insoluble in water, and may be employed on wood, marble, &c. and the union of the fractured parts will be so perfect as to render it very difficult to discover the intersection ...."

... and I'd always thought French cheese extremely edible...."

How great is that! I must assume that since they were French, they wouldn't do this to an amazing Camembert or Brillat Savarin or heaven forbid a tangy Roquefort! No, they would only use overripe cheeses or cheese made from dogs or totally reminds me of my glue-y mozzarella experience this afternoon! And I can just see a bunch of 1804 French Chemists cooking down their cheese rejects, boiling them down until they were reduced to a "glutinous state" and ALL the moisture is gone, beating the crap out of it and letting it sit until they need it to patch a leak in a boat (I'm assuming this is a function as I found this description on a Historical Navy site, plus the fact that it is waterproof...), or glue a teacup back together. Or whatever else needed bonding so tight that it would be "very difficult to discover the intersection."

I propose that the next time you encounter low caliber cheese, you attempt to follow in the steps of the French Chemists and create a batch of glue to make Louis Pasteur proud! But use an old pot. And keep a fire extinguisher handy. And put the glue in a container you never want to use for anything. Ever again. Because it is going to be the most amazing glue ever.

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