Excess is great. Without it, we would never know about balance and harmony.
We need to overdo it every once in awhile, not only to prove to ourselves that we can, but because as Americans—or at least I am—it’s our God-given right to indulge. While I do not encourage you to eat so much that you no longer know what your feet look like, I do encourage you to drink your weight in booze, at least once in your life.
Most people I know—and this says a lot about my friends—spend a significant portion of their lives hungover. That painful moment when you first wake up after lifting your eyelids ignites a burning headache that pulsates from the base of your neck to your nose. You can’t quite remember all of last night, but you get flashes of custom-made cocktails and the bile-y taste of Fernet stinging the back of your throat. Does this sound familiar? These are the moments when it hurts to breathe; when you debate whether taking a sip of water will propel you to vomit. You aren’t sure you can move yet without getting lightheaded and passing out. We have all been there, and if you haven’t, please refrain from judging.
Anyway, hangovers suck. After one sip of the ginger ale that you think will save you, your mouth fills with the thick saliva that feels like it’s coming directly right from your stomach, and the thought of a bagel makes your insides flip. What you really need in that exact moment is cheese.
I know, I know. Cheese, you say? Really? Yes. Really. Cheese is filled with all kinds of great things: calcium, enzymes, protein; it has the incredible property to coat things, so it soothes your tummy. Cheese is made of milk, and milk is good for you (it helps strengthen your bones and all that jazz). Good quality dairy comes from happy animals whose rich, liquid lovin’ is the base of the best stuff out there. Cows give forth some incredibly buttery and sweet milk, so cheese developed from cow’s milk can become all nutty and caramel-y. Think aged Gruyere or Comté. Goat’s have that lush, tangy, slightly barny milk that can develop into a rich, petting-zoo-esque floral creation like the famed Crottin or St. Maure. Sheep have the fattiest and flintiest milk out there and can create some great, wooly, slightly floral treats like the incredible Abbaye de Belloc or Ossau Iraty. Buffalo give forth a yogurt-y, tangy, ultra fatty milk that screams to be pulled out into some fresh mozzarella, all creamy and seductive.
So the next time you awake to the pulsing pain of too many libations, skip over the fried fish sandwich that will inevitably make you hurl, and pull out a chunk of cheese and nibble away the nausea.
Cheese is a cure all. I promise.