Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Happy National Cheese Lovers Day

It is the National Cheese Lovers Day today, January 20th, and I've thought it would be interesting to share a story about Swiss cheese that I came to know more about during a recent trip...

New Year and Christmas in Serbia translate to hard core post-holiday diet upon returning back home. Well, that would not have been so difficult, considering the vast variety of fresh produce in the sunny California, had there not been a glitch in the plan on the way back through Switzerland... I've read this interesting article about Swiss cheese on the plane and ventured straight to Coop to pick few varieties to try during my stay (which was inevitable to happen anyway, be it for the article or not). I typically buy more than what I can finish during the visit and have been accused in the past of leaving stinky cheese in the fridge... So this time I was careful and opened only cheese I ate, which means the rest had to travel back with me! Now it's the fridge full of cheese here at home and a sad prospect of a diet that is looming over... except that today is National Cheese Lovers Day and the diet will have to wait till tomorrow ;)

Before I jump to the article about cheese, I also wanted to share a great snack/dessert idea that I learned about recently while celebrating Christmas with my friends from Cuba. Yes, I celebrate Christmas twice :), on December 25th and on January 7th. My friend's father is 94 years old. He was born in northern Spain before he emigrated to Cuba. He came to visit and celebrate Christmas with us. I can only wish to be like him when I grow old, full of positive energy, jokes and love for his family and friends. He travels, goes for long walks, drives a car, cooks,... everything! So inspirational! He brought back many food goodies with him, including guava paste, special crackers, and a variety of traditional Spanish Christmas turron sweets. Not to forget original coffee, and a very special way I've learned from my friends how it is made in Cuba. :)
I have never ever tasted anything like guava paste! It is both sweet and salty at the same time, and is best paired with crackers and soft Mexican cheese. I don't know if it is because of the guava paste itself, or the special crackers that Papi brought, or the spirit of Christmas celebrated in such good company, but surely it was one of the best desserts I've ever had!
Just when I arrived back home from the trip, a package arrived and Papi sent me a can of original guava paste! Now I can't wait to try pairing it with the Swiss cheese that I've brought back!