Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
1"Mark it 8, Dude." Get it?
Plus, fake facts are for sissies. 2The reality of the unreal
and the art of chewing. 3Getting interrogative with the Dark Continent
and ants are the Internet's idol. 4The author displays his clothes in piles on his bedroom floor. And 1,000,000 Rhode Islanders can't be wrong. 5One size counterfeits all, plus there's a run on limes and the movies don't talk good no more. 6The sweet and no-so-sweet of time travel
and the rigors of uncancellation. 7Personal Parties and Friend Finders considered 8Gamers of the world unite too much
and the new Star Wars scores. 9This week: one guaranteed way
to make yourself more famous. 10Awkward and tacky journalism in celebration of journalism. Plus, individuality now more expensive. 11There are balls in your head
and buds in your heart. 12The upsides of federal incorporation.
The downsides of shoddy adevertising. 13The first 90ways Quaterly Review begins!
1, 2, 3 pieces of Criticism! 14Not being able to look away from
bad grammar and junk material but still LMFAO. 15Spam can be fun if you don't
mind the corporate pimping. 16Some movies go Direct-To-Video.
We feel their pain. 17What the American media doesn't
want you to know about the Tour. 18Dumbing down The Honeymooners for
the preschool set; plus, pain as upper. 19It's 2005. Do you know what your
building's ecological ethic is? 20That building is whispering
ethical nothings in your ear. 21These movies will never know the
warm embrace of a projector lamp. Direct-to-video reviews return! 22The English language is growing & 90ways is on the case.
Neologisms Spoken Here. 23The American frontier is back and ugly as ever:
Here comes Sheriff Privatization. 24When making a British book into a British movie, it's all about the British, no matter what galaxy you're in. 25Condi bites the big one, Apple bites Condi, or Apple just bites. Plus, all the news that's packaged poorly. 26The Second Quarterly Review cometh... 27The rap album based on [adult swim]
has already been leaked. 28The road to Blockbuster is paved with good intentions: Direct-to-Video reviews are back! 29The preschool set belongs inside the lines
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And underrated. 3390ways' investigators go into the field.
And are vaguely saddened. 34See it again, whether you want to or not.
Picture this, in spite of yourself. 35Old comedians don't die,
they just get taken seriously. 36Pro: It's a 90ways debate.
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There's value in dead-ends. 4290ways has a confession to make.
We made up our history, too. 43Bringing you the latest from the world of dissembling: 90ways inaugurates the Hoax Report. 44It ain't about the facts, ma'am.
It's about the truth. 45Oscar nominations have been handed out. Direct-to-DVD movies snubbed again. 46What are the 90 points of it all? 47Spring: new growth, redemption,
Spring Traning. 48Technological advances notwithstanding, there's a whole new kind of static over the 6 o'clock news. 49O'Reilly's on the warpath.
The Chinese are not. 50The Hoax Report returns. And Canada beats Team USA. (That last part's actually true.) 51There's a lot packed into that intro and we feel no need to approach it in an organized manner. 52It's a surprise;
that's why you should have seen it coming. 53It's our party and we'll cry if we want to. 54Now that big, gothic banner looks positively antique. Plus, who cares about which cares about baseball. 55Being proud of Junior and bored in June. 56Every time I hear that song, I see a Cornell alum hitting a home run. 57What do heroin and Christian prayer have in common? They both star in the Direct-to-DVD finale! 58The cutting room floor in the desert.
The recording studio at first base. 59Tinted contact lenses and poorly delivered jokes. Foolproof. 60If you can't make a real quick 70 mill, how else do you justify a $125 million budget? 61Landmark case of 2006:
Orchestra v. Organ. 6290ways is interested in the words here, too. 63Everything in Criticism today is not quite right. 64Sports Utility Vehicles. Sort Of.
Sports. Golf, anyway.
65It's our Second Annual First Quarterly Review! 66Behold: The return of new word reviews. 67Bringing global warming in from the cold,
one dollar at a time. 68Don't believe the zinc industry's hype. 69It's crazy on the street.
It's best-selling on the teevee.
70Still crabbing about lost CD revenue?
Time to learn to shake your new moneymaker. 71Thrown into a plane.
With snakes. 72Space and Worlds and
snakes on planes. 73One giant vehicle is for war,
the other is for one day sales. 74It's all laid out for you.
From the numbing consumerism to the noble freedom. 75Sure the natural majesty was great,
but how about that Motel 8? 76One of life's great mysteries:
An Arby's in Mountain Time. 77Fall teevee is upon us.
Maybe some of it won't suck. 7852 + 26 = 78.
One and a half years of Ways. 79The smell of pigskin is in the autumn air. 80Someone needs to speak up in the name of common sense. 81New words are all around us.
Neologisms Spoken Here. 82What Dallas is now to someone who never knew it before: The Nostalgia Watch. 83Oh. The Horror.
A special Halloween installment of The Hoax Report. 84It was awful.
WomenAndChildren awful. 85It's like Carrie, but even better.
And somehow that became a great movie. 86He's in the corner.
And he wants to help you sleep. 87Up in the air. It's a bird. It's a hot-air balloon.
It's the 90ways Hoax Report! 88Tearing through the sentimentality and the water-colored memories: It's the Nostalgia Watch. 89Of all the Anabaptists in all the world... 90It's the week we've all been waiting for. 91We're reviewing the quarter to ring in the new year. 92Ringing it in is a burden we all carry. 93Am I my brother's keeper? 94This is all true. 95Notes to Notes.
Sometimes ears taste better than pens. 96Neologisms Spoken Here.
New words created through misappropriation. 97The lies of the diamond dealers. 98Crime, punishment, and the bits in between. 99Same name.
Different albums. 100All the forensics in the world can't
turn up any evidence of character. 101What makes America great
and not so great. 102Fanboy hand-wringing. Shocking. 103Panic in the streets,
Monsignor style. 104It's our second anniversary.
Break out the cotton. 105He kills for all the right reasons. 106The World's Cheese Imagination is within our grasp... if only. 107It's never an easy choice. 108Just give me one thing I can play for.
Cheese: The Final Frontier
The United States of America consumes over a billion pounds of cheese every year. That's a lot of cheese for a country that didn't even have a cheese factory until 1851. But the USA is way behind in the cheese game. Per capita cheese consumption is higher in almost all of Europe, markedly so in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, England and of course, France.
Furthermore, most of the cheese America eats is of the processed variety with disclaimers such as "cheese food" and "cheese stuffs." Although these are technically cheeses they do not garner the respect that a french fontainebleu might. André Simon, author of Cheeses calls processed cheese, "a moron-like rindless child" of the cheese family tree that lacks "personality and cheese appeal." So how is it that America ended up the Kraft nation and France home to hundreds of cheeses with new strains being developed even today? Unless you count Velveeta, it has been sometime since a new American cheese has hit the shelves. Simon credits the French preeminence to diverse climates and a plethora of cows, goats, and sheep, as well as a seriousness about what they eat. The United States clearly has two of the three conditions: the terrain of this country is far more comprehensive than in France and there is enough livestock to produce a billion pounds of cheese.
Therefore, the problem seems to lie elsewhere. The argument that Frenchmen take their food more seriously perhaps deserves some examination. After all, America is the country that put meat on a stick and, perhaps more pertinent to our conversation, put cheese into string form.
One issue affecting cheese development seems to be alcohol. America prefers beer to wine as it's alcoholic beverage of choice. But is it not wine that is the cheese's partner in dining? Beer lends itself more to nuts than to cheese. Budweiser and bleu, aside from alliteration, do not exactly go together. So the fact that the French are known for their fine wines and their fine cheeses is not a happy coincidence but rather a symbiotic development. Also, in France a great number of the array of cheeses are soft, spreadable cheeses. Some are even characterized by Simon as nothing more than sour milk.
Another factor in America's underdeveloped cheese world seems to be the Swiss. They were among the original cheese makers in the United States. Almost all staple Swiss cheeses are hard cheeses. Because Swiss immigrants were dominating the fledgling American cheese industry the predominant model favored the hard variety. Furthermore, because of the size of the States, hard cheeses were preferred as they were less likely to spoil on long trips to Little Falls, New York, home of the first and largest cheese market in postbellum America. As a consequence, early America was deprived of a major source of cheese, the soft cheese. Around 1900 the cheese industry in America had begun to shift to Wisconsin. Travel continued to influence the market. With the shift west the need arose for cheese that could withstand lengthy trips across the country. The Swiss, still a strong influence on the cheese industry, had perfected processed cheese in 1910. This revolution in preserving cheese solved the problem of long distance travel.
So it becomes clear that America relied heavily on hard or processed cheeses. The finer, more gentile cheeses however are often spreadable, if not soupy. To a country used to cheese that holds its shape, a semi-solid cheese is unlikely to catch on. Thus we remain mired in the more crude cheeses.
Despite the limited variety of cheeses the food has played an important part in American history. Sally McMurry, author of Transforming Rural Life, credits the industrialization of cheese with transforming the way dairy farms and rural communities operate. Before the cheese industry was seized by the industrial revolution it served quit a different role, however.
Before 1850 cheese was made and consumed on farms. Even in America cheese was not always a hard, mass produced lump of curd. Dairymaids would take excess milk and create butter, cream, and cheese. In these circumstances cheesemaking was more of "an art than a technology," according to McMurry. The goal was not to produce mass amounts of cheese, but simply to create an edible food from the extra milk. The nuance of creating a cheese was left up to the dairymaid. She decided how long to let the curd set and the time and temperature at which to bake it. Finally, she chose the salt to cheese ratio. From these many variables came many distinct cheeses and, although nothing indicates American cheese attained the variety of European cheese, there was at least the personality and cheese appeal that Simon thinks so necessary to a fine cheese. But when the pragmatism of industrialization overtook the American dairy these niceties of cheese making fell by the wayside.
Still I couldn't help but wonder about cheese in America. With today's transportation technologies, soft cheeses would have no trouble staying fresh on trips across the country or the Atlantic for that matter. Furthermore, in today's shrinking world, Americans seem to be opening up to all sorts of foreign cuisines. Why not European cheese? Why haven't America's dairies begun to produce more spreadable cheeses? Why haven't the nuances of the early nineteenth century dairymaids reappeared in our cheesemaking today?
I called Land o' Lakes Dairy's headquarters in Minnesota and spoke to a "consumer affairs specialist" named, appropriately enough, Marjorie. Marjorie was very polite but didn't seem to have any answers for me. I asked her why the dairy industry in America had not adopted the spreadable cheeses from across the pond. "Oh, geez, I don't, uh, I couldn't really give you any, I just don't know." Marjorie did assure me that Land o' Lakes did have some cream cheese in its line of foods but she admitted that the focus was definitely on hard cheeses. When pressed Marjorie postulated that the reason the industry was so exclusively comprised of hard cheeses was because "maybe they made some marketing decisions over the years." I thanked her and hung up.
There is something in the American character that is clinging to hard, processed cheese. Old habits die hard, I suppose. The idea of a soft, spreadable cheese still doesn't get many Americans salivating. To most, Marjory's sentiment of "cream cheese only," seems to be enough in the area of soft cheeses. But there are signs that the resistance is crumbling. Feta cheese, although not easily spreadable, is far from a hard cheese and it has nudged its way into the American eatery scene through the Grecian pizza. Similarly, goat cheese is rarely as hard as its bovine counterpart and it too is becoming increasingly popular. Despite these signs of hope the hard cheddar and the processed american (a cheese of such questionable origin you can request it in a variety of colors) still rule the market, leaving dozens of other types of cheese to the Europeans. Until America can accept the notion of cheese to be broader than a hard white brick, France will continue to dominate the world's cheese imagination.