Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cheese, cheese everywhere, as much as you can eat

If there is one food I can’t live without, that’s cheese. I thought I couldn’t live without bread and cakes, but apparently I can, since I gave them up completely in an effort to lose weight. But I couldn’t give up cheese. If I were one of King Lear’s daughters, I would tell him that I love him as much as I love cheese. And there is good cheese in Romania… In the area where I come from, fresh sheep cheese is salted and put in wooden barrels to ferment. After a few months, the result is a hard, spicy, stinky cheese. It’s so stinky that if you use your hands to take it out of the barrel, the smell will stay for at least 24 hours on your skin. Adrian and I love it, especially with MAMALIGA (a valid Scrabble word meaning a kind of cornmeal porridge and a staple food in traditional Romania). You put the hot mamaliga on top of the cheese and everything melts in the most delicious paste you’ve ever tasted. I think the photo below, of our lunch today, is eloquent.

Since our parents know about our culinary passion, this is what they have just sent us.

No, it’s not for a year, just for less than two months, until we go home for Christmas. If you love cheese too, your mouths must be watering already, but we can only offer you some food for thought: cheeses that can be used in Scrabble. Bon appetit!
Asiago+s = an Italian cheese
Boursin+s = a mild, smooth creamy cheese without rind
Caboc+s =a Scottish cheese
Cheddar+s,y =a type of cheese originated in England
Cheshire+s = a hard English cheese
Chevre+s,t Chevret+s = a cheese made from goat’s milk
Colby+s Colbies = a type of mild tasting hard cheese
Feta+l,s Fetta+s = a crumbly white cheese
Fondue+d,s = a dish of melted cheese
Fromage+s = word borrowed from French meaning cheese
Gruyere+s = a Swiss cheese
Haloumi+s Halloumi+s = a Greek dish of goat’s cheese
Havarti+s = a Danish cheese
Mascarpone+s = Italian cream cheese
Munster+s Muenster+s = a mild cheese
Paneer+s = a soft white cheese used in Indian cookery
Parmesan+s = a hard dry Italian cheese
Pecorino+s Pecorini(no –s) = a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk
Provolone+s = Italian cheese often smoked
Raclette+s = salted cheese made from cow’s milk
Rarebit+s = a sauce made from melted cheese served hot over toasted bread
Ricotta+s = an Italian cheese
Romano+s = an Italian cheese
Taleggio+s = a soft creamy cheese
Note that "camembert", "gorgonzola", "roquefort" or "gouda" are not valid Scrabble words, but Mozarella is.


  1. There doesn't seem to be much of a pattern to which cheeses are playable in Scrabble and which aren't. I would have expected my own favourite cheese, WENSLEYDALE, to be NOT playable, since it is named after the Yorkshire dale where it was first made and I personally would spell it with a capital. Yet it was added in the last update. Re the plural of COLBY being COLBIES or COLBYS - how many other words ending in consonant followed by Y can you name that can take a straight S in the plural? - I make it 19 altogether but may have missed a few. Of other famous English cheeses, one can't play STILTON* or CAERPHILLY* nor VINNY* as in blue vinny. Shame!

    Incidentally, the posh word for a lover of cheese is TUROPHILE.

  2. David,
    I'm guessing that "gorgonzola" "camembert" and many other cheese words will make it into the (scrabble) dictionary one day. It's just a matter of time. Turophile is a lovely word. I had no idea Carmen and I were turophiles. Now we know it. Regarding the words ending in consonant followed by y that can take a straight S in the plural, I can only think of three! Well,four with Colby.
    Bialy+s Bialies
    Colby+s Colbies
    Darcy+S Darcies
    Zloty+S Zloties

    Would you be so kind and share the list with us, David?

  3. OK, here goes: (part 1)
    BENDY BENDYS (another name for OKRA)
    BIALY BIALYS (an onion roll)
    BLOWBY BLOWBYS (a leakage of exhaust gases)
    BY BYS
    DARCY DARCYS (unit of rock permeability, can also be DARCIES)
    DRY DRYS (a political right-winger)
    HENRY HENRYS (unit of electrical inductantce, can also be HENRIES)
    JANSKY JANSKYS (in astronomy, the unit of strength of radio-emission)
    MILLIHENRY (thousandth of a HENRY)
    PLATY PLATYS (a small tropical fish: can also be PLATIES).
    SHINDY SHINDYS (an uproar, can also be SHINDIES)

  4. And part 2...

    SWINGBY SWINGBYS (the passing of a spacecraft near a planet to use its gravitational pull)