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Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Queso de Bola

No filipino holiday would be complete without this red ball of cheese. If my dad didn't buy it, it was guaranteed that an uncle would bring it to Christmas dinner. Sometimes eaten alone, other times eaten with bits of ham. I never liked the cheese, just tasted funky to me. But the rest of my family likes it and it was brought up this Christmas. This was perhaps the second time that there was no QdB served, and my dad and uncles remininsced about the good ones in the Philippines (which I think coincidently weren't even made in the PI, they're Dutch). They talked about comparable cheeses found here in the states (Vermont cheddars seem to take exactly the same) but the difference between US cheese and "PI" cheese they argued was the aging process.

What exactly is QdB? Traditionally, QdB is Edam cheese. The explanation for Edam can be found on Wikipedia:

Edam is a Dutch cheese that is traditionally sold as spheres with pale yellow interior and a coat of red or yellow paraffin. It is named after Edam (mun. Edam-Volendam). Edam coated with black wax rather than the usual red or yellow has aged for at least 17 weeks. It is also popular in the Nordic countries.

Edam cheese has a very mild taste, slightly salty or nutty and almost no smell when compared to other cheeses. It also has a significantly lower fat content than many other traditional cheeses being approximately 28% with an average protein content of 25%.

A major producer is the Friesland Foods company. In the USA, a popular brand is May-bud, owned by Kraft Foods.

Mild Edam is good with fruit like peaches, melons, apricots and cherries. Aged Edam is good with traditional "cheese fruits" like pears and apples. Like most cheeses, its also good on crackers and bread. As for wine, try Edam with a Pinot Noir. Edam will not taste good on pizza.

Still doesn't sound appealing to me. Oh well. I'm sure I'll be offered it when I go to the Philippines after the New Year. With lechon and warm pandesal. Ah.. I can't wait!!

But before that all goes down, must think about New Years. My mom has been nagging me on a menu lineup. My stance on the whole deal is, we make too much food. And with this holiday, the attendance is sparse since a third of the family is in the Philippines. Of course there has to be the standard dishes, but what else can be added to spice things up?

Tentative Menu

Grilled Pork Belly
that fish stuffed with fish... starts with an R??
Pinapple Upside Down Cake
Chicken Delight
Leche Flan

Ho hum. We have that almost every year. I need something different. I was thinking sushi, but I don't know if everyone will appreciate that. Tapas type of foods? My cousins would eat it, but my aunts and uncles would want more than that. Time to start flipping through the cookbooks. If only I bought my Jamie Oliver book home with me!

So, for all you bloggers out there... I'll have my handy wireless laptop with me on my trip, and I'll try my best to capture as much of the sights and sounds and food as I possibly can. Maybe even the airplane food!

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