Big Feta aka The Cheesy Boy – By @pzelizalde
By Patxi Elizalde
Big Feta aka The Cheesy Boy
This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of joining my good friends Dean (aka DJ Bleu Cheez) and Ruby on Hoxton radio. I was greatly relieved to find we could just shoot the shit and let the conversation flow rather than forcing discussions about new creative techniques and ideas we learned this past week. I was especially relieved to be chatting with two people who also clearly share my undying love and passion for music. While we did manage to talk SCA and give a few shout outs to students, mentors, and Sapphire’s mom, our conversation consisted mostly of aquatic creatures, nigiri sushi, crying at the movies, and cheese.
For some reason (I know the reason), our cheese discussion really stuck with me. “What is the most underrated cheese? Overrated?” Even after Ruby faded our voices out and threw on a 70s afrobeat jam, I found myself pondering the question: If I was a type of cheese, what would I be?
I didn’t really think much about it before then, but cheese has always been a major staple in my life. I come from a traditional Spanish family. While we are Filipino at heart (with both my parents also born and raised in the Philippines), we hold strongly onto our Spanish values. One of these traditions, and probably my favorite, is eating, basically, a little mini dinner (or appetizer) before eating our actual dinner. We call this meal “Pica Pica” and it consists mostly of an assortment of cold cuts, bread or crackers, and, of course, cheese. The cheese on the plate varies depending on what we have in the fridge that day. Most popular among my family is the classic brie, camembert, and my personal favorite, manchego.
In fact, this tradition is such a big part of my life that, in its absence, I crave it. To fill that little hole in my belly, my heart, my soul…. With cheese (It really is, in fact, not that easy being cheesy). This was apparent especially during my college days. Upon arriving home late after a long night of drinking and debauchery, my first reaction, instinct actually, was to go straight for the cheese drawer. While my other friends would munch on leftover wings, hot pockets, fat bags of crisps, I would always be the guy with the cheese – whether we actually had some decent cheeses in our fridge … or if it was literally just shredded cheddar. This then earned me the nickname, ‘Cheesy Boy,’ which later evolved into ‘Pepper Jack,’ and finally ‘Big Feta.’ Man, I love cheese.
Like my nicknames, all cheese is different. Each type of cheese possesses different, distinct qualities. Different looks, tastes, smells. Some taste better with age, like a fine wine. While some are better eaten fresh and young.
So, this brings me to my main question: If I was a type of cheese, what would I be? As I explore this, I’ll make sure to stick to the more common cheeses for those of you uneducated cheesy haters out there.
Cheddar and American cheese are too common. Brie is too basic. I like to think I’m a bit more unique than that, especially as I am trying to start my career as a creative person. Gouda, Blue Cheese and Munster are too smelly… self-explanatory. Burrata, Parmesan, and Mozzarella, as much as I love them, are too Italian (Sorry, Antonio) and frankly, too boring. Feta, the root of my favorite of my nicknames, is unfortunately too crumbly to be me in cheese form and Swiss, also a favorite, too hole-y. Even if at times I can be shy and soft-spoken, I believe I can be quite strong-willed at the core and therefore need to be represented by a strong, solid, hard cheese. Now, with all these cheeses of the way, all that’s left on my list is Pepper Jack from the United States, and the Spanish Manchego.
I feel both these cheeses could represent me as a person. Pepper Jack: Formed in America, creamy and smooth, yet solid. Manchego: Originated in Spain, firm but supple.
The main differentiator of these cheeses is the spicy kick. While I like to think that I have a spicy side (lol), I feel most of my peers would likely describe me as a more smooth and sweet character.
Therefore, based on my meticulous research and undeniable logic, I gotta be manchego.
I am manchego.
So with that, I thank you all for reading about my love for cheese. I sincerely hope you have learned something from this, whether about me or about cheese!
Stay cheesy, my friends. Tune in next SCAB to hear about my passion for crustaceans and other small ocean creatures!