Trust Your Taste 007

Pimento and Penn State Football

Cheese ~ Storytelling ~ Authenticity ~ Creativity

Happy Sunday, and Happy Fall! Here’s something tasty, something true, and some musings on food in storytelling to ponder over your favorite Sunday Treat.

Something Tasty: A cheese pairing to try

Pimento Cheese

Okay- the thought of Pimento Cheese (especially a Pimento Cheese ball) used to DISGUST ME…and then I actually tried it… and I love it.

So what is Pimento Cheese anyway?

My unhelpful answer: ~WhAtEveR YoU WaNt iT tO Be~

My helpful answer: Usually a combination of shredded cheese (normally cheddar), mayonnaise, and pimentos/pimientos (a fragrant red pepper that has a slight kick but isn’t super spicy)

I wrote about the way our tastes change and how my life in cheese has influenced my other tastes for Culture Magazine.

Like anything else- not all pimento cheese is created equal. My favorite pimento creation is the one I always get at The Cheese Cave made of farmers cheese, mayo, peppers, onion powder, garlic, AND PRAIRIE BREEZE (one of my favorite cheddars and a total game-changer for a Pimento-hater).

Try some from your local cheese purveyor or concoct your own next time you have people over for a game day, or think about it as a festive addition to one of your many upcoming holiday tables.

Especially if you think it’s icky but have never tried it. Let me know how it goes!

Something True: A truth about myself

Who Cares About College Football?

I got nacho cheese spilled all over my legs immediately after this photo was taken.

Here’s the truth.

I never intended to leave California for college.

I wanted to go to a small school far enough away from my parents to have a sense of independence, but close enough to come home and see family and my high school friends that were applying to all the UC’s and the Cal State’s.

And what happened?

I went to Penn State. One of the largest state schools in a state I knew nothing about and where I knew almost no one.

I’ll save why I actually choose Penn State for another letter 😊 

I didn’t know anything- or care- about college football, but I knew this was apparently a big football school. Big 10? Pack 12? Absolute gibberish to me.

But moving to the middle of Pennsylvania was my first time truly experiencing fall. Southern California has their own version of fall- but it’s not like this.

Crunchy leaves, crisp air, moody acoustic indie folk, cozy hot beverages, the smell of tailgating, the sound of the Blue Band and fight songs in the distance…wait

My new favorite season became synonymous with “football season”. And I FOUGHT IT.

I played sports, but didn’t care much about the NFL or college football, almost to the point where it became an annoying contrarian part of my personality.

But to most people, gathering for “game day” isn’t really about the game. It’s about spending time with people, eating fun festive food (maybe like a pimento cheese ball…), and becoming a team of your own for a few hours.

Especially with college football- it’s reminiscing about a culture you were a part of for years, and (hopefully) inviting others that weren’t there to become a part of it for an afternoon.

Once I realized that, I was on board.

And once I noticed who the angry people around me were that made a loss ruin their entire day- I ran from them. Not my vibe.

And even if you aren’t a fan of a particular college or pro team, we do this with things other than sports.

We do it with music all the time, our favorite bands and festivals (raise your elder emo hand if Warped Tour was your whole identity as a teenager). My partner is a big Phish guy and being a Phan is FOR SURE like rooting for your favorite team.

It’s all about communing together, and creating shared experiences and environments to be “on the same team” in a world often divided.

Who is your team? US Women’s Soccer? The Beatles? Disney? Ceramics? House Plant People? Team Pimento??

I’d love to know.

Farm to Fable: How food shows up in storytelling 

Lunch Time in Remember the Titans

And speaking of when football isn’t really about football, many times a meal isn’t really about the food- especially in film.

Like the scene in Remember the Titans where Louie sits down with his Black teammates to eat lunch.

Meal times are always great scenes because it’s where everything goes down. They are usually big group scenes with lots of energy and endless opportunities for plot and character development- and conflict.

Conflict is always more interesting during a meal because it’s a lot harder to walk away, disengage, or get violent when you’re eating. We get to see what happens when they stay at the table.

This movie isn’t really about football- it’s about being human, seeing the humanity in others, and changing and growing for the better against all odds.

And this lunch scene isn’t about lunch. It’s a pivotal scene about Coach Boone trying to get these boys to really see each other.

Until next time,


P.S. - Sunday Scaries

A terrifying AI image to help us all rest knowing AI bots could never replace a real human artist:

This week the prompt was “A football team playing with a pimento cheese ball instead of a football, in autumn.”

This looks like a demented Cheetos commercial. Help.