by Chrysa Smith

It’s been awhile since I wrote about food, and quite frankly, I miss it. Actually, the truth of the matter is that since I’ve been doing Weight Watchers the good news is that I’ve lost 20 lbs so far. The bad news is that I’ve been limiting my eating out (not to mention wine intake).

I don’t know how many times I’ve studied a restaurant menu for something that is healthy and low in calorie, only to find that the turkey or grilled chicken wrap was at least half of my daily allotted food intake. And that, to this perfectionist, screwed up my entire day, then week, then weekly results. So, aside from a plate of grilled vegetable or fruit platter, I’m back to salads.

Now the salad has come a long way since our childhood. It took me awhile to opt for the Caesar Salad (sans anchovies, thank you very much). But who would have ever thought that stinky Blue Cheese or pungent goat cheese would become my favorite ‘go to’ salads? Not only that, but Blue Cheese is one of the top foods on this year’s pundit list—and one of the few that I can actually get my teeth, and taste buds around.

According to Food Specialty Magazine, an industry food trend predictor, Blue Cheese has taken off. It has its lovers and haters, because after all, it does require a distinctive palette. And when you know the chemistry behind it, it’s rather gross. Now part of the chemistry of the ‘fragrance’ has to do with various yeasts contained in the cheese. The Blue, comes from a bacteria that’s added. Can you imagine? With the Purell culture that we’ve become, one of the most popular foods is something that we actually intentionally add bacteria to. Go figure. But the experts in England say that the cheese has anti-inflammatory properties, which they believe, is why the mega-consuming French have such a low incidence of heart disease and other ailments.

As for goat cheese, the stinky trend continues. This time, the tartness comes from a chain of fatty acids in the milk. Then the cheese is intentionally curdled–lovely. And once again, the French lead the world in producing a vast variety of them.

It’s a good thing our taste buds change since childhood, or the liquor and cheese industries would be out of business. But luckily, such pungent foods add interest to our meals and lives. And, when coupled with sweet accompaniments, such as cranberries or other fruit, the result is great. In fact, if you haven’t already checked out such salad options, check out the recipes at: 

Who would have thought “rabbit food” could be so yummy?