Fussy Little Bar Fights
What do normal people get into fights about in bars? Part of me thinks it’s manners, but that can’t be right. There are often spirited disagreements over sports. Maybe some are about romantic entanglements?
I remember once witnessing a bar fight in a seedy Oakland Irish pub where the bartender walked a dude into a door jamb before throwing him out into the street. If memory serves, the offense there was that this jerk was screwing around with somebody’s hat. True story. Shitty story. But true story.
My bar fights are different. Not that I go out to bars all that often. But last night I popped into Slidin’ Dirty for two reasons. One, to get my 26er card punched. The other was to try Chatham Brewing Company’s Same Day Series beer of the month. They do this crazy thing where they put the beer into kegs, and drive it to bars that very same day, where it is tapped immediately and enjoyed as fresh as fresh can be.
Anyhow, I may have gotten into a teensy little fight about fresh mozzarella.
Actually, it may have started with a little rumble about mozzarella and melba. You know, sometimes it’s hard to get people to come around on the notion that fried cheese can go with anything besides marinara sauce.
And even though L may have disagreed with my assessment that mozarella and melba is really a workingman’s brie en croute, she respected the thought that I put into the position.
But it was her position on fresh mozzarella that broke my heart.
The thing is, I totally get where she is coming from. Because I too have been left scratching my head about the love for what is mostly bland and spongy cheese. And the two of us shared common ground on preferring a pizza made with shredded mozzarella rather than sliced disks of “the good stuff”.
Did I ever tell you about the first time I understood all the fuss for fresh mozzarella?
I remember it like it was yesterday. There was a food event in Downtown San Francisco, and the Egg Farm Dairy had a table. At the table, a man was pulling fresh mozzarella. And when he asked if I had ever tried just-made mozzarella, I had to tell him “no.” So he cut off a small piece, handed it over, and… lightning bolt.
This cheese is all about the delicate expression of liquid milk in solid form. But those subtle flavors are fleeting. Here’s the clincher. I’m guessing that pretty much all of the fresh mozzarella you’ve had was purchased out of a refrigerator of some kind or another. Well, that’s all it takes to ruin a perfectly good ball of mozzarella.
My argument was to not hate on fresh mozzarella if up until now you’ve only had refrigerated versions of the good stuff. Because what that actually means is that you’ve never actually tasted the good stuff.
The good stuff that’s been ruined is no longer good. It’s still tasteless rubber. But that’s not the fault of the cheese. It’s the fault of our crazy food system which says you have to refrigerate cheese. Harumpf.
Don’t even get me started on the rules our country has for cheese production. Unless you want to get into a fight too. Actually, if you want to watch the little veins pop out of my head, you can save the discussion for Saturday’s Tour de Donut. Holy cow! That’s tomorrow. I better print some scoresheets.
Hope you can make it. Seriously, don’t be shy. But if I don’t see you, have a great weekend.