Cheese is a fantastic way to celebrate our favorite holidays, whether it’s a provolone antipasto platter paired with wine on Christmas Eve or a hunk of aged cheddar on a Fourth of July cheeseburger. But while we celebrate all the usual, pedestrian stuff – like national independence and the powers that be – rarely do we celebrate the happiness and binding force (that brings families together) of our favorite dairy product. That’s why we have national food holidays, many of which revolve around cheese!
“A holiday just for cheese?” you might ask in astonishment. Not just one, but several! While the United States celebrates National Cheese Lover’s Day every January 20 and National Cheese Day on June 4, we also have National Cheese Fondue Day (April 11), National Cheeseburger Day (September 18), National Cheesecake Day (July 30), and a favorite, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12), in which we wolf down our favorite deified delicacies and recognize gastronomically intriguing facts – like how the average American consumes thirty-one pounds of cheese annually. The range of celebrated cheese days goes way out there, too, with oddly specific days like Moldy Cheese Day (October 18), Cream Cheese Brownie Day (February 10), and National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day (March 6).
None top the weirdness chart, though, like our upcoming cheesy holiday: National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day, which happens every July 29. No one knows how it came about or who thought of the wacky celebration, but it’s one of those useful holidays like Labor Day, Boxing Day, or Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17. The idea is that by this time of year, those pesky critters who raid your food supplies every night (mice, not husbands) have probably consumed all of your bait cheese. With empty mousetraps, homeowners flock to the stores to pick up more, capitalizing on extreme deals and doorbuster discounts. It’s like Black Friday for cheese – or so it should be. No one really celebrates it, and with sound reasoning; mice, as research has found, don’t really like cheese all that much.
That’s no excuse to cut out a holiday, though! So next Tuesday when you’re out and about, consider picking up a hunk of sacrificial cheese, but wolf it down yourself instead of leaving it out for the pests in your pantry. Abel Folgar, blogger for the New Times Broward-Palm Beach, recommends three superb offerings, including Rogue Creamery’s Caveman Blue. According to him, “the mysterious National Cheese Purchase Sacrifice Day seemingly aims to do a combination of the following things: relieve you of otherwise much-needed monies, rid your home of furry vermin, and continue the proliferation of ridiculous ‘holidays’ that keep the greeting card industry zipping along at a racecar’s pace.” We’re a bit more gung-ho about any holiday that celebrates cheese, so bust out those cards, ready the cheesehead party hats, and gift wrap a wheel for your mother or neighbor! Oh, and try not to get stuck in any mousetraps. Those things hurt.