In all preparations of Italian pastes, risottos, purées, etc., the cheese is intimately mixed throughout, and softened and diffused thereby in the manner above described.
The Italians themselves imagine that only their own Parmesan cheese is fit for this purpose, and have infected many Englishmen with the same idea. Thus it happens that fancy prices are paid in this country for that particular cheese, which is of the same class as the cheese known in our midland counties as "skim dick," and sold there at about fourpence per pound, or given by the farmers to their laborers. It is cheese "that has sent its butter to market," being made from the skim-milk which remains in the dairy after the pigs have been fully supplied.
I have used this kind of cheese as a substitute for Parmesan, and I find it quite satisfactory, though it has not exactly the same fine flavor as the best qualities of Parmesan, but is equal to that commonly used by the Italian millions. The only fault of our ordinary whole-milk English and American cheeses is that they are too rich, and can not be so finely grated on account of their more unctuous structure, due to the cream they contain.
I note that in the recipes of high-class cookery-books, where Parmesan is prescribed, cream is commonly added. Sensible English cooks, who use Cheshire, Cheddar, or good American cheese, are practically including the Parmesan and the cream in natural combination. By allowing these cheeses to dry, or by setting aside the outer part of the cheese for the purpose, the difficulty of grating is overcome.
I have now to communicate another result of my cheese-cooking researches, viz., a new dish—cheese-porridge—or, I may say, a new class of dishes—cheese-porridges. They are not intended for epicures, not for swine who only live to eat, but for men and women who eat in order to live and work. These combinations of cheese are more especially fitted for those whose work is muscular, and who work in the open air. Sedentary brain-workers like myself should use them carefully, lest they suffer from over-nutrition, which is but a few degrees worse than partial starvation.
Typical cheese-porridge is ordinary oatmeal-porridge made in the usual manner, but to which grated cheese is added, either while in the cookery-pot or after it is taken out, and yet as hot as possible. It should be sprinkled gradually and well stirred in.
Another kind of cheese-porridge or cheese-pudding is made by adding cheese to baked potatoes—the potatoes to be taken out of their skins and well mashed while the grated cheese is sprinkled and intermingled. A little milk may or may not be added, according to taste and convenience. This is better suited for those whose occupations are sedentary, potatoes being less nutritious and more easily digested than oatmeal. They are chiefly composed of starch, which is a heat--