Can I get that with no cheese?

Column by J1 Reporter Ashley Doehner

Doehner Defined

From my earliest memories of childhood, I have always had one quality that made me stand out. No matter how much I tried to change and adapt to this social norm, I could not bring myself to fully deny my beliefs. My family never truly understood, and other kids would bombard me with millions of questions. 

How could I not like cheese?

The human tendency to love this dairy product is so strong that having a distaste for it is an anomaly. The amount of times that I have been questioned over this hatred is uncountable. People usually latch on to the theory that I am lactose intolerant for dear life until they finally allow themselves to come to terms with the truth: I hate cheese. 

The complete disgust that fills my stomach every time that I think of cheese is indescribable. However, this hatred is not purely black and white. I have general categories that I deem acceptable and unacceptable. 

The main grievance I hold against cheese is when it is melted. The texture alone is enough to keep me away from an entire meal. The oozing feeling that comes alongside a portion of melted cheese is utterly disgusting. Queso is the greatest offender, and I can barely look at it without a feeling of disgust running through my whole body.

Non-melted cheese, like the kind found on a charcuterie board, is an exception to my disapproval. An appetizer of cheese and crackers with some garnishes on the side is beyond classy and undeniably delicious.

A fully stocked fridge, but not for me photo by Ashley Doehner

These basic categories tend to fall apart in my explanations because of the various exceptions that apply to each one. 

The anti-melted cheese sentiment carries over into foods such as nachos and cheeseburgers. However, there are some foods with melted cheese that I can tolerate, the main one being pizza. Most people cannot fathom that I hate cheese yet still eat pizza on a regular basis. The only explanation that I can give for this is simply that the cheese is masked by the amazing other factors of the crust, sauce, and toppings. 

I also deviate from the idea that non-melted cheese is adequate in the case of crumbly cheeses such as feta and cotija. The texture sends shivers down my spine.

As one could imagine, my twisted ideas about cheese make ordering food a nightmare. I often sit down in restaurants and find myself ordering a cheeseburger without the cheese. There is usually a common understanding from the people who are at the table with me, but the server always seems to be taken aback by this unheard-of request.

 I could trademark the phrase, “and could I get that with no cheese?”

With every passing year, I try my hardest to acquire a love for cheese so that I can conform to the culinary tastes of American society. However, I am closing in on age 17 without any progress. I have been able to make my way through life this far, so I expect to continue on with the understanding that I will never truly be understood.

One thought on “Can I get that with no cheese?

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