This is a lecture on the subject of Danish blue cheese, how it has cheated the... more »

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Cameraman and Editor: Matt Taylor.

Stats & Data

June 17, 2010


Definition: Blue cheese is something you can eat with biscuits, but only the biscuits that we aren’t allowed to stick in our tea because they are water biscuits but not very good ones because you have to add your own water.
Somewhere along the line in Denmark, someone in a cheesemonger situation said, ‘We can’t sell this cheese. It’s gone off.’ – presumably through an interpreter if the co-worker he was talking to was a native Danish speaker – although the Danish are very good at speaking other languages just in case no-one wants to ever bother learning Danish themselves.
‘Don’t worry about that cheese going off’, would have been the reply. ‘You know, think of a USP’.
‘USP?’ – that was the person who started the conversation in the first place.
‘Unique selling point. Don’t worry, we’re in a different century, but I know what I’m talking about. Look at the other cheese – it’s all yellow. There look that lump’s yellow. Take another bit over there – yellow.
…Take the mouldy stuff, focus less on the mouldy aspect, more on, you know, blue is the new yellow.’
We have a general sense of what foods look like when it’s on the turn. Picture in your mind, the superannuated, grey-haired tomato. Take them back to the store manager and he’ll either show some corporate shame, or he’ll try to work out if he can get out of the situation:
‘Did you buy these today?’ he might ask.
‘I’m not surprised you don’t recognise them’ you might snort, knowing something about the ways of disguise. ‘They’ve grown beards…’
It’s a different story with Danish Blue. This cheese is one of the only foodstuffs that is allowed to be sold after its sell-by-date – that and Chinese Thousand Year Eggs. In fact, they are the only foodstuffs that we would complain to the grocer about if they hadn’t reached their expiry date.
‘How long has this been sitting on the shelf for?’ you might say to the store manager. ‘It’s disgusting, it needs to rot for at least another 432 years’.
In order to source the veins for Danish Blue, we need to go to places where the fungus would be most abundant. Look no further than the end of your feet. Or don’t bother if you’re particularly short-sighted and this is the limit of your vision – you’re on the right track already.
This fungus is the very same found between our toes, hence the stench that says ‘eat me’. Thus, Danish blue cheese is basically cheese with Athlete’s Foot. And Athlete’s Foot is achieved by wearing soggy socks for too long.
Therefore, we have to find an athletics event where foot sogginess is optimal. The steeplechase with its hurdles with puddles provides just that. Employ runners completing the race to dangle their stockinged feet in vats of cheese located trackside, and you’ve secured your active ingredients.