Thursday, April 18, 2013

Best Cheddar Cheese & Bacon for China!

Ahoy from Amoy!

When we came to China in 1988, what really made us homesick was the absence of simple things--like peanut butter, mayonnaise (learned to make our own), and of course, Cheese!

We were surprised, therefore, a month after our arrival to see a giant block of cheddar sold cheaply in Xiamen's "Canadian Bakery". The only thing Canadian about it was the name; it sold the same sweet Chinese breads with green and purple swirls that Chinese find attractive but reminded me of toxic mold from some bio-weapon factory. But I forgave everything when I saw the cheese!

They had no idea what it was, but after we told friends and they raced across town to buy a block, the owner got wise and doubled the price. By day two it was sold out and they never got anymore.  Still--it helped us get over our acute cheese-deprivation.
Of course, today we can get cheeses at Metro-- but its expensive. For years, though, we brought from the U.S. bags of cheese powder--like the Kraft cheddar cheese powder in Kraft macaroni and cheese, but not nearly as tasty because the number one ingredient wasn't cheese but whey.  And then last year I finally found a cheese powder that is pretty close to the cheesy taste of Kraft, and I bought several pounds. Hoosier Hill Farms Cheddar Cheese Powder is sold on Amazon and has free shipping to
U.S. addresses (for orders of $25 or more). It's packaged in a convenient, safe-plastic, screw lid container. If you bring some back, keep it in the fridge after opening.

Suggestions--sprinkle on popcorn, add to potatoes (and pasta, of course). I even sprinkle some on top of Chinese food! I do love Chinese food, but not 3 times a day for 27 years--so a little cheddar cheese powder on top brings it to life! Or...

"Bringing Home the Bacon..."   Another way to spice up up your daily Chinese fare is to sprinkle on some McCormick Bacon Bits (Bac'n pieces). They're artificial but tasty; if you want real bacon bits, try Kirkland (Costco brand) real crumbled bacon bits! They claim it is slowly smoked over hardwood chips--and I can believe it.

I bring back a dozen plastic bottles of bacon bits or a pouch of Kirkland Signature Crumbled Bacon (each trip home.  Bacon bits or crumbled bacon are light, last a long time, and are relatively cheap, I sprinkle them into egg omelets or scrambled eggs--or with potatoes and cheese powder. Unhealthy, I know, but though I usually am a very healthy eater, sometimes I just need something familiar.

And as the famous American comedian Redd Fox once said, "One of these days, there's going to be a lot of health nuts feeling pretty stupid when they're old and in the hospital dying of nothing.

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
Bill Brown Xiamen University

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