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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 13, 2014 / 11 Adar II, 5774

In the cheese wars, call me a traitor

By John Kass

John Kass


JewishWorldReview.com | With so much uncertainty in the world, it's upsetting to see American politicians, backed by cheesy special interests, trying to start a war with Europe.

A cheese war.

And in the jingoistic climate of today's aggressive and expansionist cheese policy, I'm a cheese lover without a country. And some will call me a traitor.

When it comes to cheese, there are standards in this world -- of fairness, and of excellence. Such standards shall not be undermined, not for clan or for country.

So, America, you may exile me in the name of Camembert. You may revile me for manchego. But damn it, leave my feta alone.

What started it all was the reasonable European Union request that American cheese-makers stop filching European names for their various cheeses.

That set off an American cheese chorus that was angry, perhaps even xenophobic.

"Muenster is Muenster, no matter how you slice it," declared U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat.

I thought that once the neocons were discredited and out of power, America would stop bending other cultures to its will. But now I see Schumer is playing the same game as the Bushes of old.

Consider Parmesan. Most Americans think it comes pre-grated in a plastic container. That is not Parmesan. That is an abomination.

The EU wonders: How can Americans dare call it Parmesan when it doesn't even come from Parma, Italy?

Don't bring that fake pre-grated collection of salts and fats they call Parmesan-in-a-can to my house, not when my cousin Mariella, from Reggio di Calabria, has made her famous ravioli.

Something terrible might happen. You might be tempted to shake your domestic cheesy trash upon her ravioli.

And then Mariella just might lop your hand off.

Yes, it's a horrible thought. But the truth is, none of us would stop her. Why? Because fake Parmesan is an insult. Sure, your hand on the kitchen floor, the fingers twitching, might ruin our meal. But the meal would already be ruined, because of your Parmesan-in-a-can.

After the incident of the hand, we would share your grief, give you hugs of sympathy and even package your lopped hand in a shopping bag, as hospitality requires.

European cheese lovers are not savages, no matter what the Schumer-backed cheese-o-cons say.

The American approach to Greek feta is another insult.

That crumbly garbage in a plastic tub that some Americans put on their salads isn't feta. It's not even from sheep's milk.

And what about Greek yogurt? Yet another insult.

One of the popular brands of Greek yogurt is made by Turks. Now, I've been to Turkey. I loved the country, and I have friends who are Turkish.

But calling it Greek yogurt -- when it's not Greek -- is more than diplomatically unsound.

It is an assault on a NATO ally that fought against all odds, slowing the Nazi advance into Russia so the good guys could win the war.

It's Greek feta. It's Italian Parmesan.

If American cheese dealers want to use those names, I have a compromise. Put ISH next to the feta, in large capital letters, like this:

feta-ISH.

The same with that stuff in a plastic can -- Parmesan-ISH.

I'm not saying Americans don't make scrumptious cheese. There are many excellent cheeses from Wisconsin, for example, and New York.

Maytag Blue cheese from Iowa is a symphony on your tongue. It's an American symphony, and it goes great with wine, and sweet grapes after dinner, or on toast for breakfast.

But angry American cheese merchants brook no dissent, and that anger boiled over Thursday on my WLS-AM morning show.

Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president of trade policy with the U.S. Dairy Export Council, was our guest. I declared my cheese allegiance.

"Based on your premise, I think that perhaps you should go and give your name back to the English," Castaneda said. "You shouldn't be using 'John.'"

Really, I thought? I can't use my name because you're angry about the politics of cheese? Naturally, I took it to DEFCON 4.

"Why not go up into the mountain to our village and tell it to my cousins?" I said. "Then see if you can make it back down the mountain."

"You're in America, you're in America, right?" he asked. "Why are you using an English name?"

See how things escalate? It's a good thing we didn't have nukes.

"It is impossible to rename our cheeses," he said.

No, it's not impossible. Wisconsin cheeses with European names should be renamed after great Green Bay Packers of old.

And the finest of Wisconsin cheeses could be called "Vince."

One cheese America doesn't have to rename is Velveeta, the American standard, a block of yellow fats called "cheese food." It is so long-lasting that it just might end up in your granddaughter's asparagus casserole in 2032.

And Cheez Whiz, another American favorite, is a spread from a jar or squirted out of a can. You can't make a real Philly cheesesteak sanguich without Cheez Whiz. And if you don't like Philly steaks, you can't call yourself an American.

But that's the American way. And the Europeans have their own way.

We've spent many years meddling in other nations' affairs. It's high time for the Europeans to become the cheese police of the world.

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John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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