Thursday, February 6, 2014

Scary Dairy

Preface: I know I'm ridiculous, and I'm a snob, and I should have better things to complain about do in life.

I'm from Wisconsin, right? And Wisconsin is well-known, among other things*, as the Dairy State. I love me some good cheese. Like, LOVE. There's this stand at the Farmer's Market in Madison with fried cheese and I DIE just thinking about it. Not to mention fresh squeaky cheese curds. Or Culver's deep-fried cheese curds because dayam. Dairy is delicious. (Also frozen custard.)

But the dairy here? It stinks. Like, literally.

What's even worse, is that Albanians are also obsessed with dairy - but their dairy is just gross.**

Figure 1. Dhalle (TH-as in them-ALL)

It watered down plain yogurt with salt. Disgusting. But all Albanians LOVE the stuff. Seriously. I have yet to meet an Albanian that doesn't love dhalle.

Figure 2. Kos (KOHSS)

Plain, watery, sour yogurt. Gross. Although some PCVs will drink it through a straw whereupon I run heaving and gagging from the room.

Figure 3. Gjalp (JALP)

Butter. But there's butter, and then there's gjalp: village-y, sour, cheese-y and spoiled-tasting. (It's not all that bad, but I've had some terribly unfortunate run-ins with gjalp that have scarred me forever.)

Figure 4. Djathe e bardhe (dyath ay BARTH-as in them)

White cheese, kind of like feta. Except the homemade stuff is so salty you can feel your eyeballs drying out whenever you take a bite.

Figure 5. Qumesht (CHOO-musht)

Obviously, milk has to be on the list. Most milk tastes slightly sour to being with, which leads to all of the above products also tasting slightly sour. Also, it smells bad. I think this is because the milk does not come from Holsteins, but from beef cattle who must be completely fed on onions.


Seriously. Just...ugh.

*UW Badgers, Green Bay Packers, beer, funny accents (which I sport...bayg and rayg and waygon and flayg), the most beautiful capitol building evah, hippies in Madison, birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Ed Gein (charming), the WI Dells, corn, Holsteins, etc.

**OBVIOUSLY this is just my personal opinion. Plenty of other PCVs like the dairy here. No one waxes poetic about it, but they consume it.

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