Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Smarty Pants Trivia Parts I and II

Joe and I have been having a mild disagreement about whether or not the orange on the outside of Muenster cheese is dye or mold.  I averred it was dye, and Joe held that it was mold.  We try to maintain a "no googling during supper rule," which is frequently broken for learning opportunities such as this.  It's the homeschool family mentality after all.  For some reason we actually exhibited some self-control on this one and neither of us had yet checked the facts. 

Today the Wednesday school kids I pick up at the Oklee school each week were talking about cheese and I heard one of my kids tell the others that the orange color on Muenster was mold.  Oooh, I had to bite my tongue to not be right out there with my opinion.  But truthfully, I had no real solid reason to think I was right and Joe was wrong.  I just thought I was right.

So as soon as I got home, I sat down here and googled Muenster cheese. Guess what?  I am right!  Hurray! 

Muenster is, according to Wikipedia, an American cheese that is named after the German city of Muenster.  It is a soft cheese with a washed rind (I didn't find anything to tell me what that meant).  The orange on the outside is made from vegetable coloring.

Also according to Wikipedia, there is another cheese with a similar name, Munster, that is from the Alsace region of the France/Germany border area.  It allegedly gets its name from the word monastery (monestery=munster) where it was originally made by Irish monks.  It has a hard rind that can be eaten, but is frequently cut off.  According to the Cheese-France website, "The cheese is rubbed by hand with a solution of rock, salt and water. This will help the growth of bacteria giving a strong flavor to the cheese and preventing mold to developing."

But then, as with most things one learns on-line, according to eHow, they are all variations of the same cheese.  Hmmm.

Now for another bit of Smarty Pants Trivia, I have an embarrassing story to tell.  This time, just thinking I knew the answer was not enough.  As I was headed to Oklee to pick up the kids, I heard the daily trivia question on the Fosston station.  The question of the day was, "In what language was The Divine Comedy originally written?" 

"Oh," I thought, "that's an easy one.  Latin.  But maybe I better think again, just to be sure."  Now here's where I got into trouble.  Somehow, in my brain, I started confusing Homer with Dante. 

"Maybe he wrote in Greek, though," I thought to myself.  I started trying to remember Dante's second name, something like Algheria or something.  "That's got to be Italian.  So it had to have been Latin."

Meanwhile, the announcer is counting off the seconds and I'm feeling a little bit smug because I know the answer.  "Wow, this is so easy, I can't believe nobody's calling in."

And the announcer repeats the question and the phone number several more times, and gives a 20 second warning. 

Finally the clock runs down.

"Hehehe,"  I think.  "I know the answer and nobody else does."

"The language in which The Divine Comedy was originally written was....Italian."


And in case anyone is curious, his second name is Alighieri, or more officially, Dante degli Alighieri.  He wrote The Divine Comedy between 1308 and his death in 1321. 

So I guess it was a little late for Latin.  Shoot!  Serves me write for feeling so smug.


Mom of FIVE said...

Kehan loves that cheese although he calls it "Monster" cheese.

Joe Abrahamson said...

Sorry, Mary, I didn't realize we were disagreeing about the Muenster rind. I was oblivious and just spouting what I thought I knew. Turns out I was wrong and what I thought I knew was actually false. Happens to me very often when you and I disagree. I should really remember what Keith Massey told me when we got married.
Love you, and hope to give you more moments of triumph.

WV: nouckgov (Nuke the Government? weird)