Talking about Velveeta…

Mascot of the Cheese Festival in Monroe, New York Well, perhaps I wasn’t talking about Velveeta per se, but I did mention it in this linked article. This has, however, brought up a desire;  to be in the Village of Monroe, New York on September 12th, 2009 (tomorrow).
That is the date this year when Monroe celebrates their village’s heritage of cheese; the birthplace of Velveeta. Before you go screaming about how Velveeta is not a cheese, or ask yourself; “why is Bryce mentioning Velveeta at all?!?” I’d like to defend… no, not Velveeta, but the subject. There are two very distinct things about Monroe, and both were brought to my attention by my sister-in-law, Janet (Kathy’s sister). She had been hoping to find a place to live not too far from New York City when she visited Monroe for the first time. Monroe is a quaint village (as they prefer to be called) in the Hudson Valley area of New York State. However, it didn’t always bear the name Monroe. The village’s original name? Town of Cheesecocks. Nope, I’m not kidding. So far I have only been able to find information about this on Wikipedia (and I haven’t had the chance to go to my local library), but for Wikipedia’s account, here is the link. It is under the History section.

Much more thorough and interesting, is the history of cheeses, and cheesemaking in Monroe, which led up to Velveeta. It is very nicely documented on the Monroe Cheese Festival’s Website, written by James A. Nelson, and can be read at this link. I encourage you to read it, as it illustrates the many twists and turns that can occur for cheese makers over decades of ownership changes… What, I wonder, might have Emil Frey’s Liederkranz tasted like? As to commenting about Velveeta its self. Sorry to disappoint; I’m not going to broach that one today. If YOU have comments that you have to make, use the comment section in the lower right of this posting.

Oh; a quick disclaimer: Although I have written to the Monroe Cheese Festival website to secure permission to use the graphic of their mascot, I haven’t actually heard back yet, so I’d like be sure to credit them, and their website, as being the rightful owners of the graphic, and say that I hope by linking to them that more people learn of their Cheese Festival.