Cheese!Of!The!Day!: Bra

Before we get to Bra, some Mike Wise cheese stories.

The past few days, he's noticed an odor in his Verolengo dorm room. He thought there might have been a problem with the vents or a dead animal. Finally, he began sniffing around. His nose led him to his discarded green vest, where he found some pieces of cheese, wrapped in a napkin, that he had brought down from the mountain a few days ago for me to try. He had forgotten about this, and the cheese had stayed in his vest pocket since then.

"It literally smelled like a dead cat," Mike Wise said. "It was awful. It reminded me of a time I was in the Cayman Islands. I had some cheese in my pocket. I was going to feed these fish when we were going snorkeling. So I had the cheese and it turned into a feeding frenzy. They were coming at me, and I had to hit the fish. Fish were coming at me at all kinds of angles, and I was like 'BAM!' BAM!' [Makes punching motion.] It was unbelievable. Before a barracuda chomped my you-know-whats, I literally had to get out and wash my pockets so they didn't smell like cheese. True story."

Anyhow, Bra. Here's what the Official Guest Cheese Commentator of these games, Steven Jenkins, had to say:

Perhaps Piemonte's best-known cheese. (Fontina is from Aosta, not Piemonte). I love it that a cheese that comes from bosoms is named Bra. (I know Bra is an important town.)

This site will tell you about the Bra Cheese Festival, and also offers a story about the origins of minced donkey in red wine. This site offers historical background:

This skimmed cheese carries the name of Bra, the city which in the past was the center of the Cuneo cheese trading....The Bra cheese, as the legend tells it, used to be, until some decades ago, the main cheese used by the Ligurians during the preparation of the Genovese pesto. The production territory covers all the territory of the province of Cuneo and the territory of Villafranca Piemonte in the province of Turin.

\And urbandictionary.com says Bra Cheese means "brotherly friend" in Oregon.

Sample usage:

Person 1: Whats up Bra Cheese Person 1's close friend: Whats crackin'?

Mike Wise shows off Fondue in a Can, which was not the Cheese!Of!The!Day!

Before we sampled the Bra Cheese tonight, Mike Wise was having a dinner of olive salad, pepperoni, barbeque potato chips and Fondue in a Can.

"It's the worst Fondue I've ever had in my life," Mike Wise said. "Which is my fault, because you don't buy Fondue in a Can, you usually make it with wine and old cheese from home. Dipping barbeque potato chips in it is not so bad.

The comments:

Brilliant columnist and budding cheese expert Sally Jenkins: "[Nodding head]. Best cheese so far, because it's cheesy. It's a wonderful cheese. It sneaks up on you. It's a slow-revealing cheese."

Mike Wise: "I like it, it's actually pretty good. I'm so hungry, I'll eat anything right now. Mild, yet pungent enough where you don't think it's Monterrey Jack."

Nationals beat writer Barry Svrluga, making his first C!O!T!D! appearance: "I'm excited about my first Cheese!Of!The!Day!, but this isn't a cheese that invokes much excitement. Not a criticism. It does cut the spice of the pepperoni nicely."

Mike Wise on Barry's comments: "This comes from a guy for whom American cheddar is a treat. Who died and made him the cheese connoisseur? The guy's watching NASCAR right now. How does that even make him qualified to use the word 'invoke?'" [Note: At the same time, Mike Wise was breaking into the supermarket Swiss he bought me for Valentine's Day.]

Style writer Libby Copeland, as the C!O!T!D! continues to spiral downward: "Why do you always make me eat these fancy cheeses? Your fancy cheeses [stink]. Give me Swiss any day. Actually, this isn't that bad. The Swiss is better. You know what, I actually like Hershey's chocolate. I'm just saying, my tastes aren't that refined."

IT expert Aimee Sanders: "It starts off nice, then it has kind of a moldy taste. Let me try it with a cracker. The cracker kind of masks the moldy taste. I liked the texture and consistency."

Kiwi Curlers fall to 0-8 with a 9-1 loss to Canada tonight. Last chance for a win tomorrow vs. Germany. Canada's win also puts Joel mit der nicknames und other stuff in a precarious position: he must win against "Go Suisse!" and have Canada lose to the U.S. in order to advance to the tiebreaking round. The action starts at 2 p.m. Italian time, 8 a.m. Eastern time on Monday. Recommended snacking options include Fondue in a Can.

By Dan Steinberg |  February 19, 2006; 7:07 PM ET
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Mike Wise seems to have a problem with using pockets as a storage venue for cheese. It's the only time I've ever heard of someone stuffing cheese into a pocket (outside of my daughter when she was four)...and yet, he's done it twice that we know of.

Libby ought to be careful, in the Alps even calling Hershey's 'chocolate' my be an offense worthy of being drawn and quartered, stoned, or forced to talk to Bob Costas.

Posted by: Kim | February 19, 2006 07:47 PM

Ask the WiseGuy about the apples he supposedly was "given" from the lobby bowl in his health club, left in his gym bag for days in his truck, baked in pie and brought it to our Thanksgiving?!

Obviously,I am the only one who did not touch this pie and lived to write about it!!!

Have an awesome last week in Torino-TWP!!! Thank you.

Posted by: Wise Girls-DC | February 19, 2006 09:52 PM

I posted a mostly cheesy comment to your Olympic Nights page, it would have been better here. Only, I closed the message after writing that I felt like giving you two benevolent hints, and in fact I gave you only one. Since I am now too drunk to remember the second, I will try to make up for that. Maybe by leaving a mysterious envelope at the Alpine Hut of Cheese.

Posted by: piero | February 20, 2006 09:46 AM

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