Dear Dr. Boli: The cheese I bought at a local gourmet market says on the label that it is “100% grass-fed.” What does that mean? I was not aware that cheese ate grass. —Sincerely, A Gourmet Who Is Rapidly Losing Her Appetite for Cheese.
Dear Madam: The cheese you see in markets has, of course, been slaughtered and usually skinned and cut for sale. We seldom have a chance to see the majestic animal roaming free across the vast steppes that were once its home; but if you visit the great cheese farms of Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio, you can still see large herds of cheeses in a domesticated state. In the wild, cheese subsists on whatever scrub and weeds it can find to graze on. Domestic cheese may be fed almost any vegetable garbage, such as potato peels, carrot ends, and broccoli stems; but the best and most expensive cheeses are fed grass only, usually in the form of clippings from a local country club. Dr. Boli hopes that, now that you know how much care has gone into the feeding and slaughtering of the cheese you have just purchased, you have regained your healthy appetite.