I was eating some really horrible eggplant parmigiana from a local euro-yuppie-sludge outfit, and I suddenly noticed that in all the time I had been eating food from this place, they have never skimped on the cheese.

To me, cheese is probably the most important thing in everything, and there's never enough. This place always seems to include more than enough cheese, in fact, this place includes so much cheese that I was actually having the thought that i'm about to describe to you right now.

"I wonder if this place has way too much cheese and they need to get rid of it quickly"

Which then made me wonder:

"I wonder if this place's cheese is stolen, because why else would one so hastily want to dispense with cheese?"

Which then made me wonder:

"If someone gave me a million dollars worth of cheese, how would I go about liquidating it as soon as possible into cold hard cash?"

I mean, if I had a million dollars worth of cheese, how could I turn that into money? I could sell it to supermarkets, but in order to do that I would need refrigerated cheese trucks and the know-how to transport large quantities of cheese from one place to another. And really, what kind of shady supermarket would buy a million dollars worth of cheese from some guy?

It'd be quite disconcerting to me if I found out that my cheese supply was coming from some independent cheese collector or inheritor of a large cheese fortune.

So i'm betting i'd have to bribe a large number of supermarkets and give them extremely good deals on the cheese in order to make it impossible for them NOT to say yes to my crooked cheese dealings.

Keep in mind that all of these cheese shenanigans are going on while the clock is ticking -- the cheese is not getting any younger.

Which then made me think

"I bet if you sold your soul to the devil or something, he'd pull this sort of crap on you."

Man, I hate the devil.

If you are moderating this writeup, you might want to read the previous one as well.

I mean, if I had a million dollars worth of cheese, how could I turn that into money?

If I were you, I'd sell it to a number of major supermarket chains. Assuming the cheese is good quality, they would undoubtedly buy it if you could offer, say, a 60% price reduction. That's still $400,000 to you. I base this on what happened here in the UK during the BSE crisis. Major supermarkets found Beef wasn't selling at its normal price, so they cut the price. In half.

A lot of lower income people don't buy beef regularly because it is expensive compared to, say, baked beans. When they found they could buy beef - and thus raise their standard of living - they did. It practically walked off the shelves. Good cheese is similar: the nutrition per dollar is low compared with cheaper foods. Resultantly, most cheese buyers come from income groups where they can afford the luxury taste of good cheese.

Clearly, cheese isn't going to be as popular as beef, because it simply isn't as nice, but at a sufficient discount, I expect they would be willing to buy quite an amount, seen as it would be distributed nationally.

On the transport issue, you probably wouldn't need that much in terms of shipping. The majority of supermarkets have their own regional distribution depots, and you would only have to deliver to these and they would ship it to their stores. You don't see lorries for every different supplier in supermarkets' loading docks, right?

Obviously, you don't actually have a million dollars' worth of cheese, but if you did, supermarkets are the way to go if you ask me.

Depending on the type of cheese, it may well increase in value over time, if stored properly. If it's been pastuerized however, all bets are off. At that point the cheese is' dead' and will no longer improve with age.

It's more likely that the restaurant simply layers on the cheese as a relatively cheap and easy way to add flavor and richness to the dish.
It is not uncommon in some of the wrong kinds of bars to be approached by unsavoury hoods with trenchcoats full of, uh, savoury goods. "Psst. Buddy! Wanna buy some..." (you try to fill it in for him - Car stereo? Rock? Little Boys?) "... cheese?"

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and realise that yes - you were just offered some cheese by the kind of man you'd cross the street to avoid encountering. Maybe some Gorgonzola or some nice Jarlsberg... but waitasec, this guy can't even afford to launder his clothes from the smell of things... or maybe that's the Limburger? - so how did he get his hands on these fine exotic cheeses?

Often social assistance - welfare - will issue food stamps to households who are having a harder time paying the rent than filling the bellies. The strategy here is to get what expensive or specialty foods they can with the stamps and then to try to pawn them off for the best price, liquidating their stamp-assets for money to be spent on things like clothes, cheaper food (1 Bavarian sausage = a flat of Kraft dinner, baby!) and, uh, booze, smokes, whatever else is needed.

In short, food stamps aren't generally redeemable for currency - though they are redeemable for cheese, which is redeemable for cashola. This underground economy isn't quite the use of cheese as currency (hey, can you break a Feta? I'm two Camemberts short!) but is the closest regular phenomenon to it in that industrialised world we all know and love.

No intent to malign lower-income families here or elsewhere is intended in this write-up and I respect and stand by their ability to redeem their stamps and coupons however they see fit.

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