Curd Quips: Blessed are the cheesemakers

â??Bless your heart.â?

If you have been raised in the South you know that this simple phrase can be construed or delivered many different ways. Not all of them good.

So when I read a campaign for a cheese company (from a Northern retailer) that featured â??blessed are the cheesemakersâ? as its centerpiece, I stopped. Was this for real?

Consider that beyond a potential play on southern words, there was Monty Python. In their film â??Life of Brianâ? â?? The Sermon on the Mount is, how should I say this, umâ?¦misheard? Irrespective, the result is that (in the film) â??blessed are the cheese-makersâ? may (or may not) have replaced â??blessed are the peacemakersâ?. Itâ??s hard to tell, I was not there to hear either speech.

So, if you follow the Bible version, in Matthew (5:9), the Cheese-makers (or peacemakers) are to be called â??sons of God.â? Now while both peacemakers and cheese makers each bring blessings (and a world of good), maybe you can sense my dilemma. Which is it- Cheesemakers or Peacemakers that are to be blessed?

In the Monty Python film version itâ??s the cheese-makers that are being blessed. In the Bible, itâ??s the Peacemakers. So can we reconcile this or do we need to? Itâ??s not a dilemma to me, as I see both as possibilities. Allow me a moment to explain.

Consider that there is an impossibly long chain of events that bring cheese to the table. Events that (in my story) begin with comprehensive land and water management and that are quickly followed by careful animal husbandry. An intense dedication to craft and consumer respect follow to put cheese on your table. Add all of that to a litany of recent studies that have confirmed the opiate effect of the brain when eating cheese. Cheese eating elicits a feeling of peace.

So with that awareness does cheesemaking rise to the Biblical standard? I will let you be the judge of that. In the interim, I hope that we can all agree that itâ??s time for more peace. Take the time together with family and friends (or acquaintances) to enjoy just how many blessings that we have. Consider enjoying a â??peaceâ? of cheese with that too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Jeffery Mitchell is the owner of the Culpeper Cheese Company. He is also a freelance contributor with the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at jeffery@culpepercheese.com or 540-827-4757.