a block of Applewood, yesterday.

Applewood. It’s a nice, wholesome-sounding name, isn’t it? It conjures up images of fresh, crunchy apples, scrumped* by ruddy-cheeked young ragamuffins from woods replete with all the scenes of a classic, British summer’s day – birds chirruping in the branches, a lazy brook babbling by, a young couple exploring each other on the grass. You get the picture. Applewood. It’s a nice name.

Upon purchase of said Applewood, I was thus led to expect something wholesome, traditional, artisanal – a smoked cheese worthy of the kilns of my forefathers. (My actual forefathers wouldn’t have known a smoked cheese had it fallen into their hamentaschen, but I’m not going to let the realities of my lineage get in the way of a good metaphor.) However, a close inspection of the packet – want to spot an Average Food Blogger? You can find us in the dairy section in ill-fitting corduroy, staring at produce through a monocle – revealed something most unedifying: Applewood is not actually smoked cheese at all, but merely smoke flavoured cheese.

‘Smoke flavoured cheese’ sounds deeply suspicious. The notion that Applewood (which appears to be the name of the charlatans behind the eponymous product) couldn’t even be bothered to build a sodding fire and waft some cheese through the smoke is deeply saddening, and no doubt indicative of the nature of modern capitalism – just inject some ‘smoke flavour’ into a block of bog standard cheddar and sell it for £1.50 a pop.

And what exactly is ‘smoke flavour’ anyway? I know, let’s look at the ingredients. After all, that is the part of the food packet than can traditionally be trusted to tell the consumer what is in the food, is it not?

Ladies and gentlemen. I defecate you not. Listed among Applewood’s primary ingredients is ‘smoke flavour’. In other words, smoke flavour appears to be a mysterious Thing-In-Itself, an entity incapable of being metaphysically carved-up into constituent parts, a Prime Mover, A Leibnizian monad.

Either that, or Applewood are trying to pull a fast one here.

I demand answers, Applewood! Until then, you can stick your quack cheese up your collective fundaments. (Which is, incidentally, not a bad shout as to where the flavour comes from.)

*why are apples the only fruit the theft of which necessitates its own verb? This is not a riddle, I really want to know. Smart-arses should write in at the usual address.


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