I have a food addiction. It’s serious. It has nothing to do with the fact that I cook for a living. Or that I blog or develop recipes for meaningful brands. I just like to get down. And I go all in ruthlessly most times.
In my 30-something years knowning myself really well, my obsession with food is a riddle I’ve yet figured out. I’ve dug deep trying to surface the issue. But nothing. I got to thinking, perhaps I just really like to eat. A lot. I have friends and more painfully so, my mother, who simply don’t like to eat. It’s the most bizarre thing ever. Who doesn’t like to eat? My Pilates instructor has eaten in my presence maybe 3 times in the 17 years I’ve known her. Now, there’s something for you to ponder. It’s crazy to the 10th. But okay! To each her own, I guess. As for me, I’ll sit down and eat a full meal or snack on anything in plain view whenever. I’ll admit I’m probably more an emotional eater than anything else. When I’m happy, I go bananas cooking and entertaining myself with everything I’ve created. And then there are moments when I’m anxious, which yield the most dangerous eating habits.
That’s when junk food is my enemy. But the worst of the habits is my 1-2 am jump-out-of-bed ravenous state of mind looking for something salty. And crunchy.
Okay. So that preamble was to talk about healthy and more fun eating options when we know we are driven by emotions. I can’t help but think there’s gotta be a successful way of managing the cravings. And truthfully, the only logical reason to tapering the maniac impulses is to avoid becoming a pudge ball which I have a propensity to be.
I was a healthy 140-someting my last year in college.
Totally unacceptable at my 5’1″ stature.
But, I’ve snacked in between meals my entire life. So, craving food late at night shouldn’t be too surprising. Add I was raised in a culture where we love to entertain and feed people all the time. That means snacks are in abidance in our house. Our repertoire usually consists of guava slices with cream cheese rustically topped on a Cuban cracker. Another treat we love to munch on are those amazing plantain chips.
For those 1 am wake up calls, where I literally thrust myself out of bed and slide down the steps to the kitchen in desparate search of a bag of crunch (this really, really does happen), those could work really well, only I’d punish the entire bag.
On the more sophisticated side, more for entertaining guests, there’s more thought into what we eat. These are the ideal options if I’m going to go into all out fat girl mode at 1. Sometimes. 3 am.
From recent shindigs at home, and probably more typical than not, cheese and crakcers are the numero uno. Everyone looves cheese and crackers. The thing though… I can’t possibly get up in the middle of the night to indulge in a tray full of salty crackers which will only cause me to wake up feeling like shamoo, and start slicing up perfect square slices of gouda. Or even cheddar. I found a fix for that. Remember string cheese?? Didn’t we all love string cheese in our lunch box? It was such the perfect snack out parents argued was our way of getting calcium in our diets.
I’ve recently learned my sister is more of kid than I thought. She’s a Dr. and all, but the biggest school girl woman I know. She loves string cheese like we all loved cotton candy. It’s her snack of choice. No lie. Since when?!? I was shocked, but totally tickled with inducing her inner child since I’ve been working with Sargento. Every few weeks, I’ll stack up and give her a whole of bunch of their string cheese snacks to take to work.
My mother’s caught on to her obsession so she’s started to play around with pulling cheese apart. It’s seemingly too much of a task for her so she simply bites into them. My mom eats ham and cheese, the quintessential snack option in Spain. It’s everywhere. It’s what my mom pulls out when guests are over for a domino smack down. So, it occurred to me to wrap the cheese string her favorite slices of ham and other pork related products.
And then the plan grew. Just make her charcuterie… full of her favorite salamis, hams, etc… filled up with olives, cheese, crackers, figs, cocktail onions, guava and cream cheese sprinkled with almonds. That’s the highlight and oh so good.
Perfection! She loved it. And apart from the cheese string being wrapped in swine, which I don’t eat, I was excited about new midnight munchies I could attack without much guilt. At least if I make her a platter of sorts, and assuming the and her friends don’t injest it all, I’d have some scrapings to enjoy without actually preparing something.
So, if you’re like me and have horrible eating habits at the most inopportune times, consider fancying up a simple, basic, classic cheese snack. Even an absent charcuterie platter will invite a quick pull or two of cheesy strings. It’s absolutely the easiest snack ever. Oh, for some crunch, just keep crackers in close proximity to the cheese. Or not.
What’s your midnight snackage obsession? How do you eat your string cheese?
* this post is part of my flavor journey exploration with Sargento Cheese. All opinions, ideas, stories are my very own. Always authentic and real.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.