Sue Z. Celebrates the Cheeseball

by Sue Zelickson, Tastemaker in Residence 

We celebrate games with footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, volleyballs, basketballs, golf balls, and pinballs; but who celebrates with cheese balls?  

I guess someone thought they deserved their own celebration… So maybe this is why on April 17th cheeseballs will be on display...

The parties of the past, I’m talking the 40’s, 50’s maybe the 60's and 70’s, the cheese ball was not only a welcomed guest, but it took center stage on the buffet or coffee table. Every cheeseball was always completely surrounded by a multitude of crackers waiting to be spread upon. You can still buy these round delights full of a variety of cheeses covered with nuts, seeds, herbs or spices in supermarkets or cheese shops already rolled out in various sizes and ready for your guests…Or you can make your own. 
My favorites are the cream cheese ball mixed with horseradish or jalapeño jelly. If you choose the horseradish you can also add some chopped onion, Worcestershire, parsley, salt and pepper and/or be creative and add other cheeses to the cream cheese. Prepare the ball with room temperature cheese then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Serve with Wheat Thins or Carr’s water crackers.    
When last-minute guests grace your door, you can quickly spread the cheese into ramekins and cover it with either prepared, in a jar, horseradish or one of the many pepper jellies in the market, rather than mixing it in before making the ball.  So quick. So easy. 
The delicious flavor is still there, but it just would not be proper to prepare it that way on National Cheese Ball Day.