They can be found in the supermarket, they are often a common appearance during the holidays, and if you’re like many people, you may be wondering precisely what purpose they serve?! That’s right, this is all about that mysterious, delicious party food called the Cheeseball!
For those who are considering just how many occasions really call for a bit of cheddar cheese rolled in roasted almond slices, the people who support National Cheeseball Day believe that the answer is ALL of them!
Also, don’t forget that cheeseballs can also be those little, round, shockingly orange corn puffs that are covered with powdered cheese! Definitely a younger person’s idea of what a cheese ball is, this is still a legitimate snack to appreciate.
Whichever style is chosen or preferred, National Cheeseball Day celebrates these odd little culinary mainstays and encourages everyone to explore the history behind them and how they came to be what they are today.
Who knows? National Cheeseball Day may even find a lot of unlikely people creating their own cheeseballs and adding them to their regular fare!
History of National Cheeseball Day
The background of National Cheeseball Day starts at an unusual point in history–when the first cheese ball appeared at, perhaps one of the most unexpected of places, the White House.
In the early 1800s, there was a farmer by the name of Elisha Brown, Jr. who was seeking to present an unusual gift to then President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. So it was this desire that allowed an unbelievably massive ball of cheese to wind up on the White House lawn.
How massive? 1,235 pounds to be exact! Now that is a huge ball of cheese. It’s a little wonder that it eventually became known as “The Mammoth Cheese”.
From that point, the cheese ball seemed to have disappeared into culinary history for nearly 150 years. It then had the good fortune to resurface in 1944 in a book by Virginia Safford called Food of My Friends. In this book, a recipe was included for the Cheese Ball, and it wasn’t long after that it found itself a staple of cuisine.
Can it truly be considered a cuisine, though? Well, that description does seem to require that there is more than one variation, doesn’t it? And the experience of most people, is that they have probably only seen the variety that’s rolled in toasted almonds. Believe it or not, though, there are hundreds of varieties of cheese balls available for every imaginable occasion!
Cheeseballs can be made of almost any kind of cheese, and then rolled in almost anything that can be imagined! Perhaps there isn’t even an “almost” to be said here. Some people have made cheese balls rolled in crushed Oreos, sparkly confetti topping, diced onions, peppers and garlic.
Anything that goes well with cheese (and perhaps a few things, like Oreos, that wouldn’t normally be thought of as ‘good with cheese’?) can be repurposed into the coating for a cheese ball.
Getting creative and exploring new tastes, while also offering a nod to the classics, is what Cheese Ball Day is all about!
How to Celebrate National Cheeseball Day
Celebrating National Cheeseball Day means not only eating cheeseballs, but also enjoying other ‘cheesy’ things as well! Try out these ideas:
Enjoy Eating a Cheese Ball
The best way to celebrate National Cheeseball Day is simply to indulge in the delicious treat that is the cheeseball. Get your favorite dipping implement, whether that’s crackers, bread, or even bits of meat, and go to town with a cheese ball.
Other delectable items that can be dipped into a cheeseball include:
- Slices of apple or pear
- Pretzel sticks or pretzel twists
- Toasted mini bagel chips
- Pita triangles
- Fresh vegetables (carrot sticks, celery sticks, cauliflower)
- Graham Crackers (for the sweeter cheese balls)
Make a Cheese Ball at Home
Do a little bit of research and create a unique, culinary cheeseball creation at home to share it with friends, family, neighbors or coworkers. Remember, little events like this are always popular at the office, and imagine how many types of cheese balls can be discovered then! (Or… maybe there will just be a lot of almond covered ones.)
A traditional cheese ball appetizer includes ingredients such as cream cheese, cheddar cheese, brie, sour cream, garlic powder and other spices. Some people like to create a spicy version that uses hot pepper sauce. Other people like to include a splash of Worcester sauce. Add Thai Sweet Chili sauce and serve with wontons!
Throw a Cheeseball Party
For those people who have a collection of friends who enjoy a ‘fortified blog of cream cheese’, the only option is to grab a friend and host a fun and exciting cheese ball party!
Of course the main food that is served must be cheeseballs, but that doesn’t’ have to be boring. There can be cheeseballs made in the normal way, but other options include an Asian theme, Pepper Jack, Hawaiian theme (with pineapple, of course), Cranberry Pecan and even dessert cheeseballs made with Oreo cookies!
At this party, feel free to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 film, which features an excellent scene where Alvin converts the song “Stayin’ Alive” into an entire montage about being a Cheese Ball Man!
Since the theme of the party is everything cheese, have guests wear their ‘cheesiest’ clothes, and don’t forget to play ‘cheesy’ music! In addition to Alvin’s Cheese Ball song, try a variety of songs such as these:
- Cheese Please (2017) by Fred Molin
- Wrecking Ball (2013) Miley Cyrus
- Mice Eat Cheese (2001) Modest Mouse
- Great Balls of Fire (1961) Jerry Lee Lewis
- Cheesy Love Song (2020) The Lazy Eyes