Wheels Of Cheese

Mammoth Cheese

The Cheshire Mammoth Cheese was a gift from the town of Cheshire, Massachusetts to President Thomas Jefferson in 1802. The cheese was created by combining the milk from every cow in the town, and made in a makeshift cheese press to handle the cheese’s size. The cheese bore the Jeffersonian motto “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

I’ve long complained that we don’t apply enough pomp and circumstance to our eating habits. Everything else on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs maintains some mysticism or grandiosity, but those who handle or dispense our food are often some of the lowest paid people in society.

You could point at high priced restaurants/foodies/celebrity chefs as proof to the contrary, but go ask the farmer who supplies the produce, or the grocery store clerk who stocks it, or even the waiter who denies the temptation to spit into it as it moves towards your table, and you’ll likely find someone making a barely livable wage.

The final product weighed between 1200 and 1600 pounds, was four feet wide, and fifteen inches thick. Due to its size, it could not safely be transported on wheels, so the town hired a sleigh to bring it to Washington, D.C. during the snowy winter months. With Leland steering the sleigh, the three week, 500 mile trip became an event from town to town as word spread about the gift.