I think it’s safe to say that the phrase “They’re coming to take away your cheese!” has never been uttered in recorded history—or, at least, uttered and meant. Or, at least, uttered and meant literally.* Yet you’d think it was one of the great fascist plots of our time based on the reaction I got when I suggested that swapping mashed roasted sweet potatoes for cheese in a quesadilla makes for a delicious treat.
* With the arguable exception of a single incident involving a particularly ripe wheel of Stilton and a police department that had quotas to meet. Mrs. Nesbitt of Great Gidding still claims that, as she was house-sitting at the time, it was actually her neighbor’s cheese they were coming to take away.
You know what’s delicious? Replace the cheese in any quesadilla recipe with roasted mashed sweet potato.
— Sexy Kenji López-Alt (@kenjilopezalt) October 26, 2017
Some responded with poor logic: “Why do you hate cheese?” (As ridiculous as suggesting I hate pepperoni because I decided to put sausage on my pizza.)
Some took nutritional offense: “Cheese is less unhealthy than the empty carbs in effing sweet potatoes. The USDA Food Pyramid has always been a lie.” (Someone needs to brush up on both their sweet potato nutrition facts and their “replying with relevant responses” skills.)
Still others tried to confound me with nomenclature-based pedantry: “that’s a sweet potato sandwich.” (This suggests that a plain old cheese quesadilla is a sandwich, which is as silly as suggesting a hot dog is. Moreover, as I discovered in Mexico City last year, cheese-free quesadillas are indeed a real thing—the name refers to the form rather than the contents, sort of like the American descriptor “chicken-fried,” as in chicken-fried steak or chicken-fried chicken.)
Well, I’m here today to tell you three things:
- A) Nobody is taking away your cheese.
2) “To like” is not a zero-sum game. Liking one new thing doesn’t prevent you from liking everything you liked before, including, and perhaps especially, cheese.
D) Those of you who actually try this sweet potato quesadilla (or batatadilla, if you prefer) will be rewarded with deliciousness and deliciosity combined.