Yeah, I’d totally stop the world and melt with you.

The food world has a long-standing love affair with all things cheese. While everyone’s social media feeds perennially seem to be clogged with ever-flowing streams of golden, molten dairy, this obsession goes further back than many of us may think.

Food porn in general has always struck a primal chord in our primitive reptilian brains. I mean, try not feeling things when you see styled cups brimming with the hot and sweaty curvature of melted cheese strands.

The human body is practically hard-wired to respond to this imagery in palpable ways. Need proof? I could tell you more about the cheese pull, but it would make more sense to just show you.

Yeah, just look at that. Hot damn.

You don’t just see an explosion of yellow-orange flavor, you’re invited to the possibility of intimate relations with a thing too glorious to exist on this earth for long. Cheese, the thought and experience of, is incredibly close, intensely visceral, and ever-fleeting.

With everything going on in the real world, one could only wonder how mere mortals could ever come close to reaching cheese’s sublime lactose ideal- all its treasures and secrets. We might want to start with the weather.

Food that looks the way you feel

Don't mind me. I'm just heading to work.

The Manila heat has been particularly oppressive with temperatures clocking in at around 43c on worse days. Remember that scene where Arnold Schwarzenegger jumps into the smelter at the end of Terminator 2? It’s kind of like that. Well, if we could keep our wits together long enough to throw you a thumbs up.

No, really. We're completely fine. Hindi mainit, swear. /sarcasm

Most of us may opt to skip the hot and spicy stuff on warmer (or abusively sweltering) days, but at the end of a long shift, a little comfort definitely goes a long way. A little empathy wouldn’t hurt, especially with food that reflects how we truly feel on the inside- smothered, melting from the scorching heat, but with a well-meaning heart underneath it all.

What is a cheesehole like myself (or practically everyone) supposed to do now? You know what, screw it. I want to melt cheese and slap it on a plate. Wait. Hold on, that’s actually a thing?

Raclettes are a continental European dish that takes a plate of bread, potatoes, as well as an assortment of wonderful things, and blankets them in a warm, loving layer of the good yellow stuff. I’m not sure how long this has been a thing in Manila, but it’s here now, and you can usually get a good scraping for less than Php 300.

Places like Mercato Centrale and the Spectrum Fair feature cheese scrapers on the regular, and specialty stores like Raclette Manila in Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall bring the strange dish front and center. (Note: Raclette’s wing in the Power Plant Mall is under renovation, they might have moved elsewhere since.)

A little cheese should perk you up in no time. Well, it’s not going to solve all your problems but I’m absolutely sure it beats melting in Manila all by yourself.

What are some of your favorite cheesy treats? Let us know at hello@karton.ph!

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