Here is an important safety message for anyone about to chow down on pizza, pasta or any other food that might be topped with cheese.
Cheese can get hot — very, very hot. And hot cheese burns!
It seems that this would be common knowledge, but I am willing to bet I’m not the first person who has bitten into a fresh, piping hot pizza too soon.
The cheese latches on to the roof of your mouth and within seconds, the blisters form. The next day, you spend hours feeling the blisters with your tongue.
Not too long ago, I had a major four-alarm fire experience worthy of this little write-up.
With summer in full swing (based on recent temperatures, since it technically isn’t summer until June 20) I cleaned up my grill and had a few friends over for a bison juicy Lucy.
A juicy Lucy is a burger that is stuffed with cheese instead of topped with cheese. I first learned about them from the true school of cooking, aka, the Food Network.
I had some ground bison from a recent purchase at the Georgia Buffalo Ranch and Trading Post in Townsend (Read more about them in the June/July issue of Liberty Life, out next week).
I laid out the bottom patties and placed crumbled blue cheese on top. Then I placed the top patties of beef down and pressed softly in the middle while pinching the corners of the patties to seal in the cheese.
Oh boy, these are going to be good!
I placed them on the hot grill and listened to them sizzle as I set out all the condiments that my guests could want. As noted on TV, I took a toothpick and poked little holes in the center to avoid a cheese explosion. After a few minutes, I flipped the burgers and prepped the buns and served.
The burgers looked perfect, and we sat down to feast. Three of my friends and I picked up the burgers and hankered down in anticipation of the first big bite.
CHOMP! Holy bejezus, that cheese is hot, and I don’t mean spicy.
The damage was done. The piping hot cheese oozed out the center of the burger like an exploding Mount Vesuvius. We all reached for the cold water to wash down the bite. The cheese burned its way down my throat.
Seeing the spectacle, my other friend cut her burger in half and waited until it cooled a bit before enjoying her burger.
No fair, I thought.
But despite the burn, that juicy Lucy was the best grilled burger my friends and I had tasted in quite some time. As each day passed, just feeling the blisters on the roof my mouth reminded of just how good it was. It’s time to make another, but next time I’ll definitely wait — or cheat like my friend did and cut it in half once served.
Leon is a Courier staffer who writes about her appetites every other week.