A true addict speaking from the heart
This late summer I arrived early at Camp Abundance Bee Farm (Deltaworkers HQ for the coming years). After stepping into the compounds garden I received a warm welcome of Dawn DeDeaux, our land lady. Not only is Dawn DeDeaux a true New Orleanian and great artist but also the only female winner ever of the Demolition Derby at the Super Dome in New Orleans. So she knows how to rock. The welcome this time was accompanied by Popeye’s fried chicken (more about that soon) but most important were the Old Fashioned and Thunder Cheese, the real smoothers at the compound.
Old Fashioned is the first cocktail Joris and I ever drank in New Orleans. Dawn’s specific Old Fashioned recipe: whiskey, oranges, bitters, maraschino cherries and some magic that none of us campers will ever match.
On to the Thunder Cheese, another magic snack that is so overwhelming in taste that once your mouth has come in contact with it, t, this seductive devil keeps you on your seat craving for more and more and more.
Thunder Cheese is one of the simplest snacks you can imagine but like Dawn’s Old Fashioned’s, this cheese trickster uses magic in its combination of ingredients. Sharp Cheddar, Montery Jack, pecans, dash of mayonaise and a royal amount of red chili pepper flakes create heaven and kicks in like Thunder: Boom!
Thunder Cheese has a dubious history and is not easy to find. We keep its origins close to the city and belong to the group that believes its a true New Orleans recipe. Even though the recipe is online it is a tough one to find in stores around town. There is basically only one good supplier that keeps its secret pretty well hidden. Once you know it and taste it, you won’t share this source with everyone. I will also not do this here but am very happy to share some with you when back in New Orleans. Myths around its origin are conflicted. It might come from the first contacts between the Brits and the Tabasco family. More clear is the history of a few ingredients; the pecan from New Orleans / Louisiana, the red chilli pepper from the Tabasco farms, and the sharp cheddar from British cheddar that accidentally aged during the long trip from the UK to Avery Island. The more dubious ingredients are the Montery Jack cheese, which is already a mix between the spicy South and the cheesy Nnorth, and also the mayonaise (Spanish origins but the French made it the popular sauce) which basically is the basic lubricant in too many good dishes. Maybe the amount of mayo is where the magic of the taste and texture lies.
So if Thunder Cheese is born from the clash between different cultures, the lightning that comes with thunder could be the enlightened conversations that follow after eating this beloved and addictive snack.
In the last months Thunder Cheese has proven to be the holy snack, that combined with misses Dawn’s Old Fashioned’s brings the best in all of us. It serves as the starter for wonderful conversations, heated discussions, artistic projects, juicy stories, pole dancing contests and sometimes even out of world experiences. Thunder Cheese is the true binder of exquisite tastes and our newly found god. We welcome our artists with Thunder Cheese and when the days are too sunny or too rainy, we bring a visit to our supplier to keep the campers calm and happy.
We thank you Thunder Cheese