Yesteryear’s Memories: Roll That Cheese”

April 27, 2021

There are a lot of traditions that made their way to our region…. and a fun one is cheese rolling. In England, a large cheese was (and still is) sent rolling down a steep hill. The participants then take off running after it. The apparent goal is to catch up with it but few are able to do so without falling, and falling numerous times. Banged up knees, bruises and bleeding are common. In Italy, cheeses are rolled down the street and judged on accuracy, distance, and likely whatever result may be dictated by the amount of wine that has been consumed by the judges. It’s a festive event that survived for generations into our recent history. As a child, cheese rolls were still held in Wamac in the spring but I was never allowed to attend, perhaps for my parent’s fear of being drawn into the seductive sport and the almost obligatory consumption of alcohol. Since I didn’t get to go, I can’t report on exactly what happened at those joyous occasions.

Maybe cheese rolling will come back on a larger scale, and we will get to experience the excitement of food being paraded through the streets again. It beats watching some overpaid celebrity’s antics on TV — and the spring air and sunshine will help our immune system. And yes, red wine is actually good for you.

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