Kraft-Crayola String Cheese Sticks
I don't know why I can spend an inordinate amount of time examining nutrition labels but I can't take 30 seconds to look more closely at a package of cheese.
Ever susceptible to the lure of special-edition products, I noticed what appeared to be a package of string cheese sticks colored and shaped like crayons. I figured it was some sort of joint marketing ploy between Kraft and Crayola for back-to-school, so I grabbed a package with vague thought of making some really weird, psychedelic fried cheese sticks. Or maybe even pretending to color with cheese? Additionally enticing was the offer of a coupon for $3 off Crayola products, a boon for me since I'm forever amassing art supplies.
I threw the cheese-cum-crayons into my fridge and only upon closer (okay, ANY) inspection the following day, I discovered there's nothing at all colorful about this cheese. Okay, the sticks do boast a barbershop pole twist orange and yellow-white design because they're a mix of cheddar and mozzarella varieties, but there's nothing even vaguely in the shape or color of a Crayola crayon. WTF.
I did, indeed, find a coupon inside, but now I'm too embarrassed to use it, as it is apparent from my ability to be fooled by the color outline of a crayon on plastic that my perception skills are as advanced as a two-year-old's. Which makes buying crayons particularly poignant. But maybe I'll get this instead.
They looked so promising on the pan.
Photo by Joanna O'Leary.
Anyway, so as not to waste my "cheese crayons," I attempted to make panko cheese sticks using this recipe from Tasty Kitchen. But my vision continued to fail. Although delightful photos accompanied each part of the instructions, I missed one key step: place your tray of breaded cheese sticks into the freezer for 20-30 minutes before pan frying them.
What thus emerged when I attempted to fry my breaded cheese crayons was disgusting puddles of partially burned cheese and bread crumbs. A result so offensive, in fact, that I do not believe a photograph of it would be suitable for children. Or anyone, really, who takes pride in a good fried cheese stick.
Sometime, I'll give homemade fried cheese sticks another go, and in the meantime, I'm gonna invest in some art supplies and maybe a pair of reading glasses.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.