Michele Humes (I live in New York and I write about food.)

Nothing Makes Me Want A Piping Hot Slice Of Cheese On Toast Like ‘Heidi’ Does

The word “cheese” appears 27 times in Johanna Spyri’s famous novella for children, Heidi. (Well, in its English translation, at any rate.) I recently revisited the text after a great many years, and was surprised to find that I remembered my favorite cheese passages almost word for word.

Here are the best ones:

“and meanwhile the old man held a large piece of cheese on a long iron fork over the fire, turning it round and round till it was toasted a nice golden yellow color on each side. Heidi watched all that was going on with eager curiosity.”

“the child…was now hungrily beginning her bread having first spread it with the cheese, which after being toasted was soft as butter; the two together tasted deliciously, and the child looked the picture of content as she sat eating, and at intervals taking further draughts of milk.”

“The grandfather meanwhile had been preparing the meal, and now appeared with a steaming jug of milk and golden-brown toasted cheese. Then he cut some thin slices from the meat he had cured himself in the pure air, and the doctor enjoyed his dinner better than he had for a whole year past.”