Which word when coupled with ‘cheese’ doesn’t make you salivate? Chalk - yeah, all right, that’s for asking stupid questions. But even ‘fish’ by making it sound similar to ‘fish and chips’ - creates a pleasing combination.
What bothers me is the grammar: ‘cauliflower cheese’, ‘macaroni cheese’; is ‘cheese’ the main noun or the modifier? To put it in simpler terms: is it ‘cheesed cauliflower’ or the opposite - cheese flavoured with a bit of cauli?
I’ve tried to do some comparative research using Italian material: melanzane parmigiana, or alla parmigiana; but having no Italian consultants to hand to explain, my brain steamed up. Parmiciana is actually the roof tile pattern that the aubergine slices are made to resemble. Well - it isn’t like the cauliflower is made to resemble cheese.
The French have a similar puzzle-phrase: croque-monsieur. I’m confused: is it ‘man-bite’ (literal translation; uncannily like ‘man-flu’), or is it ‘bite, man!’? Admittedly, it makes slightly more sense than ‘cheese in the shape of cauliflower’ but by no means describes what it is that you are supposed to bite into, man.
Before I start adding investing more random combinations of cheese and foodstuffs, I’ll share this quite conservative product: broccoli cheese. And that’s what I’ll call my working thesis: a vegetable plus cheese = result. Notwithstanding a toasted cheese sandwich which might just be the ticket: simple, clearly named and possibly my desert island dish.