I like to make these little mini pizzas for dinner about once a week, consisting of a pre-made crust, pre-made sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and 9 pepperoni slices. They are very good, and only take about a minute to prepare. I am eating one right now as I write this. Yummmmmmmm.
But I noticed that instructions on the cheese told me to "Use by 07:59 12/22/08" and, unfortunately, this raised more questions than it answered. So I have composed this letter to the fine folks at the dairy:
Dear Mr. (or Ms.) Dairy,
My mozzarella cheese told me to use before 07:59 12/22/08. While I appreciate the guideline on how long the cheese should remain edible, this particular instruction generated more questions in my mind than the number of questions that it answered. In particular:
1. If you are specifying the hour and minute that the cheese expires, why did you not include the seconds?
2. What happens to me if I eat my cheese at 8 AM on December 22nd?
3. What does "use" mean? Does it just have to be cooked by that time, or must it be eaten? Does the preparation stage count? Or, more importantly, if it is still sitting in my stomach at 8 AM will I become violently ill? Or might my face fall off?
4. What takes place in the cheese at 07:59 on December 22nd? Is there an embedded microorganism that releases a colorless, odorless gas that causes the cheese to turn green? Or does the bacteria have its own little alarm clock set to go off at that time?
5. How does the cheese know the date and time anyway? And does its clock compensate for the recent change out of daylight saving time?
6. How do I know the cheese clock is accurate? If it is running fast it will go bad before 7:59, or possibly before December 22nd. This seems important.
7. Which time zone is 07:59 in? Can I prolong the life of my cheese by taking it to the west coast?
8. What is the exact required temperature setting for my refrigerator to make sure that my cheese expires precisely at 07:59 AM on December 22nd? How many times am I allowed to open the door each day? If the refrigerator's light bulb is burned out, what effect does that have on the life of my cheese? What other foods are allowed to cohabitate in the refrigerator with my cheese, and in what quantity?
9. Would it be better for cheese to expire late in the afternoon or evening than the morning? Mozzarella cheese isn't used in very many breakfast foods. And I am very rare up before 7:59 AM. 7:59 AM would make more sense for cheddar; I could use it in an omelette or breakfast burrito.
10. Why is my cheese telling me what to do anyway?
If you have answers to the above questions I would be very grateful for a response.
Thank you for your time, and for a great product (unless you are reading this after 07:59 AM 12/22/08, in which case the product will have expired and no longer be so great).