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  • In 2007, Richard Sandomir (a sportswriter for The Times) and Mark Reiter published a fun little miscellany, “The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything,” which applied the “science” of sports tournament brackets to everything from cheese (the winner: sbrinz) to male opera arias (“Nessun dorma”).

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  • A hard cheese made in Switzerland, where it is used as a kind of Parmesan substitute. A similar cheese is made in the Prekmurje region of Slovenia, where it is called by the same name, only with a Slovene spelling: zbrinc. I have only tried the Slovene version, and it's not bad, but I still prefer Parmesan (the real Parmigiano reggiano from Parma you grate yourself, not the packaged powder you sprinkle on top of ground-beef spaghetti sauce).

    August 12, 2008