# The Big Cheese

May 9, 2020

What is that orange, burger-shaped thing in the picture? It’s a 1,500-pound chunk of cheddar cheese, carved by Troy Landwehr to look like a cheeseburger! Stranger still, it doesn’t even hold a world record for biggest cheese. There’s more than one record because cheese can be made from cow’s milk, or goat, or sheep. The biggest sheep’s milk cheese ever weighed 1,178 pounds, but the biggest goat’s milk cheese ever weighed more than 2,000 pounds! That’s almost as much as a car. It doesn’t take much cheese to top off a burger…do the math to find out how many people this cheese could feed!

Wee ones: How many sides does a square slice of cheese have?

Little kids: If you top 4 crackers with a slice of cheese, then grab 3 more plain crackers, how many crackers do you have for your snack?  Bonus: If you have 8 burgers, and of those 8 there are 2 more with cheese than without, how many cheeseburgers do you have, and how many plain?

Big kids: If you make a burger plain with no cheese, then 2 with cheese, then 1 plain to repeat, then 2 with…is the 19th burger plain or cheese-topped?  Bonus: By the time you’ve made 14 cheeseburgers, how many burgers have you made in total?

The sky’s the limit: If a burger uses just 2 ounces of cheese, how many burgers could have been topped by the cheese from that 1,500-pound sculpture? (Reminder if needed: A pound has 16 ounces.)

Answers:
Wee ones: 4 sides.

Little kids: 7.  Bonus: 5 burgers with cheese, 3 without.

Big kids: It’s plain, since it’s first in a new set of 3.  Bonus: 21 burgers, since you’ve now made 7 full sets of 3 burgers.

The sky’s the limit: 12,000 burgers! There are 8 sets of 2 ounces in a pound, so every pound can top 8 burgers.

### Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.