A World of Cheeses with a World of Flavor!

Did you know there are over 1,000 types of cheese to choose from? There are hard cheeses, soft cheeses, blue cheeses, cheese that is perfect for melting, and strongly flavored cheeses perfect for grating over a dish.

Each one has its own distinct flavor and texture. Cheese expert, Liana (www.lianaskitchen.co.uk) guides us through the world’s most popular cheese choices:

STILTON: a distinctive English blue cheese; creamy white texture and marbled blue veins streaking throughout: strong, distinctive flavor. It’s perfect on crackers and also makes a great base for a strong blue cheese sauce. It can be crumbled over salads and is delicious paired with apples, walnuts and honey. Stilton is also good when added to a hot soup, especially broccoli.

CHEDDAR: a versatile English cheese with mild, medium, or sharp flavor; perfect for sandwiches, in sauces, grated over meals or as an addition to any recipe that requires a cheese base.

MOZZARELLA: a soft Italian; if you buy traditional mozzarella it is usually served very fresh, within a day of it being made because of its high water content. The fresh version comes in balls (fresh or in brine). Low moisture content varieties can be kept longer, and are easier to work with (so they will shred). Its taste is mild and is soft, pliable, and usually pale white. It’s THE favorite for pizza.

GOUDA: a buttery type cheese with creamy texture and distinctive nutty taste. It’s a semi-hard cheese that gets harder with age. Its taste also more pungent taste with age. It melts well, making it perfect for toasted sandwiches and pizza. Its mild flavor makes it a good choice for cheese boards and sandwiches.

EMMENTAL: an iconic cheese, full of holes with a mild flavor and color. Smooth in texture, it’s usually used in sandwiches. It melts well, so any recipe that requires melted cheese is perfect.

FETA: a soft cheese perfect for salads; its name literally means ‘slice’ because of how it’s sliced into blocks and then sold in small slices. Originally made in Greece, this is a cheese made from brined curds, and it forms a distinctive crumbly texture. Found in Greek recipes, it’s often cubed or crumbled and is the perfect cheese for omelets. It melts well and is good in sauces.

BRIE: a soft French cheese, it’s pale yellow; both the cheese and the rind are edible. Its soft, buttery flavor and creamy texture make it perfect as part of a cheese board, and it works well spread on crackers or bread. It’s also delicious when baked for starter or side dish.

PARMESAN: an Italian restaurant staple, it’s a very hard cheese with a dry texture, strong nutty flavor and strong aroma. It’s aged for at least two years. The aging gives it the hard texture and a dark rind. It’s traditionally grated or shredded over pasta dishes or melted into soups. Always save the fresh rinds; they bring amazing flavor to soups and chowders.

GRUYERE: a semi-hard cheese, similar to cheddar in texture, with a similar pale yellow color. It has a nutty taste and mild (but distinctive) flavor. It’s perfect served cold on a platter, cheese board or in a sandwich. It’s also wonderfully melty.

CAMEMBERT: a soft cheese with a super silky texture and is noted for its pale soft texture and bloomy white rind. Good on cheese boards, spread on crackers or baked as a side dish.

Each cheese’s flavor comes from the diet that the animal ate. This is before you even get to the ingredients and process to make each cheese. It is this wide variety of techniques and ingredients that means we have over a thousand types of cheese to choose from! Try this lovely Camembert Bake (from www.jamieoliver.com) and see if this flavor isn’t beyond delicious.

Baked Camembert


250 grams camembert cheese
1 clove garlic
few tips fresh rosemary
extra virgin olive oil
bite-size pieces of stale bread
few sprigs fresh rosemary
extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch sea salt
1 small handful dried cranberries
1 small handful mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Leaving it in the box, score around the top of a 250g Camembert about ½ cm in and cut off the top layer of skin. Finely slice a peeled garlic clove and poke it into the top of the cheese with a few fresh rosemary tips. Drizzle with a little olive oil then bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until gorgeous and oozy in the middle.
Thread bite-sized pieces of stale bread onto stripped woody rosemary sprigs, drizzle them with olive oil and a tiny pinch of sea salt to help them crisp up then lay them on a tray and pop in the oven to cook with the Camembert.
Finely chop a small handful of dried cranberries and mixed nuts and put them in a little bowl. Once your bread skewers are golden and crisp and your cheese is oozy, put everything out on a board then dunk a bit of toasted bread in the gooey cheese and dip it in the cranberry and nuts.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

  •   www.skh.com
  •   www.cheesemaking.com
  •   www.wisconsincheese.com
  •   www.cheese.com
  •   www.cheesemaking.com
  •   www.murrayscheese.com
  •   www.amazon.com

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