Monday, June 22, 2009

get to know your cheeses better....



I am a really big cheese fan and often wish that I lived in a giant wheel of cheese that I could munch on all day.
I also do a lot of cooking with cheeses. I came across this list, which I found very useful, and recommend that those who are wanting to put together a cheese platter, have a look at it.
There is nothing worse than buying an expensive bloc of cheese that tastes like plastic and smells like your grandfathers toe jam.
(It’s happened to me!)
Always insist on trying cheeses before you buy them, so that you can familiarise yourselves with them.
This list was also courtesy of Checkers.

Your guide to our wide selection of cheeses

Blue Cheese - A rich cheese that is ideal for flavouring a wide variety of foods due to its pungent, peppery taste. Crumble over salads and soup.

Boerenkaas - An ideal table cheese with a distinct nutty flavour that becomes stronger and somewhat fruity as it matures. Can be enjoyed on sandwiches, in soups and fondues.

Boursin - This soft, garlicky, little cheese is well-flavoured with herbs and was created by Monsieur Boursin in 1957. Serve with fresh baguettes or as a canapé topping.

Brie - Also known as "The Queen of Cheeses" and best enjoyed with light- to medium-bodied red wines. Try deep-frying it and serving it with fresh figs, or wait until it’s perfectly ripe and enjoy it on crusty croissants with preserves.

Camembert - The rich, strong flavour of Camembert deserves to be savoured. Try baking it whole and serving with French bread.

Cheddar – This is a firm cheese with a smooth texture - ideal for everyday use on sandwiches, snacks or for cooking purposes. Try it matured for a stronger flavour.

Cheshire - Cheshire is firm in texture and slightly more crumbly than Cheddar. It is rich, mellow and slightly salty with an excellent aftertaste. Add it to a fluffy soufflé or omelette.

Cottage Cheese - This is one of the most versatile cheeses around. It is low in fat and an excellent source of protein. Use as a dip for fresh veggies or enjoy it on a sandwich with cold meats and leafy greens.

Edam - A semi-soft, mellow and nutty cheese that is famous for its distinctive red wax coating.

Emmental – The famous holey Swiss cheese has a very tasty, nutty character that makes for a great table cheese. Wonderful in savoury pastries or with fruit and relish.

Feta - The distinctive, tangy taste of feta adds zing to salads, pasta, pizza, burgers or even potatoes.

Goat's Milk Cheese - Goat's Milk Cheeses are mostly soft in texture and can be eaten fresh, blue veined or with natural mould on the rind. Superb crumbled over salty baked potatoes.

Gorgonzola - A mild and creamy, pale yellow, blue-veined cheese from just outside Milan in Italy. Excellent in salads and dips.

Gouda - Named after the Dutch town, this sweet and mild cheese is delicious with bread and pickles.

Gruyère - This firm, fruity, dark yellow cheese has a wonderful complexity and is best appreciated with a full-bodied wine. Also delicious grated over French onion soup.

Halloumi - This semi-hard to hard cheese has a mild, yet tangy flavour that is best shown when it’s melted. Coat slices in flour, pan-fry them in butter until they ooze, and serve with lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper for an irresistible snack.

Harvati - A semi-soft, mildly sweet and creamy cheese that can be enjoyed on its own, or in a sandwich with cucumber and fresh dill.

Maasdam - A sweet, buttery cheese that is ideal for serving as a snack. Also lovely on grilled sandwiches.

Mascarpone - A creamy cheese that can be used to enrich a variety of desserts and sauces. Also used to make the famous Italian dessert, Tiramisu.

Mozzarella - This semi-soft cheese melts well, making it great on pizza. Its subtle flavour is best savoured with tomatoes and basil in a Caprese salad, especially when using the traditional and coveted mozzarella di bufala, which is made from buffalo’s milk rather than cow’s milk.

Parmesan - A hard, straw-coloured cheese with a thick crust and strong flavour - often finely grated and sprinkled over pastas, or shaved into slivers and scatted over salads. Authentic Parmigiano Reggiano comes from a single region of Italy, and is adored worldwide.

Pecorino - This favourite grating cheese has a distinctive salty taste with a fruity tang and is a great wine companion. Try it as a stuffing for tomatoes or mushrooms.

Raclette – It’s characterised by an authentic, rich, full flavour and is produced on both the Swiss and French sides of the Alps. A very good cooking cheese, delicious with ham.

Ricotta - A mild, crumbly, versatile cheese that can be used for filling sweet or savoury tarts. Ricotta is also often used in classic Italian lasagne. It is low in fat and its subtle flavour works well with ripe salted avocado.

Roquefort - The "King of Cheeses" is intense and complex with a thick and creamy texture. Delicious in a lunchtime salad with a sweet Riesling.

Stilton - A great after-dinner cheese that goes especially well with a glass of Port. Stilton also makes an excellent topping on baked potatoes.

Taleggio - A characterful cheese with a wide range of flavours and a strong aroma. Serve as the hero of the cheeseboard, on walnut bread or with fruit.

3 comments:

The One said...

hmmm cheeese yum yum nom nom nom

Amy Hopkins said...

nom nom nom nom nom

Luca Vincenzo said...

thank you for this :) good reference.