There are so many different styles of cheese; fresh, soft-ripened, semi-soft, firm/hard, blue, natural-rind, waxed rind and processed to name a few.
You can buy cheese by the round, the brick, and the triangle, shredded, grated, or sliced.
You can buy it at your local grocery store, delis, online (they actually have a “Cheese of the Month” club), or direct from the farmers.
Cheese, like wine; have different tastes, aromas, pairing (to foods), and colors.
Here in the United States, cheese can come from the milk of cows, goats, sheep or a blend. (The FDA regulates that any cheese aged fewer than 60 days will be made from pasteurized milk; however, those cheeses aged beyond 60 days may be made from non-pasteurized, or “raw,” milk.)
So how do we decide what cheese goes best with what? Taste! Again, like wine; if you don’t taste it, you won’t know. Cheese can be very mild in flavor to very pungent, some have smokiness to them, some are sharp in flavor, and some have very little taste at all.
Over this next week; we will go over some of the most popular cheeses and some of the hidden gems of the dairy world. We will discuss which cheese is best for certain dishes and some are better left for the crackers.
So, put a smile on your face and say “CHEESE!”