|A little breakfast plate! YUM|
Being a true cheese connoisseur is a badge of honor. I consider myself in only the beginning rankings of this prestigious title. Knowing the cheeses is only half the battle. One should also be aware of how to serve them and what pairings work best. Gorgonzola can be quite strong all by it's lonesome, but if you melt it into a cream sauce and serve it over pork chops with pan-seared pears....it's sublime. I like to keep no less than 5-6 varieties of cheese in my fridge at any given time. This affords me the opportunity to experiment when cooking!
My TOP 10 CHEESES!!!
- Petit Basque- French harder cheese made from sheep's milk with nutty undertones I like to slice thin and eat with a baguette.
- Ten Year Aged White Wisconsin Cheddar- It speaks for itself....AMAZING.
- Port Salut- A soft cheese that spreads easily (TWSS), it has a bit of a bite but works on almost any cracker or bread and never overpowers.
- Dutch Gouda- I found a great flavor of this at Better Cheddar that was made from goat milk and had a lovely honey finish to it. Don't bother with a smoked Gouda unless that smokey taste is all you want to come through.
- Brie- Soft cheese with an outer rind that can easily discourage new tasters. This cheese is pretty versatile though. It pairs well cold with fruit or baked (even fried!) served with a fruit compote on crackers or bread and you will be in love.
- Manchego- This is a great starter cheese if cheese tasting freaks you out or just confuses you. It it very subtle, a little harder of a cheese and pairs well with fruits, chocolates and most red wines. It's simple and beautiful.
- Le Roule- This French soft, creamy cow's milk cheese closely resembles feta in flavor. I like to use it as a base for bruschetta or just on a bread all by itself!
- Emmentaler- One of the two varieties of Swiss cheeses, this one is just my favorite. I like it cold with pickles on a sandwich or grated and tossed in with just about any casserole or dip, and of course....melted with some kirschwasser for a fondue!!!
- Parmesan- A very basic, very essential cheese in my world. NO, not that disgusting powder that clogs the shakers at pizza parlors. Yuck. I mean a REAL grated Parmesan....perfect for melting over meats, in sauces, adding to dips, or just topping a salad!
- Feta- One of my first ventures into the world of "different" cheeses...so I will always have a special place in my tummy for feta! I LOVE Greek food, so this little guy is pretty much a staple in my diet sitting on a nice, warm pita.