Cheese! Glorious Cheese!
- lollya Jan 7, 2007 02:54 PM
Okay, so I'm a huge fan of cheese, I'll try anything...thing is I don't really enjoy the steep prices if I don't LURV it. If I told you a few I love, could you help a girl move into more selection??
Big fan of:
Cave aged gouda
Swiss, Ememnthaler types
I need diversity - help me dear cheese connoisseurs!
If you have a store with a good cheese counter, they will give you a free taste of several cheeses so you can find one you want more of. Whole Foods will do that where I live, as well as several specialty shops. Sometimes you have to ask. (It's like ice cream stores; most will give tastes if you ask, but they don't necessarily offer.)
It looks like your cheese preferences run in a very different direction from mine-- I love smelly soft cheeses and blues. (Of course, I never met a cheese I didn't like, so I like all the ones you named, they just aren't mostly what I crave.)
But based on your list, I'd say you could have fun exploring some aged cheddars-- Wisconsin and Vermont both have several local cheese producers who make great stuff. Different enough from each other that it is very enjoyable to buy, you feel you are getting variety. Sorry I can't remember specific names, I think I need to start a cheese diary or something because I only remember what I last bought when I see it again at the store (and not even then, sometimes). Alas the aging brain...
igourmet.com carries an absolutely gorgeous cheese called Dorothea. I highly recommend it based on your preferences.
try a horseradish cheddar. i tasted this at a gourmet festival once and I fell in love with it. the sharp bite is amazing.
I think the best thing for you to do is to go spend a little time at your local cheese store and sample some cheeses! That would probably bring you the best quality for your locale.
Based upon your preferences, here are a couple of suggestions:
For the cheddars, I'd do a taste off between an English Cheddar (variety would depend upon what's available in your locale, but any cheddar from Neal's Yard is probably worth the money) and a Vermont Cheddar (Cabot is good).
If you like fresh mozzarella, you'd love burrata -- but you need to make sure it's fresh.
Have you tried Capriole Farms goats' milk cheeses? They're located in southern Indiana, and they have a website. They make a wide variety of flavors and types of cheeses.
My favorite is the one with herbs de provence (can't remember the name).
Aged gouda. It's hard like parmesan. Flake off tiny shards and let them melt on your tongue. Sweet, almost like brown sugar.
One of my favorites is Parmigiano Reggiano (I'm using the fancy term rather than just parmesan, to indicate the good stuff imported from Italy), eaten and savored in small pieces. I cut thin wedges and break them into little "straws." If you like sharp cheddar you may like this. Expensive for sure, and more familiar on pasta. But so good eaten plain in small bites.
We love smokey cheeses in our house - Smoked Gouda, Mozzarella or Muenster - You will surely find at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.
Last night we had double cream brie with tart apples and crackers while watching the Cowboys game!
If you like Havarti - try it with caraway! You can usually find at a Jon's Market or an Armenian store.
OH My goodness, thank you all. I wrote down each suggestion and am just so thankful and excited! The manager of the cheese shop in NE Mpls is just a little cocky and it makes it hard to ask for advice. THANK YOU ALL! I do love the smoked cheese and have tried the caraway havarti - YUM. OH! Weeks of cheese goodness await!