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Cheese - the best cheese experience you ever had

Roqfort, soft and squishy, pungently fabulous on crisp lavosh with a Temprinillo to divert the taste buds momentarily before returning to another heady mouthful.

How about you?

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  1. Mounds of Bulgarian feta on a shopska salad - sitting in a little cafe near the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria!, downing shots of rakiya and chasing it with the salad.

    1. Homemade - Mom's mac n cheese. Nothing fancy. Just a great combination of macaroni, butter, milk, cheese and a sprinkling of different seasonings. My aunt and I still fight over the leftovers.

      Restaurant - Melted oozing gouda smothering a 1/3 lb burger in a small joint called Genki Burger just up the street from Waseda U in Tokyo.

      And just for the memories...taking bites out of a block of sharp cheddar with my college buddies on our first trip to Vegas as 21 year olds. Accompanied by wheat thins, great funk and hip hop and a little herbal enjoyment.

      1. I am still in love with Humboldt Fog. It's been a few months now!

        2 Replies
        1. re: liu

          ahhh, darn you! i love the humboldt fog somethin dangerous. eating about a quarter pound of that would be one of my fonder memories.

          1. re: ben61820

            "...eating about a quarter pound of that would be one of my fonder memories."

            You have just ONE memory of that?

        2. Walking into a little cheese shop on the Boulevard St. Germain a block or two east of the Sorbonne and seeing over three hundred varieties of goat, sheep, and cow's milk cheeses, covered in all manner of mold, leaves, ash. I fell to the floor weeping with joy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Loren3

            Do you remember the name of the cheese shop? There was one I frequented when I lived near the Sorbonne called the Cremerie Des Carmes? Does that ring a bell?
            It was right next to the flower market.

          2. A round of Brillat Savarin (triple creme), drowned in cognac soaked golden raisins, served with crusty french bread.

            1 Reply
            1. re: serveitforth

              That sounds amazing. Do you soak the raisins yourself? If so, for how long?

            2. The old wine-cheese-bread story, but from Tarija, Bolivia, in the mid-70s.

              Fresh hot large discs of pan campesino ffrom the market at 4:00 in the afternoon, goat cheese from the nearby altiplano (had to search for ones that were not too salty) and sold in the same market, and either an Arce or Kolhberg red from the Tarija Valley.

              1. I have two. 1 is my first step into Formaggio in Boston, just a total overload! Tried all the samples they had out, had the staff give me more, and I walked out of there with $4.00 of a Spanish blue that I had for dinner that night.
                The second was at Le Doyenne in Paris. It was a mediocre meal (for over $400 for one) but the cheese cart was fantastic and they gave me a glass of wine matched to each cheese. I asked for five, they frowned but gave it to me.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sailormouth

                  Easy. April, 1981. My first trip to the Harrods Food Hall, on a warm afternoon. Purchased some double creme St. Andre, some Stilton, and a really nice sheeps milk cheese, some bread, and some fruit. Went to St. James Park and had a picnic with some cheap French plonk. I was a college student at the time. Everything seemed to taste better on a semester abroad.

                2. Going to Atwater Market in Montreal on visits back to my home town and picking up 4 Qu├ębec and/or French cheeses for the princely sum of $10-13 CDN (total), and then sharing them with friends on slices of fresh baguette and/or Carr's water biscuits. A ritual behaviour..

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mrbozo

                    My best cheese experience also took place in Montreal (I can't remember the name of the market but it could have been the same one you mentioned).

                    We had the most remarkable soft blue cheese (a French name that I can't remember) and opened a precious bottle of Inniskillin ice wine at 8 in the morning... it was a perfect match and the best breakfast I've ever had.

                  2. Ile D'Orleans in Quebec city. The freshest mild cheese on the site where it was made. All of the dairy there was excellent actually. The shopkeeper griddled it and I ate it on a stone wall, hot and gooey. mmmmmm. Anyone know that cheese?

                    1. The cheese cart at Gary Danko (Oh, the selection!) or anytime I go to Cowgirl Creamery. I LOVE CHEESE.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: christineb

                        me too, the cheese cart at gary danko on may 23, 2004 for my one year anniversary dinner. to die for...

                      2. Five different kinds of blue cheese paired with Dolce (Far Niente), perhaps the greatest
                        American Sauternes-style wine. Shudders of pleasure.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          I'll bet the cheese shop in Paris was Marie de Quartrehomme in the 6th. It's amazing. There is also a lovely cheese shop in the Rue Cler.

                          But my all time cheese experience was just outside Geneva. I love to stay at a little inn called the Domaine de Chateauvieux. Madame runs the hotel and Monsieur is the chef of the restaurant. The meal and wine was fantastic, and the cheese cart was the size of a VW Beetle -- every variety of cheese you can imagine, from every region of France as well as locally made cheeses from Switzerland.

                          Even better, the inn served a small selection of the cheeses for breakfast, accompanied by bread and croissants that Monsieur had baked the night before in the restaurant. It's as close to heaven as a foodie gets.

                          1. re: brendastarlet

                            Memorable cheese experiences:
                            1) Large wedge of Beaufort cheese, some kind of dried ham, fresh baguette and wine for lunch while hiking Grand Balcon du Nord in the Alps, near Chamonix. There was blue sky above (you know, the Simpson's sky, with a few perfect white clouds drifting along), mountains all around, and sun was shining..... Wish I was back there now.....
                            2) Ultra fresh and young Chevre bought from market in Annecy and eaten on my balcony with baguette, radishes and fleur de sel.

                            My recent memorable cheeses from local cheese shops.
                            1) Bouq'Emissaire from Quebec - a wonderfully soft goat cheese that has been coated in ash, with a bloomy rind. Mild, but with a wonderful tang.
                            2) Pierre Robert - when I want something utterly decadent, then I go for a Pierre Robert.
                            I think that part of the joy of cheese is when I go to the shop, and chat with the folks behind the counter. It is one of the very few places where nobody is in a particularly great hurry (patrons or proprietors) and there is lots of sampling and discussion about the various merits of cheese and general socialization among strangers.

                        2. Just this week...sorry don't know the name of it ( we ate it all up!)...A combination of gouda and parmesan...try to find it....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jinet12

                            I believe what you are speaking of is Parrano.
                            good stuff

                          2. It seems like everytime I try a new cheese it becomes its own best experience.

                            The top one though was when i tried Brie. Doesn't sound like that would be a major one, but I was (kinda am) a very picky eater and I always feared brie. Something about the softness and the rind turned me off. Well, my husband and I were out one night in a slightly upscale, very loud vodka - wine bar when hunger hit. We ordered their cheese plate and I indulged in all the old favourites but stayed away from the scary brie. Watching my husband close his eyes with pleasure after every bite of the brie got me intrigued. And the buzz confidence helped too. I slathered some on to a piece of baguette and went for it. The minute it hit my tastebuds was eye opening. I take that back b/c I had to close my eyes it was so good. It felt like when the brie was in my mouth the rest of the bar noise disappeared. It was just me and a mouth of happiness.

                            1. La Brousse, a fresh, less than one day old cheese, made from Ewe's milk thatI buy from a lovely young woman named Sylvie, at the Peasant Market in Nice on Saturdays. No salt, no preservatives, one of those things that does not travel and must be consumed immediately.

                              Over time, we became friendly, and she told me she and her husband drove their produce to the market from their farm 2 hours away in the mountains in the arriere pays above Nice. She made the cheese the night before.

                              I serve it on our terrace overlooking the Bay of Angels. Surrounded with fresh raspberries and topped with Lavender Honey from another vendor at the Peasant Market, who brought his bees under glass and set up a beautiful table of one kilo jars of gorgeous honey that glistened in the sun.

                              Tasted of pure heaven. Doesn't exist here.

                              1. 1. Visiting a friend of a friend in Milan-- a high-ranking banker who lived in a spacious apartment above the bank-- we entered his apartment to see an entire wheel of Parmagiano Reggiano on his kitchen table. No special occasion. Just sitting there. It had been given to him as a gift. Lucky for us we were staying with him that week!
                                2. In the Basque Country-- a region whose hospitality is like no other I've ever visited anywhere-- they pair a sheep's milk cheese called brebis with a cherry confiture-- divine.
                                3. Weird one: in Orange County, CA there is a well thought of Scandanavian restaurant called Gustav Anders. Once had a filet mignon there with a sauce of stilton and a red wine (maybe a young burgundy). Sounded bizarre, but I had never and have never since tasted a better sauce on anything, anywhere.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: alias wade

                                  Sadly, Gustav Anders is long gone. Wish I'd tried the filet now...

                                2. When I realized in 3rd or 4th grade that there were kinds of cheese. Up until that point my Mother had me thinking that cheese was cheese. And that cheese was Velveeta. I slept over a friends house, and she made omlettes, saying 'what kind of cheese do you want?' I was really confused and then she explained in awe that Velveeta is not the only cheese in the world, there are hundreds of kinds of actually tasty cheese out there. I realized I liked cheese.

                                  1. Today we went to the Capriole Farm for Family Day. I bought some cheese from the owner yesterday at our farmers' market, and she said that if we came over at noon, we could help feed the baby goats. My husband and I took our children (they're 2 and 5). It was a perfect, gorgeous day. Who knew baby goats drink milk from wine bottles?!?

                                    Judy, the farm's owner, is a loveley, supremely generous woman--and she makes amazing cheese. She and her husband shared the grounds, the animals, and all the cheese we could eat. Their cheese itself is amazing--the farm experience was unbelievable.

                                    1. A sheeps-milk cheese, firm but fresh, bought at a local cheese shop and eaten on the road in New Zealand - you could taste the grass - so good!

                                      1. Cheeeeeese...oh cheese.
                                        2 Amazing expereinces...the most recent was at Joel Robuchon at the Mansion and I relived it 3 times and each time was just as sexy, satisfying, and memorable so I'll just describe the first time...the cart came out (a cheese party-bus of subtle, stinky, and intense goodness) and it was so cute-yes cute, I don't care how serious a place is, cute is a good thing...the little cheeses all arranged to tease the hell outta me...we were so stuffed from doing the long tasting menu but had no choice but to dive in...I asked for anything I didn't recognize and was in heaven...my favorite I named "puppy-breath butt-stank" because I have no idea how to spell or say it but I have it written on a card somewhere in case I have to hunt it down again. Anyway, presentation, unlimited adventure in options and each one was a new expereince.
                                        2nd great cheese moment lasted a whole month while I was on a climbing expedition in Tasmania...cheese farms everywhere, fresh cheeses and yogarts in my backpack at all times...always got to meet the happy little sheep and cows that gave me these milk-gifts...sitting, eating a cheese plate while they baaahed, and mooooed nearby...did this about 5x on the trip and was always amazed at the quality and, just imagine, a cheese plate (rivaling anything you'd spend $20 on in LA) for $12US including a perfect glass of wine...nice.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: tatertotsrock

                                          Tassie cheese are da food of da gods, seriously!!

                                          Infact Aussie cheese rival anything I've had in Europe.

                                          If you ever get the chance, try some King Island cheese.. Their tripple cream brie is amazing (although Jindi is even better) with a mere scraping of quince paste.

                                          Lots of Mornington peninsula cheese is worth investigating, too.

                                          Here's a pic of the tasting platter we sampled this weekend gone..

                                          **insert Homer drooling noise**

                                          1. re: purple goddess

                                            Oh My Stars!!! Someone who understands...guess what, sometimes they have King Island Cheeses at Patina...but why bother when you can go to the Artisian Cheese Gallery in Studio City and ask them to order some for you...
                                            Thanks for the suggestions on the other cheeses...time to go cheese hunting.
                                            Life is good with cheese.

                                            1. re: tatertotsrock

                                              ... or you can just move to Melbourne, where Gippsland, Tassie, King Island and Morn Pen cheeses are readily available in pretty much every supermarket.

                                              (and it only costs about $80AUS to fly to King Island and check out the smallgoods, the cheeses and the LOBSTERS!!!!)

                                        2. I think for me, it is piling a nice amount of feta between two hamburger patties, pinching them together, and grilling...

                                          1. I love the soft creamy fat filled cheeses. I went to St. Lawrence Market once and told the cheese guy to give me something mild and rich. I don't even know what kind of cheese it was as the piece I had did not have part of the label on it. It was like butter, but brie flavoured butter. For some reason I always think mushroomy, when I eat brie. This cheese had that heady mushroomy aroma. I need to go back to the market....

                                            1. I had just left home for college in the big city. My experience with cheese prior to this was pretty much limited to cheddar, jack or American. I had a hometown friend visiting and we went touristing, wound up at the old Farmer's Market in West Hollywood. A cheese vendor offered us a taste of Doux de Montagne, a mild, buttery French cow's milk cheese. It was a revelation--lush and creamy and oh-so-decadent. We bought a hunk and sat on a bench and ate the whole thing. I've had a lot of good cheeses since then, but nothing that came close to opening my eyes and my taste buds like that one did. Suddenly, there was this whole new world of luscious cheeses out there, and I wanted to try them all!!

                                              1. a hunk of crusty bread still warm from the oven, slathered with mayo, and a slab of havarti. Heaven!! brings me back to my childhood.

                                                1. Too many great experiences to remember them all, but one -- in 1999 -- springs forth: a perfectly aged wheel of Queijo de Serra, consumed over three days, with a different Vintage Porto each night, in a hilltop quinta overlooking the Douro River.

                                                  1. Well, it didn't seem sexy, exactly, but the most memorable cheese I've had was a full cream, 3-year-old cheddar from Bandon, Oregon. Happy cows feeding on the abundant pasturage of the rainy Pacific Northwest, and all that. Now Tillamoook, Inc., seems to have taken over the area.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: mpalmer6c

                                                      Sad but true--Tillamook seems to have pulled a Microsoft on the Bandon Cheese folks. They bought them out, ran the creamery in Bandon for a short while longer, and then swooped in and shut it down and laid off all the workers. Now they're making cheese they label "Bandon" in their factories in other parts of the state--and outsourced to Wisconsin!--and the 70-plus-year-old, small-scale operation in Bandon is a thing of the past. "Progress" marches on, dammit.

                                                    2. Finally having a real camembert in France, having mastered the most important words in the language "au lait cru!" We ate it on the train to Champagne with a baguette, sausage, and wine stinking up the train and every single person walked by with a jealous look on their faces.

                                                      Every time I enjoy an American cheese that rivals that experience, mostly notable a fully ripe Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery. I buy one every time I'm in SF and carry it on the plane. It stinks up the plane, it stinks up our fridge, it stinks up our dining room. Fabulous.

                                                      1. Not sure if this counts.

                                                        Best cheese experience: The first time I bit into a cannoli.