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Cheese Recommendations

What are the nuttiest tasting cheeses? I'm looking for something that's like an even nuttier swiss or gruyere but doesn't have the pronounced saltiness of some aged cheeses like parm. reggiano.

Also, are there any cheeses that taste like bleu but are firmer and not crumbly like your gorgonzola and roquefort?

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  1. For the first category, you may want to try a Mimolette.

    I've had some firmer blue chesses, but cannot remember the names off the top of my head. Do you have a good cheesemonger you can go to who will let you taste various cheeses?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Megiac

      Did somebody say cheesemonger? :p

      Some first observations- Gorgonzola Dolce and real French Roquefort should not be crumbly, but creamy and thick. But then again, I don't find them particularly nutty either- pungent, bright, but not nutty.

      One obvious choice is the Rogue Creamery Smoked Blue- why obvious? Because it's smoked with hazelnut shells, which give it both smoke and nut. It's another creamy rich blue made from unpasteurized milk. Ask for it, it's outstanding.

      Another choice, but more subtle, is a good Pyrennes sheeps milk cheese, preferably unpasteurized, like an Ossau-Iraty, Petit Agour, Abbaye de Belloc or my favorite, Tomme de Levezou. I find them nicely nutty, and a great pair with a jammy red wine.

      Oh, and if you can find it- perhaps the nutball of all nutty cheese is the Hoch Y Brig, from Rolf Beeler, Switzerland.

      And I know that you said not so salty, but I recommend you find a cheese shop that carries a 5 year old Gouda, or Roomano. A pronounced nuttiness, caramel and, yes, salt.

      And on the Manchego line- also Zamorano, from a neighboring region, also sheeps milk.

      1. re: cheesemonger

        I actually didn't care for the smoked blue from Rogue -- the smoke flavoring was too overwhelming (to the point of seeming artificial) for my taste.

        I love Zamorano! I love sheep's milk cheeses, and it's one of my favorites.

        1. re: cheesemonger

          I agree. Smokey Blue is not Rogue Creamery's best offering. Try instead their Crater Lake Blue, which is generally pretty firm, though often not as much as Rogue's Oregon Blue, which has more of a bite and less mellow, fruit flavors than Crater Lake.

          For nuttiness, try Tomme de Savoie, a raw cow's milk cheese from the French Alps. You'll recognize it by it's thick, fuzzy, gray rind (inedible - you might be tempted to try eating it if, like me, your curiosity at the possible taste of such a substance gets the better of you. Don't. It's not pleasant). Not particularly salty. More beefy than nutty, though still very much worth your while, I'm sure.

          Also, if you could find it, I'd recommend Beaufort, the "prince of Gruyeres."

      2. I've had some Manchegos that fit the first criteria.

        1. An aged gouda might fit the first category.

          There are lots of firmer blues -- gorgonzola and roquefort are two of the softer/crumblier ones (they're all going to be a little crumbly because of the veining). Blues are so individualistic you really need to taste them yourself, but one really I like a lot is Bayley-Hazen from Vermont.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            agreed with the aged Gouda, Old Amsterdam is very nice!!

          2. Some of the Beemster cheeses may fit the bill for nuttiest tasting cheese.
            Beemster Classic or XO. The XO is a little bit crumblier and saltier than the classic but the nutty/caramel flavour is more pronounced in the XO.
            Mimolette is also very good, I would definately choose one that has a very rough, thick, "holey" rind as those tend to have more intense flavour.
            The older sheep's milk cheeses (a la Zamarano) have less nuttiness and a bit of zip in the finish.
            For a firmer blue cheese, you might try Bleu de Bresse. It is a very mild blue cheese, but the texture is a bit firmer and less creamy than the requefort.

            1. I think an aged, smoked gouda has a wonderful nutty taste to it.

              I have heard that an Appenzeller cheese has a nutty, spicy flavor, depending on what is is brined in. I haven't tried it yet, but I have a recipe for herbed spaetzle, with an appenzeller sauce.