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Cheese with crystals

I LOVE the crystals in Parmigiano Reggiano but have not come across any other "crunchy" cheese. Does anyone have any recommendations? What do you eat with them? Thanks!

I'm pretty open except for goat. I've tried. Can't do it.

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  1. Find an long aged gouda. Goes great with sliced apples.

    1. A lot of well-aged cheese has them. I've had aged gouda that was that way,

        1. Aged gruyere too, and old cheddars. Basically anything firm with good, long aging on it, as sal_acid says.

          1. Mimolette, if you can find it. 5 year gouda seems to have the most.

            1. The bits are called tyrosine and come with age.


              1. There are a lot of cheeses with crystals, it's an age phenomenon. Aged Gouda and Cheddar are pretty sure bets.

                1. I LOVE the crystals, too! Aged Goudas and also Beemster XO have them. Beemster XO is my favorite.

                  1. My fave crystals are in older comte, you need a 30 month or older generally to get the tyrosine to crystallize out, but have seen in the 24 month as well.

                    1. I recently did a tasting of Wisconsin cheddars on a visit to the state, I think mostly sourced from the Hook Cheese Company. The 10+ years aged had nice crystalization.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: MagicMarkR

                        10+? Nice! I've never had older than 5. Sounds delicious!

                        1. re: Veggo

                          It was and is. The guy behind the counter pointed out that 5 was usually all you could find, but they had 10+. The tasting included some of these cheddars:


                          1. re: MagicMarkR

                            And to follow up, specific to the OP's question, the description from the website of the 12 year is: "Our 12 year colored cheddar has a lot of calcium crystals and a great, rich cheddar flavor."

                            I'd never heard of this maker until last week, and did not have the chance to try competitors' offerings.

                            1. re: MagicMarkR

                              Cool. I just left an after-hour phone message and I e-mailed them. 5 lb. minimum for shipping, I can deal with that. Thanks for the link!

                              1. re: Veggo

                                Many, many cheddars from Quebec can be obtained in 10 year or older forms.

                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                  FYI, the Hook's 10 year cheddar is $21/lb and they have a 12 year that's $32/lb.

                            2. re: Veggo

                              If you can find the Hook's 15-year cheddar, you will be amazed.


                              1. re: Monch

                                It's not on their menu. I 'm looking forward to tomorrow's delivery of 10 and 12 year cheddar, 2 blues, and a sheeps milk gouda.

                                  1. re: MagicMarkR

                                    Cheese Louise! Their 15 year cheddar, if you can find it, is $50 /lb! I'll look forward to my 12 year, that's about my limit!

                          2. This is going to be a very expensive question! I'm going to clear out Wegman's this weekend.

                            1. Kefalograviera
                              Grand Padana

                              1. Bay blue, which I tasted for this months COTM had crystals.

                                1. Aged manchego.... yummmmm

                                  1. Coastal Cheddar from England.
                                    It's been at Costco, but I haven't bought it in a while so can't swear that they still carry it.

                                    1. In terms of aged goudas with lots of amino acid crystal, you can't do better than Boerenkaas. That's good stuff.

                                      1. Hook's 15 year old sharp cheddar is probably my favorite cheddar and it has an abundance of calcium crystals. It has the taste of a well-aged cheddar but the texture of a Parmigiano Reggiano. It is expensive but a little goes a long way.

                                        1. I like to stick with a nice Aged Cheddar & even just like to stick with a tasty N.Y. Extra Sharp Cheddar. I'm really into the harder Cheeses & have stuck with that the most lately. Cheddar is perfect for that & I've even tried some nice 4 year old ones. Just give it a shot & see if you can find a good one near or close to 4 years. If you like sharp, then get it nice & sharp, ya know?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                                            I am not sure "ya know" to what the OP is referring. I've had plenty of sharp and extra-sharp English, NY and VT cheddars and certainly haven't found crystallization in 4 yr olds.

                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              Maybe you just haven't found the right one? Initially though, I DID INDEED say that I recommended going with something 4 years & older though, so I DIDN'T just tell anyone to only stick with a 4 year Cheddar, ya see? If there are crystals there though, you can definitely find those crystals in a hard, sharp aged Cheese. How far long is always up to what you choose.

                                              1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                                                I accidentally bought four year old Balderson instead of my beloved five year old, and lo and behold, there were crystals! Woohoo.

                                          2. I just discovered Sartori MontAmore' at my grocery store. Kind of along the lines of a sharp cheddar - crumbly, creamy, nutty, with fine crystals for a tiny bit of crunch.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Wahooty

                                              I've tried that already, but I didn't quite think that it tasted good enough to pick up again. It wasn't bad though.

                                            2. Whole Foods carries a cheddar that is labeled "Seaside Cheddar". (Trader Joe's calls it English Coastal - same cheese). Lovely crunchy small bits of crystal in them.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                thanks, Linda. I'm going to look for that.

                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                  You're welcome, ChefJune. It's one of my favorite cheddars. WF just had a sale on the Seaside last week and while I knew I has some of TJ's English Coastal in the fridge, I picked up another small block. :-)