Sunday, February 19, 2012

Say Cheese!

Cheese is my favorite food.  In the world.  Seriously.

There are so many varieties of cheese, full of wonderful flavors and textures.  Cheese enhances anything it's put next to and can enliven even plain vegetables.  I use cheese as the key accent in my best cooked dishes.

In my long life I've had many jobs but my favorite of all-time was working in a cheese-shop.  I was a student in law school, poor and hungry.  I'd study all day and then go to work at 6 pm without having eaten dinner.  For the next four hours, I'd consume vast quantities of cheese -- which was allowed because we were encouraged to sample all 365 varieties to be able to guide customers on what to choose.  I tried them all.

It was that opportunity which taught me to joys of blue cheese, goat cheeses, sheep's milk cheeses and exotic fare most people never try.  I discovered an obscure English cheese that appeals perfectly to the American palate and, when I recommended it to customers looking for something new, they always came back with big smiles and repeat orders.

The cheese is called Cotswold.  It's a type of cheddar (Double Gloucester) combined with chives and spring onions.  The cheddar flavor is familiar to Americans (one of our standards) but the texture of Double Gloucester is softer than what we know.  The chives and onions add a delightful perk that is also reminiscent of our cuisine.  The reaction people most often give upon tasting Cotswold the first time is, "I know this flavor!"  They recognize the taste but can't figure out where.  The answer is simple: the flavors are common in many of our foods.

Recently, I tried something else new and different -- Huntsman, which is Double Gloucester cheddar spiced with lines of Stilton blue.  Double Gloucester is yellow; Stilton is white; combined, they look like a layer-cake.  Again, the DG supplies a soft, cheddary base for the sharp blue-cheese tang of the Stilton.  A nice combination.

Do you like cheese?  What's your favorite?

18 comments:

  1. i love cheese so much. my dad always has so much so when i visit him thats all i eat hahah

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  2. I didn't know we had a cheese steward in our midst! I haven't had Cotswold or Double Gloucester before, but it sounds like I'd like it. I love feta cheese, hate bleu cheese, and am all right with the other kinds of cheese I've tried. I'd like to try more as time goes on.

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  3. Aaah! Cheese. Cheese is one of my favorite foods, despite my lactose issues. I can hardly pick a favorite. I love different cheese with different things. I love eating Gala apples with a mild cheddar, making tuna melts with Gruyere, and ham sandwiches with Munster cheese (I weirdly don't like swiss). I've gotten so finicky about cheese. "American" cheese just does not cut it.

    I haven't tried too many out-there cheeses mostly from lack of funds and availability. We do not have a cheese shop nearby. However I'm still trying to hunt down this cheese my uncle brought to a part once. It was like tiny balls of a soft cheese with a very garlicky flavor. I can't remember if that one also had the herbs on the outside, but it was amazing.

    I've made myself hungry now!

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  4. CHEESE! I love cheese. I have never tried the two you specifically mentioned, but you've piqued my curiosity. I have to pick a favorite? I like so many different kinds depending what I'm eating. My latest obsession is goat cheese though, I cannot get enough.

    http://theclosetintervention.blogspot.com/

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  5. My Faves are havarti and Brie!

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  6. I adore cheese - I've tried all kinds of different ones, from cave-aged bleus to locally-made organic goat cheeses. This week, my husband and I went to a charcuterie for dinner and sampled a sheep cheese (brie-like), a goat cheese (harder, with a rind) and a cows milk one (with heavy veins). Delicious! There isn't a single one I don't like or wouldn't try!

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  7. i wish i could take better pictures! i only use my macbooks camera which is lame haha

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  8. I love cheese.
    Blue cheese is one of my faves, brie, camembert, muenster havarti and edam...I try to buy a different one every time I go to the supermarket.
    Oh and you´ve got to tell us about your other jobs!

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  9. I am not very adventurous when it comes to cheese ... I stick with mozzarella, feta and cheddar ~ I especially like a strong mature cheddar with apricot jam (or jelly as you call it in the States).

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  10. I was just thinking about how much I love cheese as I was driving home. Cheese is amazing. BRB, must go to fridge.

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  11. I love cheese too but have never tried the two types you listed in the post. My hubby and I went to this cheese and wine pairing tasting once which was very cool. I like all gourmet kinds. Big feta fan being from Turkey. But also very aged cheddar as well. Any aged cheese for that matter.
    Daphne.

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  12. I love cheese! In the summer I love getting a few loaves of french bread and a few different cheeses from a cute little shop called The Big Cheese and going and having a nice picnic lunch! Being that my grandmother is from France we always have Brie at ever family event. I would have to say that is my favorite!

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  13. What a cheesy post. :-)

    Couldn't resist. I've just started liking cheese. It's one of our favorite lunches to pack for motorcycle rides. I like the milder stuff. Camembert is our favorite. I also like Stiltin, especially with cranberries or blueberries in it. And Havarti makes fabulous, oozy, grilled cheese sandwiches. Then there are all the mainstays... cheddar, monterey jack, colby jack, pepper jack (hmmm, notice a theme?).

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  14. I have a cheese addiction. I have been known to eat a grilled cheese sandwich with cheese fries. My favorites, if I have to choose, are asiago and Mexican queso. As a vegetarian, I feel guilty about eating cheese, though, I must admit, because it usually contains rennet. :(

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  15. Waheyyyyy, looks like we Brits sure know how to make cheese lol! My flatmate is from Gloucester, & they are renowned for their cheese (as you've already pointed out).

    But did you know that they're SO cheese obsessed that there's an annual 'cheese rolling' competition that they do, where everyone basically rolls their cheese down a giant hill & chases after it?

    We Brits may know how to make good cheese, but we're also off our rockers it seems haha!

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    1. That's hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

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  16. I LOVE cheese. Strong cheese is one of my favourite things. I've not been able to taste so many types but so far my favourites are extra mature cheddar, strong goat's cheese, Boursain (soft cheese with garlic and herbs) and Dutch smoked cheese, it's so much denser than Austrian smoked cheese which is nice also. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm cheese

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  17. Oh and I forgot blue cheese!

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