Cheeses |
Chef techniques, tips and how-tos

My secret crush on cheese.

Well for those who know me it’s not a secret, is it?  Close friends that have been in my fridge know very well that I have a whole draw (or shelf if you like) entirely devoted to cheese.  If only it were a superfood, I would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and OMG the snacks.  I’d have it for all the snacks too.  I know it’s not good for me to have at every meal, but you know, most savoury dishes are enhanced by the stuff, oh, and bacon, but you knew that didn’t you!

Cows milk Mozzarella | bec'

Bec’s mozzarella

Ok, so it doesn’t quite work as well for Asian foods, you know, stir-fries and the like.  Adding Cheese to those flavours would be just wrong, but think about it.  French, Italian, Greek, Aussie, German, Middle Eastern, yes middle eastern food, you can add feta to that. You thought Cheddar or Tasty didn’t you.

Gourmet Feta |

Gourmet feta

Yep, I know what cheese will go with just about any dish you throw at me.  In fact, I’ve probably got some in my fridge right now.  So it won’t come as any surprise if I told you I make cheese too.  I don’t have the patience these days to wait for any of the lengthy maturing parmesan like cheeses.  Although, I’ve had a crack at them in the past.  Maybe when my kitchen is finished, I’ll get back into them.

Bree |

If I said, I would list all the cheeses you can purchase or make I’d be here for days, so I’m just going to give you a list of cheeses one should know if you’re a foodie that is. 😉

Cheese and Salumi patter

Cheese TypeOriginal Origin
Milk Type (Used as rule)Maturing timeBest eating (all though I could go on in most cases)

Normandy FranceCowsaround three weeksWhen ripe, that means the inside is soft although I don't care I just eat it anyway, unless it's too old. So eat it straight from the wheel, pop it on crackers or bread (french baguette, on toast yum) crumbed then deep or shallow fried with a few drops of truffle oil would be my all-time favourite. Give it a try!
CheddarSomerset EnglandCowsThe best flavour comes from aged, but the cheap ones have no minimum time. As long as their pressed firm they sell them. A big chunk straight off the wheel. LOL, actually cheese boards, of course, toasted sandwiches, plain sandwiches. The best flavours come from mature cheese, and they range in colour dramatically depending on what the cows were eating and the season etc.
Some use Annatto Seed for added colour. No cow produces orange milk, but the added Annatto seed liquid gives that rich pumpkin colour
ChèvreFrance Goat (Chèvre means goat in French)Depending on type but most are soft because of the nature of the curdsOn a cheese platter, broken up in salads, stuffing chicken breasts, sandwiches soft chevre melts well so in pasta can work.
CotijaMexicoCows3 - 6 monthsUse in Mexican dishes the flavours lends itself to them, tacos, tortillas, in guacamole, salads, etc
EmmentalSwitzerlandCows5 months or moreYes, this is one of the ones with holes, and it melts very well. Use it in Fondue, or toasted cheese sandwiches anywhere you want melty sweet cheesy flavour
FetaGreece Sheep, Goat and cows these daysThe best are around 3 months oldMy favourite use is to crumble over salads. It adds a salty cheesiness that some salads need. I use it a lot on warmer days.
Persian fettaNot PersiaCows mainly
But I’ve used Goat and Sheep
Can be used immediately after pressingThis cheese was originally made in Australia with the brand name Persian fetta. It's divine; I make my own it's too easy. You can use it on a cheese platter, in salads, in pasta dishes and when I make it I sometimes use it without oil as a spread for bread and even as a base for baked cheesecakes. If you want to know how to make it, come to a class. You won't regret it
GoudaThe NetherlandsCowsMinimum 4-5 weeks but aged is betterSandwiches, toasted sandwiches (the younger cheese will melt older ones won't as much.) Grated over dishes they have a crunchy texture because when they're maturing, it grows salty crystals, don’t be put off they're yummy. You can use the aged stuff like parmesan.
ManchegoSpainSheepUp to 2 yearsOn a cheese platter with pear or apple and quince paste is brilliant with it. Grate it over your Spanish rice and let it melt a little like you would parmesan yuuuummm
Monterey JackThe USACowShort maturing time of around 4 weeksThis cheese melts very well. Use it in fondue; grilled cheese sandwiches its mild in flavour so the kits will love it too.
Mozzarella FreshItalyCow and BuffaloNo maturing is neededFresh mozzarella is terrific if you've ever had the chance to try it. We used to make it when the kids were home around once a month for pizza nights. We would make a batch and freeze it in its salty brine so that we could use it on “Friday Night Pizza Night”. Of course, serve this in salads, Caprese salad, don't stick it on a raw pizza and bake it, just pop on a thin layer as soon as it comes out of the oven while it's piping hot and it will melt and go gooey. Must make this again soon.
Mozzarella (Dried if you like) Italy Cowdried not really aged muchThis is the stuff most of us know; you can grate it and pop it on pizza, serve in Calabrese salad. It melts really well so adding grated mozzarella with Manchego or tasty cheese for taco's, or baked goods work a treat.

CowAt least 12 months is bestParmesan can be made anywhere in the world, but if you pick up Parmigiano Reggiano, this cheese is made in Italy, and in my opinion, it's much nicer in flavour. I always have this in my fridge, use it
BlueFrance, Italy and EnglandCow and Sheep6 month or soCheese platters, with Apple, nuts, honey and in some soups and farces. Certain Pasta dishes.
TaleggioItalyCow5 to 12 weeksEat this on cheese platters. It can be a little too strong for a lot of people but in the right setting its brilliant.
Bec's Persian feta style cheese |

Persian feta

Now I bet you want to make something, go for it Spinach and Feta Spiral


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