The 5 Cheeses That Just Make Life Better

cheeses

Look, I’m not here to turn you into Anthony Bourdain or even take you too far outside of your comfort zone. May I suggest that a memorable food experience is something we can all get on board with? The world of cheese is a marvelous one – so many flavors and textures, such a versatile food! If you’ve never ventured into artisanal cheeses, I highly recommend it. Set it out with some crackers and jam or throw it into a dish. It’s a sophisticated touch for any chef at any skill level. The right cheese will do all the work for you.

Red Wax Gouda

There’s that cheese section in the grocery store that lays out all your options in terms of cheddar – mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, yellow cheddar… for the adventurous they’ve got Monterrey Jack. Don’t accept these limitations. Before you reach for that block of multi-purpose factory farm cheese, venture over to the artisanal cheese section and pick up some red wax Gouda. This wedge of cheese is just as functional as generic cheddar but it has a smooth, creamy texture that will melt away on the tongue. Shred it in salads, dress up your nachos or take your mac and cheese dish to another level.

Parmesan Reggiano

You poor soul. You’ve been grabbing that shaker bottle of powder cheese-food labeled Parmesan and topping your spaghetti with it for years. Your first clue that something was amiss was that it just kind of dissolved into your food instead of melting. Then there’s the cellulose powder to keep it from lumping together. What exactly is cellulose powder, anyway? Real Parmesan Reggiano has a distinct flavor that makes its presence known whenever you include it in a dish. Since it actually melts, you can grate it onto your food before baking and it will create a lovely crust. Add it onto your vegetables or potatoes and drizzle with olive oil before roasting. It’s also great with traditional Italian dishes. This aged cheese is a bit pricey but it has a very long shelf life.

Double Cream Brie

Brie has all the gooey cream of your favorite comfort food with a pungent, quirky flavor. The trick is to warm it up and let it melt slightly. It pairs perfectly with jam and assorted crackers for an easy party appetizer. Ham and cheese takes on a whole new meaning when you swap out your sliced American for Brie and grill it on a baguette spread with fig jam.

Goat Cheese

Everybody is so cray cray over Feta cheese, but I could do without the sharp bite and the hard texture. Goat cheese is milder and smoother, but it still has a pleasant sharpness and crumbles nicely. It’s great on salads, particularly mixed with fruit and greens. You can also try it on a chicken salad sandwich.

Fresh Mozzarella in Water

The food industry does so many things to our food for the sake of efficiency and convenience. Fresh mozzarella will melt and ooze and dribble down your chin when you take a bite of your hot dish, and the taste is superior to its heavily preserved counterparts but it won’t stay fresh as long. It’s sold in small tubs and marked “Ovoline” or “Ciliegine” by the size of the cheese balls. Grab a ball of fresh dough from Trader Joe’s or your local co-op market for one or two bucks to make your own pizza. Your local pizza joint might even sell you some.

 

Photo by Daniele Zellda

Lonni Delane
Beauty inspires me. I live to create it and surround myself with it. It always turns up in the most unexpected places. Check out my website LonniDelaneWrites.com.