"Give me a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese and I’m a happy man."
— George R.R. Martin
Cheese is, I think, one item that nearly all people agree upon. That is, we agree with the basic premise that cheese is good. Now, start a discussion about what type of cheese is best or what type goes best with which dish, drink, etc. and things get divisive. Even so, it is interesting to note that from the pretentious Parisian to the common blue collar, blue plate diner (a person who dines) at your local diner (the eating place), cheese is the common thread - or string, as in string cheese, if you will. From our earliest days as consumers of solid foods, we become acquainted with cheese in our youth through mac & cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. No wonder cheese is a big player in so many comfort food dishes.
Some like Brie with their fruit for dessert and that's okay. I've had it and it just didn't do it for me as far as desserts go. Furthermore, for me it was a little too - how shall I say - "froofy" - yeah froofy. I've also had the absurdly hot molten nacho cheese on my nachos at the game. And I've had all types in between so, while I am sure to write more about our friend cheese in the future, let it suffice for the present that I give you a list of my favorite cheeses. These are not ranked because the best cheese really is a function of what you are having it on/with; you would not probably like bleu cheese in your grilled cheese sandwich anymore than you would like Parmesan on your fish taco. So here it is, a list of my caseous flavorful faves:
- Smoked Gouda
- Pepper Jack
- Aged Swiss
- Chipotle Cheddar
- Cream Cheese
Now, with regard to brands of cheeses, I don't think the brand matters if you are purchasing a regionally produced import; Pamesano-Reggiano is what it is. For domestics products, we like Tillamook varieties but really like Real California Cheese - their Pepper Jack and Chipotle Cheddar are awesome and can be purchased at WinCo.
Look for cheese heavy recipes in future posts. I have loads and the recipes will be presented randomly unless you have specific inquiries.