Cheese Admiration and Celebration

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  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,821 Member
    In the OP in this thread, there was a photo of the main cheese cases at the produce market just mentioned. Back on page 1, 2nd photo, you'll see that there are 5 refrigerator cases of cheese in this area. **

    Just for fun, I took closer-up photos in one of the middle cases today, i.e. one of the five. I think these are close enough that you can expand and look at labels if curious. Each case is sort of zoned, with groups of similar cheeses; this seems to be mostly about gouda, edam, some Italian cheese types, some smoked cheeses, and some blues.

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    Other cases have other groupings, covering quite a wide range all told. There's a big section of cheddars (including ones with varied add-ins), a goat cheese zone, a section of various-flavored cheese curds, Spanish cheeses, South/Central American cheeses, the Mediterranean types, etc.

    ** There are other cheeses elsewhere in the store, too: More typical block commercial cheeses in a big walk-in 2-room refrigerator that also has milk, yogurt, etc., along with some vegan cheeses and tub-type spreadable cheese stuff; and some flat cases like these off to the side with ricotta, feta, wide variety of pre-grated real cheeses in plastic boxes, etc. Lotta cheese.
  • Nicoles0305
    Nicoles0305 Posts: 313 Member
    @AnnPT77 cheese dreams are made of this!
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,972 Member
    @AnnPT77

    The tapas dish on the Canaries was broiled smoked cheese with *date* molasses or blueberry jam or marmalade. Pomegranate molasses is tarter and similar to balsamic vinegar. Unless you like the acidity of pomegranate molasses with cheese, add some honey. Date molasses is similar to molasses, treacle or corn syrup in terms of sweetness but has a tart undertone..
  • Nicoles0305
    Nicoles0305 Posts: 313 Member
    edited March 2022
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    Made these Cambozola babies yesterday. They have to dry at room temp for about 9 more hours before they go into the cave for aging. Four weeks till I can taste them!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,821 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    @AnnPT77

    The tapas dish on the Canaries was broiled smoked cheese with *date* molasses or blueberry jam or marmalade. Pomegranate molasses is tarter and similar to balsamic vinegar. Unless you like the acidity of pomegranate molasses with cheese, add some honey. Date molasses is similar to molasses, treacle or corn syrup in terms of sweetness but has a tart undertone..

    @acpgee - Jeepers, I don't know why I was thinking pomegranate molasses! I'd been wanting to get some anyway, so that may be the source of my misleading myself. I have some nice Cornelian cherry jelly a friend made that I was thinking might be nice in this application, too. I may even have some date molasses, don't recall for sure. (If not, I know where to get some.) I have various honey, and blackstrap molasses for sure, but the latter (at least) is a whole different deal. Thanks for setting me straight!
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,853 Member
    We have a farmers' network here where we can source local produce, and some produce from a bit further, but still in Belgium.
    I decided to order a cheese called Bel'zebuth, from the Ardennes region and made from cows' milk, one of the few blue cheeses available through the network. Which I then paired up with a pumpkin chutney from another local farm. On a slice of home-baked bread.
    Yum!

    The cheese was very hard and crumbly. I thought it would be similar to Roquefort, but it was actually quite mild (for a blue cheese).

    Picture from the website of the farmers' network:
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  • ridiculous59
    ridiculous59 Posts: 2,561 Member
    Squeak squeak, my inner mouse was thrilled to find this thread 🐭 I am fond of sampling different cheeses, as long as they aren't the smelly or blue kind. Aged cheddar makes the best mac & cheese. cheese is great just to nibble on too, with crackers. I miss the cheese festival that usually happens in February -- the Excuse for Everything is not conducive to open sampling.

    But when you live by yourself, making a cheese board is an expensive undertaking. Solution: ONe of the grocery stores downtown has a little basket of remnants from making cheese platters. So you can get a morsel of Brie or Oka or whatever for around $2. A few of these, plus a handful of crackers and another handful of fruit, make a dandy cheese board for one.

    A fromagerie that I love in Vancouver sells "mystery bags" at a great price. They are just bits and pieces of various cheeses in a brown paper bag. Perfect for sampling different types that you might not usually buy and perfect for a one-person cheese board. Maybe you have a place like that near you?
  • ridiculous59
    ridiculous59 Posts: 2,561 Member
    Halloumi.

    One of best meals I ever had was in a Lebanese restaurant in London. I ordered a halloumi salad having no idea what halloumi was, and it came with a huge plank of grilled halloumi on top of a green salad. It was so amazing, we went back two more times for the same dish and it wasn’t til the third trip that the waitress told me it was cheese. I thought it was some kind of fowl.

    I haven't seen anyone mention saganaki yet. We have a Greek restaurant in town and that is my favourite appy. In fact, I could just order two or three with some pita and call it a day. I believe they make it with graviera. Would it be similar to halloumi?
  • ToffeeApple71
    ToffeeApple71 Posts: 101 Member
    My boys went to Switzerland recently and their Airbnb host made them a special dinner on their last night. Part of the dinner was raclette which they'd never had before. They're bringing a raclette grill home with them. So excited! A fab way to have cheese...but not something I would have spent money on myself.
  • azuki84
    azuki84 Posts: 212 Member
    Gruyere cheese from eatzis or central market…so good
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,821 Member
    With some apologies to @acpgee in advance, I decided to try a bit of a "slop-proximation" of the "smoky goat cheese plus sweet topping" idea. I haven't had the calories lately for a big cheese indulgence (cut partly back on exercise because reasons), but I was curious.

    Cringing a little when I admit it, I put a bit of the smoky goat cheese on a plate, microwaved it (WTH?!?!!) until browned at the edges (I know, I know). Then I put some of the Cornelian Cherry jelly my friend made on top. (Cornelian Cherry is not an actual regular cherry, it's related to dogwood (botanically, it's Cornus mas, whereas cherries are Prunus sp.) The jelly is a bit more tart whereas good regular cherry jelly is more rich/sweet, to me.)

    It was good as a flavor combination, despite being a sloppy, half a**ed attempt at similarity to the much better sounding original concept. I'll get there!

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  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,972 Member
    When I was served this in a tapas bar in Las Palmas they cut a neat rectangular slice of the smoked cheese on a rectangular plate and popped it under the broiler until the edges were brown and the centre was gooey. To serve, they put the hot plate on top of an identical cold plate and topped with a little dollop of blueberry jam before bringing to the table. It was served with little bread rolls for mopping up the cheese.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,972 Member
    My own attempt at the melted cheese tapa. I used old goat gouda and some pajonales cheese (an aged goat cheese, the last of what we brought home from vacation on the Canaries). Didn't manage to make a neat square slice. Broiled in the air fryer and drizzled with date molasses. A rather shocking amount of fat seeps out of the melted cheese. This was 21g of cheese so not too decadent calorie wise.
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  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 974 Member
    Tried this for the first time yesterday - oh my goodness, it’s amazingly yummy. Just needs a plain or lightly flavoured cracker to go with it, nothing harsh or strong. Slightly sweet cheese with an amazing taste which develops as you eat it, and it’s very smooth. I’m in love! nfp0fc255tu4.jpeg
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,821 Member
    @claireychn074, that looks good! I had to look it up, haven't seen it before. Side-on, in your photo, it looks somewhat similar to Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper or Midnight Moon, both of which are gouda-style cheeses, the former sheep's milk, the latter goat (both tasty, too). When I looked up Ossau Iraty, some of the photos (of bloom-y rind types) look similar to a goat milk cheese (photo below) I bought recently from my local farmstead cheese guy at the farmers market. He describes it as a Raw Rustic Goat Milk Tomme.

    I really like it. Yesterday, I layered some roasted eggplant slices with thin-sliced sweet onions, smoked tofu, and fire-roasted diced (canned) tomatoes, topped it with some of the Tomme, and baked. I thought it was pretty darned good, though I know tofu isn't everyone's thing.

    The stripe-y appearance in the photo is because I thin-sliced some with a serrated knife! 😆

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  • Nicoles0305
    Nicoles0305 Posts: 313 Member
    Oh @AnnPT77 a tomme cheese is on my list of must makes! I’ve never had it before, but it’s a favorite in the cheesemaking group I belong to.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,821 Member
    I'm liking that Hickory Knoll (local farmstead) raw goat milk tomme so much - the one I posted about mid last week - that it's nearly gone. I need to go back to the farmers market today, see if he has more. (Yes, I was able to moderate it, but have eaten around an ounce of it, thin sliced, all on its own, as a snack, most days this week. So good!).

    I also used a good dollop of the same maker's plain chevre in last night's dinner. I had a big box of cremini (portobello/brown/etc.) mushrooms I needed to use, so I softened and lightly browned some thin-sliced onions, added a bit of minced garlic to heat briefly when the onions were near-perfect, then heaped my cast iron skillet with sliced mushrooms. When those were done, I tossed some dollops of chevre on top to soften over low heat, then used that mixture to top a serving of red lentil spaghetti. I'm not complaining about the result. (A splash of red wine in there would've been nice, too, but I would've had to open a bottle just for that, and didn't really have wine in my beverage plans, so . . . .)

    I've mentioned before that the photos of the giant cheeses and big cheese counters up-thread were from a big local produce market. It's a fun place, in many ways. I stopped by there yesterday, on my way home from an appointment, got guavas and kumquats (also 😋).

    I'd mentioned that they have a whole 2-room walk in for dairy products, including a big section of the routine commercial block cheeses, in quite the range of types/flavors, plus that's where most of the ricotta, mascarpone, and similar cheeses are. Below is a photo of part of the room that has a lot of the cheese. The photo shows most but not all of it: The 2 refrigerated rooms also include regular milk, kefir, kombucha, yogurt, etc., on other walls. In the front of this photo, you can see a growing section of vegan cheeses and a few related vegan products.

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  • SuzanneC1l9zz
    SuzanneC1l9zz Posts: 402 Member
    edited March 2022
    Hubby and I had both independently heard people raving about Saltspring Island cheese, and a couple of days ago we discovered that our new favourite tiny organic & specialty store brings it in. We picked up a tub of Ruckles, which are little cylinders of chevre packed half-submerged in grapeseed oil with rosemary, thyme, garlic and chives. I've cut one up into tiny pieces and put it on my lunch salad the past few days and OMG SOOOOO nice!! I can't wait to explore some of their other offerings.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,821 Member
    Hubby and I had both independently heard people raving about Saltspring Island cheese, and a couple of days ago we discovered that our new favourite tiny organic & specialty store brings it in. We picked up a tub of Ruckles, which are little cylinders of chevre packed half-submerged in grapeseed oil with rosemary, thyme, garlic and chives. I've cut one up into tiny pieces and put it on my lunch salad the past few days and OMG SOOOOO nice!! I can't wait to explore some of their other offerings.

    I've never heard of that one. It sounds wonderful! Herbs and cheese are an excellent combination.
    Looked up the maker online: BC is a bit distant for me, but a place it would be lovely to visit, and it looks like the cheeses may be available more regionally, too.

    Me, I did go back today and get more of the raw goat milk tomme. Tonight's dinner is also cheesy: I think I may've mentioned up-thread the "roast cherry tomatoes with a hunk of feta" pasta topping that seems to have originated on TikTok of all places. I'm making that tonight, with a separate roasting dish of sliced onions, garlic and (to be added to those soon) some chunked up cremini-portobello-brown mushrooms, to use those up. Maybe cut up some fresh basil leaves (from plants a friend started & gave me) to add, late on, since you reminded me of the fresh-herbs concept.
  • ridiculous59
    ridiculous59 Posts: 2,561 Member
    @AnnPT77 I want to eat dinner at YOUR house! You make the most interesting meals!