Cheese Admiration and Celebration

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Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    edited July 2022
    See, this is dangerous, I just discovered I can get Oaxaca cheese, but only in 1kg lots... Hmmmmm

    Well, some cheeses freeze OK. They usually get a little more dry/crumbly, so something like Oaxaca might get . . . rubbery? That wouldn't be good. Might be worth the experiment, though.

    I still have some. I can stick a little hunk in the freezer overnight, see what happens. I like experiments!

    ETA: OK, it's in the freezer. I'll report back in a day or two.
  • Alatariel75
    Alatariel75 Posts: 17,945 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    See, this is dangerous, I just discovered I can get Oaxaca cheese, but only in 1kg lots... Hmmmmm

    Well, some cheeses freeze OK. They usually get a little more dry/crumbly, so something like Oaxaca might get . . . rubbery? That wouldn't be good. Might be worth the experiment, though.

    I still have some. I can stick a little hunk in the freezer overnight, see what happens. I like experiments!

    ETA: OK, it's in the freezer. I'll report back in a day or two.

    You're amazing! Thank you!
  • VegjoyP
    VegjoyP Posts: 2,350 Member
    I can't eat cheese anymore for health reasons but-
    I grew up in a Sicilian family on my dad's side. Growing up we were in New York and got the BEST CHEESE EVER! It was truly authentic (1970's) whole parmesaun we would grate ourselves, mozzarella, hard cheeses and ricotta.
    I would take a ball of provolone and melt it in microwave on a plate and just eat it.
    One of my favorites was my mom's grilled cheese. She would use swiss, provolone and American on buttered bread. I also loved pimento cheese sandwiches.

    I'm plant based now but have managed to find specialty vegan cheeses at the farmers market near me. They are made from cashew , sunflower or pumpkin seed. Nothing like store brands. They are really expensive but I treat myself every few weekends
  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 978 Member
    Can I just put a vote in for mozzarella? It’s undervalued as it’s not a really strong cheese but sliced with flavoursome tomatoes, little bit of olive oil drizzled over, salt and pepper - it’s pretty tasty. Especially with sourdough 🤤
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    Can I just put a vote in for mozzarella? It’s undervalued as it’s not a really strong cheese but sliced with flavoursome tomatoes, little bit of olive oil drizzled over, salt and pepper - it’s pretty tasty. Especially with sourdough 🤤

    Why, yes you may! And I'd observe that there are several types of mozzarella, each of the ones I've tried being tasty and useful in particular eating contexts. I'm talking fresh mozz, buffalo mozz, etc. Good stuff!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    VegjoyP wrote: »
    I can't eat cheese anymore for health reasons but-
    I grew up in a Sicilian family on my dad's side. Growing up we were in New York and got the BEST CHEESE EVER! It was truly authentic (1970's) whole parmesaun we would grate ourselves, mozzarella, hard cheeses and ricotta.
    I would take a ball of provolone and melt it in microwave on a plate and just eat it.
    One of my favorites was my mom's grilled cheese. She would use swiss, provolone and American on buttered bread. I also loved pimento cheese sandwiches.

    I'm plant based now but have managed to find specialty vegan cheeses at the farmers market near me. They are made from cashew , sunflower or pumpkin seed. Nothing like store brands. They are really expensive but I treat myself every few weekends

    I used to do that microwave thing with a thin layer of grated parmesan-type hard cheese, too: Made a nice crispy, delicious, lacy-looking round, if I watched the timing carefully.

    I'm glad you're finding tasty vegan cheeses: I've mostly only had those as an ingredient in foods, like in tacos or sandwiches or something like that at restaurants. They were tasty, but I don't know much about the brands and such in that context. Those cheeses are welcome on this thread, too, in posts of a personal-enthusiasms nature. 🙂
  • joans1976
    joans1976 Posts: 1,862 Member
    I feel like such a hillbilly! (I live in Southeast Michigan, USA.) Half of these cheeses I haven’t heard of. If I had any sort of store around me with a separate WALK IN cheese containing room I would cry. Feta and sharp cheddar are pretty high up on my list. I will try any cheese once. I’m sure you’ve all had the flaming Greek cheese? Saganaki, that’s good during a night out too!
    Mountains of cheese, piles of cheese, aisles of cheese, rooms of cheese, oh my!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    joans1976 wrote: »
    I feel like such a hillbilly! (I live in Southeast Michigan, USA.) Half of these cheeses I haven’t heard of. If I had any sort of store around me with a separate WALK IN cheese containing room I would cry. Feta and sharp cheddar are pretty high up on my list. I will try any cheese once. I’m sure you’ve all had the flaming Greek cheese? Saganaki, that’s good during a night out too!
    Mountains of cheese, piles of cheese, aisles of cheese, rooms of cheese, oh my!

    Hate to tell ya, Joan, but I live in Michigan, too: Lansing area. Maybe you need a field trip to Lansing's Horrocks? That's where my cheese room/multi-cheese case photos early in this thread came from. Depending on how SE you are in Michigan, it's not out of the question for a day trip!

    Saganaki in Greek Town (Detroit) is associated with many great memories, for me. Opa!
  • joans1976
    joans1976 Posts: 1,862 Member
    Ah! I grew up in Grand Ledge! (The 80s) I remember Horrocks well, the bulk cookies and candy! I think from what I’ve heard it’s a much bigger place now. I can definitely make the trip, I’m 10 minutes north of Ann Arbor (a place I try to avoid but I’m sure there’s good cheese somewhere there.) I’ve seen your posts on here and for some reason I thought you were from the UK! 🤪
  • joans1976
    joans1976 Posts: 1,862 Member
    Also, many a night in Greektown in my younger bar hopping days! 🔥
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    joans1976 wrote: »
    Ah! I grew up in Grand Ledge! (The 80s) I remember Horrocks well, the bulk cookies and candy! I think from what I’ve heard it’s a much bigger place now. I can definitely make the trip, I’m 10 minutes north of Ann Arbor (a place I try to avoid but I’m sure there’s good cheese somewhere there.) I’ve seen your posts on here and for some reason I thought you were from the UK! 🤪

    Also, Oh MI Chocolates in St. Johns - just sayin'. A little spendy, but worth it. If you look at their web site, you'll think I'm saying that out of some kind of food purity religion (because they're hypoallergenic, organic, mostly vegan, etc.). But no. I'm saying that because they're fabulous.

    I've eaten a lot of chocolate in my life, some of it pretty darned good. t's just narrowly possible that the chocolate truffles I ate years back from the store on Jackson Square in New Orleans were better than Oh MI Chocolates . . . but maybe not. Certainly top two of all time.

    The Oh MI are made with coconut oil, so they must be refrigerated. But it also means that they melt below human body temperature: A pool of delicious melt-y chocolate richness, created right there in your mouth. So good!

    Horrocks sometimes has some, in a refrigerator case in their salad bar/hot bar region, but they're often out of stock. Field trip! 😉
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    @Alatariel75, I'm back, with the report.

    Experimental conditions:

    I put some Oaxaca in the freezer on July 27, fairly late in the day IIRC, in a small tempered glass dish with a snap-on plastic top (fairly tight-fitting). I took it out earlier today, 7/29 to thaw, early afternoon. It's now a bit after 5 PM. So, frozen for something around 36 hours or so, maybe? Thawed for 3-4 hours? (I should've noted times better. Bad experimentalizer! 😆)

    I had to hunt around for some bread for this experiment, found some Georgia Candy Roaster squash focaccia in my chest freezer. What I did was make my best effort to cut off the same-sized bit of cheese from my refrigerated chunk, and the frozen/thawed chunk. (I admit, these were pretty small chunks, like 4-5 grams, because while I was interested in the results, I didn't want to spend up lots of calories running it.)

    Then I set up 3 samples: One set to taste plain, one set to microwave on bread until the cheese melted, one set to heat in my cast iron pan on bread until melted (the open faced grilled cheese sandwich condition). With apologies, I didn't want to try broiling tiny chunks.

    This is what the samples looked like, pre-eating. In each case, the formerly-frozen sample is on the left, the just-refrigerated on the right. From top, moving clockwise, it's microwaved, cast iron heated, plain. (Ignore the rainbows, it's just the prisms in my kitchen window catching some sun.)

    t2kbb18nu96r.jpg

    Experimental results:

    The microwaved versions got a little messy, so I did a little scraping-back-on of the cheese, so the two look a little different (and it's possible that one spot on the plate got warmer in the micro than the other, too).

    I have to say, I perceived little or no difference in texture or taste, in any of the samples, between the frozen and not-frozen Oaxaca. It's possible but not assured that the plain (no bread) cold sample of the non-frozen one was a tiny bit firmer, and the frozen a tiny bit softer, but I'm not convinced. (I did notice that after thawing, the outer surface of the frozen cheese was slightly moist - maybe condensation?) Other than that, and that not certain, I couldn't tell any difference in either texture or flavor.

    It's possible that if the freezing period had been longer (days/weeks) there would've been more effect . . . but I was assuming you didn't want to wait weeks to hear back. I don't think there was much effect just from the freezing itself. I assume that making sure the frozen cheese was well-sealed from drying out would help avoid problems with longer-term freezing.

    If your huge chunk of Oaxaca isn't prohibitively expensive, I personally wouldn't hesitate to freeze part of it for later thawing and use. I think it'd still be good, and similar if not identical in texture/behavior.
  • Alatariel75
    Alatariel75 Posts: 17,945 Member
    @AnnPT77 you are a gem!! Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful experiment! A kilo is under $20, so I'm going to purchase and freeze it in chunks - I have a vacuum sealer, so I'll seal them up to freeze too. Thank you!! I shall be making black bean chilli for lunches with the cheese this week in your honour!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    @AnnPT77 you are a gem!! Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful experiment! A kilo is under $20, so I'm going to purchase and freeze it in chunks - I have a vacuum sealer, so I'll seal them up to freeze too. Thank you!! I shall be making black bean chilli for lunches with the cheese this week in your honour!

    Good show: Enjoy your chili!

    If you think of it, come back and let us know how the longer freezing period works out for you - the vacuum sealing seems perfect for the best possible results.
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,992 Member
    At the risk of triggering @Lietchi 😂

    Every time I see this thread I think of the Gjetost
    I wrote about on the first page…

    Finally gave in and bought myself some from Amazon…crazy price!

    Here’s a picture of a very small, very delicious treat I had after lunch today. Because the cheese is best cut wafer thin a little goes a long way, fortunately. 12g here with a few slices of a William Pear. 71 calories but tasted like so much more in terms of ‘a treat’! 😋

    ddvpkhlzyykr.jpeg
  • joans1976
    joans1976 Posts: 1,862 Member
    @AnnPT77 Heading to Horrocks Thursday!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,908 Member
    joans1976 wrote: »
    @AnnPT77 Heading to Horrocks Thursday!

    I hope you enjoy it, @joans1976!
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,992 Member
    edited August 2022
    I’m so excited! In an unusual display of serendipity I came across a recipe for making Gjetost at home. It involves simply reducing whey to a quarter of it’s original volume and whisking the resulting caramelised whey with a little double cream.

    Thanks to @springlering62 I have been considering making my own Skyr at home, haven’t got to it just yet (fear of the unknown!)…

    So I’m going to make a leap in the dark and try the Skyr, so I can use the leftover whey for a Gjetost experiment - it was somewhat putting me off that I’d end up wasting that byproduct of the Skyr since I’d not use it for baked goods as I know Spring does.

    Will update with either success or failure!