Cheese Admiration and Celebration

AnnPT77
AnnPT77 Posts: 24,799 Member
edited January 20 in Food and Nutrition
On another thread, there was a multi-person request for a thread devoted to cheese, for those of us who love it. Yes, it's calorie dense, though some types more than others. Personally, I love it anyway. So, please discuss:

* Which is your favorite cheese?
* Do you have a special way of using/eating cheese? Great recipe or recipe site for cheese?
* Are there cheeses that you've found both delicious and calorie efficient?
* Do you find cheese difficult to moderate, but have found helpful ways to include it in your eating? Share your tips!

Any productive discussion of cheese and cheese consumption is welcome. If you hate cheese, or refuse to eat it ever because reasons, please find another thread.

If you are allergic to cheese, I'm very sorry. Discussions about work-arounds for allergies are welcome, if anyone has them.

Just for @Pav8888 or others who sadly live in cheese deserts, complaints about unavailability of good cheese near you, or requests for cheese photos, are welcome.

I was asked to include these photos, from a store near me (in a mid-sized humdrum city in Michigan, so we're not talking the Big City). (I originally posted them to dispute the unavailability of good cheese, lots of kinds, in the US.)
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(Note gallon milk jugs at left, for scale.)

Same store: They whack up those big wheels and prepackage rather than doing counter service to cut individual orders customer by customer. All of those fridge cases the whole length of the photo are full of cheese, many dozens and dozens of kinds. (The regular boring supermarket type cheeses are in a whole other area, a couple refrigerated rooms, a tiny sliver of which you can see at right in the first photo.)
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Cheese, yum, cheeese!

@yirara, @claireychn074, @springlering62? Help me out here?
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Replies

  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,140 Member
    Harumph. Help you out? *arms crossed*

    Not if I can’t have a cheese playground like that.

    I look at those photos and immediately my brain involuntarily sings “Cheese, glorious cheese”.

    My favorite is some kind of cheddar-like cave cheese with crunchy salt crystals.

    I had some fruity chèvre in France that was a revelation. I ate the whole cheese plate, which should have been a terrible faux pas, but my host was genuinely delighted I found it something so local so delicious.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,351 Member
    edited January 20
    I like hard artisan cheeses. Had some marvelous cheddar-like cheeses from small cheese makers in the UK. In the Netherlands Goudse Boeren Oplegkaas (some kind of really slow-ripened crystalline, but not that old-tasting Gouda) is really fantastic. I think there are just two cheese makers that make this. Oh, and so many other hard cheeses. I don't know what to do with soft cheeses like Camembert though, or blue cheese.
  • SuzySunshine99
    SuzySunshine99 Posts: 2,730 Member
    For me, cheese is not an everyday thing. I don't like cheese as an ingredient on sandwiches, in pastas, salads, chilis, etc. I don't even like cheeseburgers. Pizza is the exception...must have cheese, but not too much.

    I do, however, like interesting cheeses in small portions, with just a cracker or some jam to accompany it. For special occasions, I like to serve a diverse cheese plate.

    While I'll try most any cheese, I prefer a hard cheese to the softer, stinkier options. Also not a huge fan of blue cheese or anything moldy, but I won't shy away from it either.

    I'm a big fan of a double Gloucester with chives. Smoked gouda can be lovely. A white stilton with cranberries or apricots.

    I've found Trader Joe's to be an excellent source for "budget" fancy cheese. They had a vanilla blueberry goat cheese, which sounded questionable, but was actually delicious! It was messy, though, blueberries rolling around everywhere.

    We often vacation in Wisconsin, which is known for their cheese. Every time we go up, we stop at various artisan cheese shops to sample different varieties and stock up for our vacation cocktail hours. Last time, we stopped at Baumgartner's Cheese Store in Monroe, WI. They claim to be Wisconsin's oldest cheese shop. Relatively basic, but very well done house-made cheeses.

    Great, now I want cheese...guess I'll go to Trader Joe's tomorrow...
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,799 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    I like hard artisan cheeses. Had some marvelous cheddar-like cheeses from small cheese makers in the UK. In the Netherlands Goudse Boeren Oplegkaas (some kind of really slow-ripened crystalline, but not that old-tasting Gouda) is really fantastic.

    I don't know whether I've had anything like the Goudse Boeren Oplegkaas, but I have to admit I do like the long-aged goudas. To me, they have a taste that is like their color, kind of dark golden yellow flavor (and I'm not usually prone to synesthesia, though I guess I do think of umami things as tasting brown - may just be an association, not synesthesia?) Though different, oaked chardonnay tastes yellow to me, too, FWIW, but I don't like it.
    I think there are just two cheese makers that make this. Oh, and so many other hard cheeses. I don't know what to do with soft cheeses like Camembert though, or blue cheese.

    I know what to do with those:

    Camembert: Put pieces in mouth, savor. Yum. My local farmstead** cheese guy (farmers market) makes a Camembert-style cheese he calls "Marie". I once got one from him at utterly perfect ripeness: Rich, runny but not ammonia-tinged, so indulgent. It was so good, and so peak, that I gave a big piece of the round to a cheese-loving friend so I wouldn't gobble the whole thing immediately.

    Usually, I skip crackers with cheese like this, just eat the cheese - most crackers are meh, generally don't add much, for me. (I've tried lots of crackers. Some are OK, but I haven't found one whose calories are worth more than extra cheese, to me, yet.)

    As a calorie indulgence, the soft mold-ripened cheeses (in whole rounds) are also great wrapped in puff pastry or filo and baked, possibly with a filling or topping involving dried fruit or nuts or things like that.

    Blue: I like this in a baked apple with walnuts. Core out the apple, leaving a little at the bottom so filling won't run out. Put in blue cheese, coarsely chopped walnuts. Place in baking dish, bake (maybe with water halfway up the apples, depending). Yum.

    Also good on salads, or in home-made dressing. I like some blues better than others: There's quite a range of flavors.

    ** Farmstead: He says farmstead cheese is made at a dairy/creamery by the same people who tend the cows/goats/sheep. Artisan cheese is made by similarly-small producers, but may use milk from other farms. He and his partner have cows, goats, make cheese & sell at several local farmers markets. I just got some chevre from him yesterday, looked like this:

    83bvhp11e279.jpg

    Spreadable cheeses like that, I don't usually just eat with a spoon. I had some of that last night on a nice chewy bagel from a local baker who sells at the same market, because (luxury) I had calories to cover a whole bagel while still getting my other nutrition goals dialed in. (It's hard to get decent bagels here, nice chewy ones that are a little crusty - the local preference seems to be for soft bagels that are just a round bread with a hole in the middle. 🤷‍♀️ This guy makes good ones. Also great chewy soft pretzel sticks . . . but that would be a discussion for a bagel/pretzel thread.)
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,839 Member
    I love cheese but I rarely eat it now. I used to have 10 different cheeses in my fridge at any one time. I cut it out mostly for ethical reasons and also to avoid saturated fat. It was also giving me GI symptoms after not having eaten it in a few years. My very favorite is Gouda. I love any sharp cheese though. I still put a little Feta in my salad here and there.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,351 Member
    smithker75 wrote: »
    I am very fortunate to have this selection in the small supermarket within walking distance from my house.

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    I love all cheese!
    I'm particularly partial to a Tasmanian triple cream brie with quince paste on a wafer cracker. I also love dutch smoked cheeses.
    I find the best way to satisfy my cheese craving is to grate sharp, vintage cheddar super fine and sprinkle it on toast.

    Actually, this is funny as smoked cheeses aren't really a thing in the Netherlands. You can get smoked cheese in Germany though (and I think in Poland).
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 7,351 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    I don't know whether I've had anything like the Goudse Boeren Oplegkaas, but I have to admit I do like the long-aged goudas. To me, they have a taste that is like their color, kind of dark golden yellow flavor (and I'm not usually prone to synesthesia, though I guess I do think of umami things as tasting brown - may just be an association, not synesthesia?) Though different, oaked chardonnay tastes yellow to me, too, FWIW, but I don't like it.

    You know how to recognise good old Gouda? When it's got a bit of a sweet taste with it then it's artificially quick-ripened. Old Amsterdam is one of those. If it lacks the sweet aftertaste (bit artificial, really) then it's a good'un.

    I feel like I'm really in the wrong place at the moment. Feta is super expensive here, and generally, supermarkets only seem to be selling farmers cheese, which is kind of the same made from cows milk :( Oh, and I've not see halloumi yet, or paneer. On a different note, I saw a Turkish butcher is selling sheeps heads. Maybe I could buy one and make head cheese :D
  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 796 Member
    Oh this is the best thread ever! 😀 I could wax lyrical about cheese for ages. Current faves are Cornish Yarg (lovely semi hard cheese wrapped in nettles) - perfect on oatcakes or a good crisp cracker; feta - I am addicted to Greek spinach and feta pie and make it as a treat; a good Brie like Pie d’Anglays (awesome on a semi-sweet digestive cracker); a well matured local cheddar (I live near Cheddar in England so get some great Somerset varieties), and last but not least - currently going through a real Bath Soft Cheese phase 😀 mhcsc8djli8r.jpeg
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
    I am definitely not a cheese connoisseur but I am a cheese lover. Living in the state of Cabot cheese, that's probably my favorite brand. And I'll eat just about any kind of cheese to be had. Especially if someone else is doing the cooking and serving. :)
  • sandielewis2001
    sandielewis2001 Posts: 251 Member
    One of the cheeses we found recently comes from Bohemian creamery and is a sheep’s milk cheese infused with saffron and toasted peppercorns. So delicious!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,799 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    I don't know whether I've had anything like the Goudse Boeren Oplegkaas, but I have to admit I do like the long-aged goudas. To me, they have a taste that is like their color, kind of dark golden yellow flavor (and I'm not usually prone to synesthesia, though I guess I do think of umami things as tasting brown - may just be an association, not synesthesia?) Though different, oaked chardonnay tastes yellow to me, too, FWIW, but I don't like it.

    You know how to recognise good old Gouda? When it's got a bit of a sweet taste with it then it's artificially quick-ripened. Old Amsterdam is one of those. If it lacks the sweet aftertaste (bit artificial, really) then it's a good'un.

    I feel like I'm really in the wrong place at the moment. Feta is super expensive here, and generally, supermarkets only seem to be selling farmers cheese, which is kind of the same made from cows milk :( Oh, and I've not see halloumi yet, or paneer. On a different note, I saw a Turkish butcher is selling sheeps heads. Maybe I could buy one and make head cheese :D

    The 5-year gouda I bought recently didn't taste sweet, so maybe OK.

    I really like the feta from the local artisan cheese guy, though it's a little different from the main commercial brands here: Hard to describe what the difference is, but it's mostly a texture thing, I think.

    It's interesting to me that farmers and feta are similar, just different milk: I assume that's regional, because they're not that similar here. Farmers cheese I've had here is firm, sometimes almost slightly rubbery, whereas feta is crumbly. Farmers cheese has been lightly salted (or maybe not at all - not sure), but feta is very salty.

    I've never had head cheese, and won't as long as I'm vegetarian . . . but the examples I've seen look kind of scary. I would've tried it if not veg, though.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,799 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    I am definitely not a cheese connoisseur but I am a cheese lover. Living in the state of Cabot cheese, that's probably my favorite brand. And I'll eat just about any kind of cheese to be had. Especially if someone else is doing the cooking and serving. :)

    That's interesting: I was planning to post a Cabot cheese as a calorie-efficient pick!

    These are two cheeses that I eat, the Cabot usually as an ingredient in things (sandwiches, omelets, etc.), and the string cheese as a snack.

    z0utp7so5zry.jpg

    Like I said, I usually eat the Cabot in things. It tastes reasonable, but doesn't transport me to cheese ecstasy - it's decent for a reduced fat cheese. The nutritional info is below: It meets my person rule of thumb for a calorie-efficient vegetarian ingredient (10 calories from all macros per gram of protein, or fewer), at 70 calories for 8 grams protein. It's fairly mild, melts OK on a sandwich or omelet, though as a cheese topping layer on baked things it's not ideal melty-wise.

    zd4f6l2fekop.jpg

    It's hard to find around here sometimes, but when the mega-cheese-counter store pictured upthread has it, I buy more than one package.

    The string cheese details are below. I like string cheese as a snack, and think various brands taste fine (especially with a line of dill mustard on top!), but I like the texture of these best. Also reasonably calorie efficient IMO at 60 calories and 8 grams protein.

    zkhks0jpyxn4.jpg

    I know that a lot of people don't like reduced fat cheeses. I do like some, especially in supporting roles. They're not a thing I'd usually eat for pure savorable joy, like I would the Humbolt Fog or a nice ginger mango stilton, say; but they have a useful place, to me.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,799 Member
    One of the cheeses we found recently comes from Bohemian creamery and is a sheep’s milk cheese infused with saffron and toasted peppercorns. So delicious!

    @sandielewis2001, that sounds wonderful! I assume that's the Bohemia Creamery in California? (I looked them up!) . I need to keep them in mind if I visit the Sonoma area. Looks like they have some other really tempting cheeses, too, but that one sounds especially intriguing!
  • sandielewis2001
    sandielewis2001 Posts: 251 Member
    @AnnPT77 - It is the creamery in the Sonoma area. We visit the area often for wine club pick ups and there are several good creameries around. Another favorite in the area is Valley Ford creamery. I like their Estero Gold Reserve and Grazin Girl Gorgonzola. Mmmmmm cheese 🧀

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