It's going to get cheesy on today's Food 101 feature!
When it comes to exquisite cheeses, I think the market here in Cebu is still afraid to venture into trying different cheeses aside from the usual Mozzarella or Cheddar variations. I'm glad that the sellers here are very helpful when it comes to questions of freshness and taste. I'm glad that we now have more options available locally as well as vegan alternatives for everyone to enjoy! For now, let's review on some popular cheeses and how to pair and eat them accordingly.
Before we move on, you should also consider the milk used to have an idea on the flavor. Cow's milk is popular and abundant and this gives as a familiar sweet and creamy taste. Sheep's milk has a grassy flavor and is less buttery while Goat's milk has a hay or for the lack of better term, a barnyard taste to it.
Brie is a soft cow's milk cheese named after Brie, the French region from which it originated. It is pale in color with a slight grayish tinge under a rind of white mold. Some prefer the middle part and some like the nutty rind.
Best uses: It's best cooked so you can bake this alone for a cheese dip or mix it into pizza, pasta, and sandwiches.
Feta cheese is made from sheep and goat's milk. Tangy and moist, feta can range from completely crumbly to moderately creamy and pairs well with fresh summer fruit.
Best uses: Crumbled in salads and slipped into sandwiches.
Mozzarella is a favorite and is made fresh from cow's milk. Fresh and dairy rich, mozzarella is prized for its texture and mild creamy flavor.
Best uses: Everything. Enjoy its freshness with some tomatoes, salt and pepper drizzled with olive oil.
Monterey Jack is the mother of all cheeses intended for melting. Made from cow's milk, this type of cheese originated from the United States and is very buttery in flavor with a mild tang.
Best uses: Into anything that needs ooey gooey melted goodness! Can also be placed inside peppers for a spicy and hearty snack.
Cheddar is a cow's milk cheese that originated in Somerset, England and is more of a verb as it is more of a category of cheese. Authentic cheddar cheeses are dry and crumbly in texture, with a deep, tangy, nutty flavor.
Best uses: As is, in sandwiches, grilled cheese, casseroles.
Gouda is a semi-hard to hard cow's milk cheese from Holland. Long-aged goudas will have a crunchy texture while those aged at least four months have a softer bite into it.
Best uses: Young gouda can be melted into almost anything while long aged ones can be grated into pasta toppings and salads.
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