Holidays, despite the food excesses, are a time of restraint. So if you're making a cheese plate, keep it simple: five cheeses, two accompaniments. But what cheese? And how much should you buy? Everything you need to know after the jump.
'cheese 101' on Serious Eats
Though the South is home to many delicacies, a longstanding cheese-making tradition isn't among them. But that's starting to change, and while cheesemakers are following all kinds of roads to cheese, the region's particular climate makes for some interesting commonalities among its increasingly delicious cheeses.
Pairing cured meat and cheese isn't that hard, but get the most out of your pairing, it helps to know some general principles.
Sheep's milk can (and is) made into every style of cheese under the sun. But beyond versatility, sheep cheese has several particular qualities worth learning about as you navigate the cheese case.
Back in the day, if you wanted quality mozzarella, you needed to import it from Italy. But imported mozz loses its tender, fresh flavor and texture quickly, which is why these days, the best cheese might lie closer to home.
Real "Swiss" cheese—from the alpine region of Switzerland, Austria, and southern Germany, is a whole different story from what you'll find in your deli case.
Let's delve into cheese-making fundamentals to see how four simple ingredients (milk, cultures, rennet/coagulant, and salt) can produce a seemingly infinite number of cheeses.
Blue cheese, even carefully made, quality examples, rarely gets its due. But it has more going on than raw salt and pungency.
Many of the best known cheeses in the world—Cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano, "Swiss" (aka Emmenthaler) are firm to hard in texture. But their flavors can be radically different. So how do hard cheeses wind up this way—different from the limpid Bries, but also from one another?
Washed rind cheese is a broad but distinctive category of gloriously stinky curd. The telltale signs include a moist or sticky exterior, some variety of reddish-orange rind, and profound aromas reminiscent of often-unmentionable things—sweaty feet and barnyard animals figure prominently.
For the second installment of our Cheese 101 series, Liz tackles the wide and wonderful world of bloomy cheeses, which include some of the most beloved wheels out there.
Our new cheese columnist kicks off our Cheese 101 series with a look at the wide world of fresh milk cheeses, which includes mozzarella, paneer, goat cheese, and feta.