Top Five Cheeses

I heart cheese. I have a "Cheese" t-shirt. My mother's side of the family is from Cheddar, so I think it's in my blood. I could talk at great length about my top twenty or so cheeses but, because your patience isn't infinite and the format demands it, below are five of the best.

1. Leerdammer
The product of a cheese-breeding experiment, this slightly rubbery Dutch cheese is less than ten years old. Perfect in sandwiches.

2. Dolcelatte
When I was growing up, blue cheese was alongside parsnip, swede, tomatoes and spinach on the list of things I couldn't bear to eat. But those days are long gone now and all but the parsnip have been reprieved. It's the creamiest blue cheese I know and is so soft you can almost spread it.

3. Camembert
Serve me Brie or any number of similar French cheeses and I wouldn't necessarily spot your duplicitousness but I would definitely still smile - between mouthfuls, naturally. My mouth is watering as I write this!

4. Halloumi
A hard, bland, milky cheese... until you cook it: slice the "loaf" of halloumi into strips and grill them; wrap the cheese in pitta bread, fill it up with chopped lettuce and top it off with a liberal squirt of lemon juice; then watch me regress to my 19-year old self, too disgusted by the wheel of meat to eat a proper kebab on a Friday night when all the pubs had shut.

5. Mozzerella di Bufala
Very prolific in Italian cooking. The International Restaurant Standards Commission (which I just made up) scores major points for ensuring that, when away on business, insalata tricolore was available in every Italian restaurant I ever visited.


Anonymous nikki said...

Let the praise of cheese continue! May I add…

Vermont sharp cheddar
With homemade bread. Best grilled cheese sandwich ever.

When I did study abroad in France, this was worth its weight in gold. The begging has been known to get out of hand.

No explanation needed. Just good.

I should not eat the entire pre-sliced package in one sitting. But I almost always do.

I know a man that can get an entire bag of shredded gruyere into a single mug of soup. This is talent.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

They all sound so good! Boursin was in my top 5 before I remembered halloumi.

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

There is no saviour but brie. You will burn in the eternal fires of superheated philadelphia for your heresy...

Blogger DrHeimlich said...

"I'm just crackers about cheese!"

- Wallace

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

Cheese, what a great topic. American cheddar generally sucks and also gets more radioactive orange the closer to the mid-West you get. But even at its best it doesn't match to real aged English cheddar. Sorry, but that's the way it is. The Ploughman's lunch is an idyll.

You seen to be soft on cheese, but there are some cracking hard cheeses out there. Yarg is great stuff and I have to admit to being partial to Wensleydale or Caerphilly.

For a blue cheese I have to admit to liking Stilton.

Anonymous sarah said...

Yes, most American cheddar is terrible. Vermont white cheddar's pretty good--not as good as English cheddar. Still, I'll take the cheddar over the plastic American "cheese" any day. Do you even have that pre-sliced crap in England?

I'm not enough of a chees connossieur to know most of the names (other than camembert and brie...mmmm...) but I'll eat cheese in pretty much any non-plastic, non-bleu form.

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

Dunno. We used to have it I think, but I've been out of the country for a while so forget.

The greatest disservice America has done to cheese has to be the aerosol version though.

What do you eat your cheese with?

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Bread. Always bread. A crusty baguette would be great about now.

Anonymous sarah said...

OMG, I forgot about the aerosol version. That stuff smells like poison--why would anyone want to eat it? And those cheese puff thingys creep me out too. Cheese reduced to artificial orange. Mmmmm.

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

I agree about the bread (with pickled onions and a pint of decent beer), but have gradually got used to the combination of mature cheddar and suggestive biscuits.

Anonymous sarah said...

I was in a store today that had imported English stilton; they were selling a teeny-tiny wedge for seven bucks. And the stilton had dried apricots in it. Is that normal? Or is that kind of fucked up? Why weren't they selling plain stilton? Not that I can afford to spend $7 on cheese...

Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

Well, the 'normal' Stilton is the blue veined variety, but there is also the white version and some of these variants with fruit etc. Hopefully it wasn't blue with apricots in which case it has real problems.

Sage Derby is the one that always seems a bit odd. Colour and taste, that is.


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