The Best Ways To Each Cheese: Part 1


Who doesn’t like eating cheese? As a culture with a strong, burning passion for food, at or near the top of this list, we often find cheese. Cheese is an overlooked, and often underappreciated food. In can be integrated into countless dishes, or it can be used as a topper for so many more dishes, salads and even desserts. We, as a civilization, never seem to run out of ideas for our uses of cheese. Every day, it seems that culinary experts and chefs around the world are experimenting with different cheeses and dishes in their efforts to create new dishes whose main attraction is cheese, in some way, shape or form.

Let’s taker a gander at some of the more ingenious creations in which cheese is used, or hidden, for that matter. Now, keep in mind, some of these dishes or cheese concealments require a “think outside of the box” approach…

Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

When making meatballs, add some “umpf” to it by integrated some of your favorite cheese when rolling the meat to form meatballs. As the cheese meets the heat when cooking, the cheese will expand and will add an extraordinary flavor to an already delicious meatball.

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Ham, Egg and Cheese Crepe

  1. Make your pancake, as you normally would… the thinner, the better in the case of this recipe.
  2. When the underside is nearly cooked, place a slice of ham on top, topped off with some of your favorite cheese.
  3. Fold the sides into to make a square, or as close as you can get to one.
  4. Break your egg into the space left… leave sunny-side up.
  5. Squish the sides down with your spatula to seal as the cheese melts.
  6. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the egg is turning white.
  7. Pop under the grill for a further 2 or 3 minutes until the yolk is just starting to cook, or however you like it. (Although, if you like it any way other than runny you’re way crazy.)
Source: http://www.tamingtwins.com/ham-egg-and-cheese-crepes/

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A Cheesy Pie Crust… literally

Making a pie crust with cheddar cheese baked directly into the crust gives it an entirely new dimension of flavor. Try baking an Apple Pie with a cheddar cheese infused crust. Goodness, that sounds absolutely amazing just thinking about it.

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For the Gluten-Free

For those who are in search of gluten-free foods, try using cheese as bread crumbs over zucchini. If this peaks your interest, try this recipe for starters… Parmesan Baked Zucchini.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh Parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a cooling rack with a nonstick spray such as Crisco and place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine the following: Parmesan, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder, salt and pepper. Taste to determine if this meets desired taste.
  3. Place the quartered zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil and as well as Parmesan mixture.
  4. Place into oven and bake until tender. This usually takes ~ 15 minutes. Then broil for around 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately. Garnished if that is your thing…
Source: http://damndelicious.net/2014/06/21/baked-parmesan-zucchini/

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Cheese-Infused Loaf of Bread

This is quite the old-fashioned move, but as they say, “an oldie but goodie” and this no doubt falls in this league. When baking a loaf of bread, step up your culinary game and inject a concoction into the center of the bread; a concoction of your favorite cheese, spices, herbs, etc. Bake and enjoy!

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More Cheese… More Bread

With the Cheese-Infused Bread in the back of your mind, try this cheese creation on for size. The Bread Bowl of Cheese is another cheese creation, or should I say, masterpiece, that is in yet another league of its own. Try this recipe…

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 bread rolls (soft or crusty)
  • 4 small slices of ham, or 2 big ones cut in half
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut tops off the bread rolls.
  3. Scoop out the center of each bread roll and reserve. Although this can be quite an intricate step in the overall recipe, try to keep your cuts and scoops nice and neat.
  4. Line the bread bowl with a layer of ham, using a single slice or multiple slices as needed.
  5. Crack in an egg. This is the part of the recipe where Humpty Dumpty came to mind with me.
  6. Top each with 2 tablespoons of Mozzarella and a sprinkle of parsley, if desired.
  7. Put the tops back on each roll. Wrap with foil and place in oven to bake for ~10 to 15 minutes, making certain to check periodically, ideally, in 10 minute intervals.
  8. 10 minutes = very runny yolks. 15 minutes = firm just cooked yolks. 15 minutes + = very cooked yolks.
  9. Remove from oven, unwrap, serve immediately and enjoy heaven in a bowl.
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Revolutionary Uses for Chocolate That Could Change Your Life and Love of Chocolate


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Let me start out by premising this article with this question… who loves chocolate? Wait… scratch that… who “doesn’t” love chocolate? If you are not a lover of one of the greatest inventions on this planet, then this read will not be for you. Chocolate has been around. seemingly, since the begin of the world, in a galaxy far, far away… sorry, was waiting for the day I could use a Star Wars reference (I’m sure even Yoda loves chocolate). Chocolate used to be a decadent treat, or dessert, but over the years, has since taken the thrown as a “superfood”, reaching the echelon of culinary supremacy in countless ways and forms.

Is chocolate a food or a dessert? Well, call it a food to someone baking chocolate chip cookies and call it a dessert to someone who is sprinkling chocolate shavings in their salad or dish, and see how far you get. Chocolate is a revolutionizing culinary food, errr… dessert. You get it, I hope. It is multi-functioning, multi-purposed and loved by so many. And, to top it off, chocolate can be healthy for you! No, seriously, it does have health benefits. Don’t believe it? Keep reading!

Here are a number of things you may or may not have known about Chocolate…

Cash Crop – Yes, at one point in history, chocolate was used as a form of currency. In the day of the Mayans, chocolate grew on trees in the form of cocoa beans. These cocoa beans were extracted from trees and used directly as forms of currency. The Aztecs followed suit.

As Body Paint – Don’t think I need to go into much further detail… use your imagination, and please, keep it to yourself.

With Cheese – Nothing too new or bold here, but adding a sweetness to cheese, even chocolate, can heighten the flavor of both the cheese and the chocolate. And, as old school as it may be, chocolate-swirled cheese cake is an incredible dessert.

Chocolate and Bacon – If you are not aware of this amazing culinary marriage, it’s about time to familiarize yourself with the existence of this fine creation. Bacon coated in chocolate might be the best thing ever created by the people, and for the people.

Dental Health – You’ve got to be kidding, right? Actually, not so much. A cocoa extract has recently been found to be more effective than fluoride in maintaining a healthy set of teeth.

A Happy Heart – Dark chocolate, studies have shown, actually improved coronary circulation. If that isn’t incentive to eat chocolate, I’m not sure what is.

Happy Skin – Cocoa Butter is said to improve the rich, smooth qualities of your skin with an added aroma that will make you the center of attention, in a good way, of course!

Put an End to Hypertension – Studies have shown that consuming dark chocolate can actually lower your blood pressure due to its link with polyphenol-rich chocolate.

Increasing your IQ – Yes, dark chocolate contains higher levels of flavanols that are known to improve blood circulation throughout your body and even your brain. This helps combat mental fatigue, making you more alert and responsive.

Putting that Smile on Your Face – Feeling a bit down? It’s almost natural and a cultural habit to go for that box of chocolates to make you feel better. But it there merit to this? Studies have shown that eating chocolate has similar physiological effects as that of kissing. Chocolate improves bodily circulation and serves as a mild stimulant, making you become more euphoric, which essentially, turns that frown upside down!

 

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Shelf Life: A Key Component to Cheese


You walk into your kitchen and notice that piece of cheese on the far end of your counter that you purchased weeks ago. Being entirely weary, you go over to this hunk of cheese and pick it up to examine it. You turn it over, analyzing every corner and then you take the great leap of faith to sniff it, and as you do, you’re nostrils take in this distinct and pronounced smell. Is the cheese still good and this smell is due to aging or is this just a smell of plain ol’ spoiled cheese?

A rule of thumb when purchasing cheese is to, essentially, not bite off more than you can chew, literally. When making a purchase, buy enough for a day or a week’s worth of consumption that will put you in a comfortable position. Worried about purchasing cheese from a store in fear that it might be spoiled or not entirely as fresh as possible? Not to worry. Buying cheese from a specialty foods store, such as Shisler’s Cheese House, will ensure the best cheese buying experience as their storage facilities are better conditions that what can be replicated in your own home. Where a cheese is kept weighs heavily on its quality.

Here are a few “best practices” for cheese storage and shelf life:

When smelling a cheese and it turns out carry a pungent aroma with it, that does not mean this will always be a case of it being spoiled (i.e., Limburger). Smell the cheese you want to purchase and decide if the aroma is bearable and simply aged or if it is not your “cup of tea”, or in this case not your “slice of cheese”.

Taste the cheese. If, by now, you haven’t decided whether the smell is desirable or off-putting, try a piece and see if the taste if what you’re looking for.

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Fresh, soft cheeses as you would find in a grocery store, have a shorter shelf life than aged, harder textured cheeses. Fresh, younger types of cheese such as Ricotta, Mozzarella and Goat cheese generally have a shelf life lasting up to a week or week and a half, from the date of purchase. If you taste the cheese and its taste has hints of spoiled milk, well, I don’t think much more must be said.

Brie and Camembert tend to have a longer shelf life than fresh, young cheese as well, and other similar cheeses with a bloomy rind, yet still have an ample content of moisture to where it could still spoil. Overall, these types of cheese can last for weeks to perhaps a month and half, depending on the date of purchase. If the cheese rind on these types of cheeses appears to have a pink mold with a slimier coating, best to toss it. If an ammonia-type smell develops, this is not bad thing, as this is a byproduct of the aging process.

Cheese such as Taleggio, Limburger and Epoisses are best eaten straight after purchase. These cheeses carry an especially pungent aroma, so you could imagine the work they could do stored in the far ends of your refrigerator. The rinds on these cheese will dry out and crack over time which becomes a paradise for bacteria to live and thrive, a potential death sentence if consumed under these conditions. Best to eat these cheese as soon as they are purchased, but try not to let these cheese spend more than a week in your fridge if even that long before consumption.

Lightly aged goat cheeses such as Crottin, Chevrot and Chabichou du Poitou and other French-origin goat cheeses are virtually indestructible. Enough said…

Aged cheeses such as Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmigiano Reggiano and Fontina have gone through a lengthy aging process that ensures their durability over the test of time. With such minimal moisture within these cheeses, there is nothing too much to be worried about with these cheeses. In many cases, the more aged these cheeses are, the better they taste.

As Blue Cheeses age, they become more intolerable to those not accustomed to this type of cheese. The moment you try a blue cheese, you will know whether or not the taste has become to overwhelming for your liking. While it will never put your health at stake, the age of a blue cheese may take a toll on your taste buds. The higher the moisture content in a blue cheese, the quicker it develops a more pungent taste. Wrapping these cheeses in foil will maintain their moisture content.

 

Source: http://www.thekitchn.com/the-cheesemongers-top-ten-rule-47335

 

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What is the Perfect Cheese For Pizza?


September 5th marked a day of celebration for America, and perhaps, even much of the world… because who doesn’t like pizza and cheese or both? Unknown to many is that September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day. You know with the birth of smartphones and mobile apps came the phrase “…there’s an app for that”, well in similar light, if you love a food or, in this case, a combination of foods, a new axiom may take shape here, “…there might just be ‘National’ day for that”. A day that puts the focus of pizza and cheese, two delicious foods in and of themselves, but when together, spark a whole new revelation of culinary marvel… who would not love a day just to celebrate such a marvel? The answer should be simple… no one.

There has been an age-old question that continues to make the mind wonder and wander, that is… “Is there a perfect cheese to put on pizza?” Dr. Bryony James, a scientist whose research centers on food microstructure and food material science in New Zealand at the University of Auckland dove right in to find an answer the this question. Dr. James’ team of scientists study the building blocks of food and even experiment with structural composition of various foods that can influence its functionality. Ideally, their line of scientific research would allow them to develop a potential hypothesis for such an experiment. As the team began initial studies of the “best cheese for pizza”, they already knew that, historically, Mozzarella was highly favored and the most commonly used cheese for pizza topping.

Among countless scientific trials and experiments, the team researched cheese based on browning and blistering. These variable were designated as focuses of research as they were found to be the most looked upon features by consumers. Examining the properties, features and characteristics of cheese could potentially lead to further discoveries of the ideal cheese or in some cases, the ideal combination of cheeses to use on pizza. Other cheeses the group extended their research to was Cheddar, Colby, Emmental, Gruyere and Provolone. The actual experimentation itself was conducted by state-of-the-art technology, as opposed to human hands. As human judgment would have been idea over the work of a machine, it would have been far more time-consuming and brought the idea of a “bias” trial or opinions when bringing human emotion and interaction into the picture.

Of the properties of cheese that were measured for this experiment, smell, texture, melting properties and color were at the forefront. Researched revealed that some cheeses like Cheddar did not produce a favorable level of blistering while the likes of Gruyere did not properly brown after melting, which can be attributed to the oil content within the cheese. The results clearly indicated that although Mozzarella might be the traditional favorite cheese topper for pizzas, there might not be that “perfect” cheese or combination of cheeses, as each cheese’s characteristics and properties, when undergoing melting, might be desirable for one consumer, but desirable for another.

Source: http://www.cheeserank.com/post/the-science-of-pizza-cheese
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Want a Little Wine with Your Cheese?


When you think of wine, what is the first thing that comes to mind? No, not getting intoxicated from it after a long, frustrating day at the office. I’m thinking more along the lines of cheese. And when you think of cheese, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Wine! Wine and Cheese, Cheese and Wine… they are nearly inseparable and the quintessential marriage of two dynamic worlds. Wine and cheese work off each other and benefits from each other’s flavors. When drinking wine after cheese, cheese helps bring out the taste and texture of the wine, while at the same, the wine brings out the immense flavors of the cheese. More times than not, the wine will expel a myriad of flavors from the cheese. Am I getting you hungry and thirsty now? Well, that was the goal, ha!

Everyone loves a good party, whether it’s a last-minute party or a party that has been planned for months. A common theme for many parties is, you guessed it, a “Wine and Cheese” party. I mean, who doesn’t love a good wine and cheese party, especially when you can have a wine tasting party. Often times though, the biggest dilemma comes with the cost it takes to throw a wine and cheese party. Certain cheese can run a hefty price, while certain wines can carry a steep price tag as well. But, having both is critical to a wine and cheese party as it just sounds awkward to have a wine party (wait, that doesn’t sound so awkward, especially when you’re in the mood for wine, ha) or a cheese party (unless you’re a cheese fan, like we are.

While wine prices, especially rarer, sought-after wines, can be quite soaring, keep in mind, there are still great, fabulous wines out there that won’t break the budget. We understand that many folks are not looking to spend $500 on a bottle of wine, but maybe more like $30. You are in luck! There are many selections of wine ranging anywhere from $10 to upwards of around $150. A number of these wines are imports too, which is amazing in and of itself! Contrary to the infamous $1,000 bottle of Dom Perignon, these wines cost pennies on the dollar while delivering an exquisite wine-tasting experience. Below is a list of some of the most popular imported wines ranging from $10 to $150. The cost for each bottle of wine could vary from store to store and with currency rates continually fluctuating, prices could vary across different parts of the world as well.

Source: Wine Searcher (www.wine-searcher.com/topvalue.html)

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To place things into perspective, here is a list of the world’s top-priced wines… and yes, these will break the budget or four budgets. Warning: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

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Can Cheese be the Answer to a Long and Healthy Life?


When you think of foods that promote and maintain healthy living, you think of salads, fruits, vegetables and grains among other foods. Unbeknownst to many, though, are the enormous health benefits of cheese. Contrary to the common view that cheese contains fat and less known for its health benefits, cheese can indeed “right the ship” in terms of bodily health. Cheese contains a number of nutrients, proteins and essential vitamins and minerals. Among these are Vitamin A, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and Vitamin B12, among others.

Photo Credit: HealthLine/Adamn Wenger

The benefits of cheese are numerous. Below, you’ll find the biggest, overall benefits in promoting health.

Dental Hygiene

When it comes to dental hygiene, cheese serves as the proverbial “one-two punch” in fighting germs. Given that is contains rich amounts of calcium which is vital for good dental hygiene by building strong teeth, cheese is an ideal candidate for thwarting cavities and plaque build-up. Also known for its low levels of lactose, cheese just adds to its repertoire of promoting those healthy, pearly whites as too much lactose content can promote cavities and plaque.

Cancer Prevention

When cheese comes to mind, one benefit of cheese that likely does not come close to striking the mind is the benefit it can have in cancer prevention. In fact, cheese can prevent the growth of cancer. A few byproducts of cheese-making include conjugated Linoleic Acid and Sphingolipids which are instrumental in cancer prevention efforts. A critical vitamin found in cheese is Vitamin B which can protect the body and its immune system when fending off potential diseases.

Maintaining Body Balance

Some cheeses contain low levels of fat content which can help regulate body fat in an effort to maintain good, healthy body balance. These cheese also assist in the development of muscle mass and increase bone density through fats, calcium, proteins and vitamins and minerals.

Bone Strength

As noted before, cheese contains a good number of calcium and Vitamin B which is essential for the development of healthy bones among elderly folks, children and pregnant women. As cheese is consumed, the Vitamin B in the cheese absorbs and distributes the calcium within the body.

A Good Heart

It is fairly common knowledge that high intakes of sodium and cholesterol can lead to poor heart health and high blood pressure. Cheese that contains low amounts of sodium can reduce the threat for heart disease, similar to the means in which Vitamin B reduces high blood pressure levels.

Pregnancy Benefits

Cheese can promote a healthy pregnancy through its calcium content which can aid in the stimulation of contractions during labor. The good amounts of calcium found in cheese can also be beneficial for women when breastfeeding as this helps in proper breast milk production.

Healthy Skin

Vitamin B, found in cheese, is known to be a premier contributor to healthy skin as it is beneficial in maintaining silky, smooth and glowing skin.

Migraine Prevention

Again, the calcium content in cheese can be beneficial in preventing or relieving migraines.

Counting Sheep

Found in cheese is an amino acid called Tryptophan which can stimulate one’s sleeping patterns by lowering stress and aiding in inducing better sleeping patterns.

Great Hair

Are you a fan of cottage cheese? Well if you are not, you might want to reconsider, especially if you love your hair. Cottage cheese with low-fat content contains a lot of protein and a tremendous amount of calcium which promotes and maintains healthy hair.

 

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If You Like to Spice Things Up with Hot Foods, These Cheeses Might Be Your Spice to Life!


There are some folks who like the simpler things in life, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that… then there are those that love to add that extra kick (or 10 kicks) into their diet to satisfy their constant craving for spicy foods.I know several folks that love, love, love spicy foods, and they just cannot get enough of it. Ketchup on eggs and burgers are an obsolete memory of the past. Ketchup has now been replaced by the likes of liquid smoke, tabasco sausce or other combinations of sauces that add fireworks to an otherwise ordinary meal. If you are a cheese lover, there are a number of cheeses out there that are a kick or ten above the rest, one of which is so hot that the few restaurants that serve it on their burgers require that you sign a waiver release before eating the burger and that you wear latex gloves to prevent spice burns. Yes, it is that serious and the cheese is that spicy. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at some of these spicier cheeses.

The fact is, most cheese is naturally made mild as milk usually acts as a soothing agent to thwart the “burn” in your mouth and throat left behind by spicier foods. Here are the few exceptions…

Jalapeño

One of the most “garden-variety” chili peppers available across the globe, often get integrated into cheese to give it that extra kick. Jalapenos, believe it or not, has a fairly low spice level, compared to another cheese that makes this list as well. There is actually a scale in which the spice level of a chili pepper is measured, called the Scoville scale, where the level of hot in a chili pepper is measure in units called Scoville units. In this case, the Jalapeno falls at around 2,500 to 10,000 units. Finding a store that sells “Jalapeno Cheddar” is not a difficult task as Jalapeno Cheddar is more of a household cheese for those that love the spice.

Habañero

If consuming Jalapenos raw, by the handful as snack and without any soothing agent like milk or water, perhaps you’d like to take the stakes a little higher and give Hot Habanero cheese a try. Habanero is markedly spicier than the aforementioned Jalapeno chili pepper, coming in at a staggering 100,000 to 350,000 units on the Scoville scale. This pepper will weed out the fainter taste buds in a heartbeat. Cheese infused with Habanero Chili Peppers is still relatively easy to find in larger grocery stores and specialty foods stores.

Ghost Chili Pepper

If you are one of the rarer breeds who loves the hot level off the charts to where you cannot feel you mouth, lips, nose, tongue, throat, or pretty much your entire upper half, then perhaps Ghost Chili Pepper-infused cheese is up you ally. Ghost Chili Pepper is the second hottest cheese on Earth, yes, on the face of our planet. It comes in on the Scoville scale as being about 200 times hotter than the Jalapeno. Yes, this cheese can be legally bought, but very few have the sanity to buy it as, well, you value the life of your taste buds, mouth and lips. Restaurants that do make cheeseburgers with cheese that is infused with Ghost Chili Pepper cheese, and there are very few that do, require paperwork to be filled out by the challenge eater and latex gloves to be worn to prevent spice burns on the hands.

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Is Cheesecake Made From Real Cheese?


You are at your favorite restaurant and you order something off the dessert menu. None other than universal go-to and favorite, cheesecake. Then you begin thinking to yourself, why do they call it cheesecake when the main ingredient in the cheesecake is cream cheese? Why not call it Cream Cheesecake? Well, truth be told, while some use cream cheese to make cheesecake,  many other parts of the world use actual cheese to create this one-of-a-kind dessert masterpiece. There are actual a number of cheeses that different parts of the world use to make their own version of [real] cheese cake.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese was first created in the 19th century across the United States. Having many styles and variance, cream cheese was first made my local dairy farmers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Later, in the 19th century, William A. Lawrence, a Chester, New York dairyman bought a Neufchâtel factory. Neufchâtel is a softer cheese that is native from France for centuries. Lawrence, however, decided to take an additional step by adding more cream during the Neufchâtel-making process causing the cheese to become richer and heavier. He termed this “cream cheese”, and how fitting the name was. The majority of cheese cakes across North America are made with the base of some type of cream cheese giving “typical” cheese cake that rich, creamy texture.

Sour Cream 

Seriously?? While sour cream is not a cheese, it is a dairy byproduct of fermenting cream. Because of its smoothness and creaminess, it is often added to the cream cheese base that is used in cheese cake to make it creamier and thicker. Yet, other renditions of the dessert may feature a strictly-cream cheese base with a sweet, sour cream topping, usually in plain form or with lemon shards adding an extra bite or or layer of flavor.

Quark

Across various parts regions of Europe, quark is the go-to ingredient when making cheese cake. Because it is native to parts of Europe, cheese cake made from quark is often termed “German-style” or “Bavarian” cheesecake. Like Sour Cream, quark is made from the fermentation of milk. It has a creamy and yet a bit crumbly in texture and often has curds. Unlike cottage cheese, also having curds, quark is not made with rennet (as cottage cheese is) and salt, at times.

Ricotta

Here we have the real deal. I, personally, have had cheesecake made with Ricotta and I can tell you that it is the best cheesecake I have ever had. Besides its most common use in Lasagna and Manicotti, Ricotta is used to make cheesecake. While it is made in the United States as well, it is referred to as “Ricotta Pie” here in the states. Other versions of Italian cheesecake might use Mascarpone, a very soft Italian cheese often used in Tiramisu.

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Is Raw Cheese Healthy or Unhealthy?


We’ve all eaten cheese at some point in our life, unless health reasons prohibit us from doing so. But what is “raw” cheese? No, it is not cheese that is not cooked thoroughly. Instead, raw cheese is made from milk that is not pasteurized. For a while now, food critics and health experts alike have continually debated the benefits and disadvantages that consuming raw cheese can have on one’s health.

Consuming unpasteurized cheese is considered the thing to do today, as buying artisanal foods as such is trending very high in today’s market. There are some who believe consuming cheese’s raw version is a healthier option than its counterpart, pasteurized cheese. However, as some would believe that raw cheese promotes health, there are others that contradict such claims.

Cheese

THE BENEFITS

As program director at Oldway’s Coalition, Carlos Yescas, noted, there are a number of benefits to eating raw cheese. Among the key benefits are the diversity of microorganisms that are contained within the raw cheese. While uncertainties still remain due in large part to the human biological response to these microorganisms, the majority of the microbes present in raw cheese have the ability to combat disease and bodily infections. While many folks have shown concern with raw cheese and its production, Yescas assures that at the forefront of safety measures for producing raw cheese, is the diligence in making certain that good milk is sourced. It is the cheese-makers utmost priority to ensure that quality of the milk is superior which includes animal living conditions, animal nutrition and diets and animal husbandry. Because of the great risk involved when not pasteurizing the milk, a great deal of time, energy and resources are invested in making certain the conditions surrounding the milking-process is pristine.

Raw milk also has similar nutrients that are normally contained in pasteurized cheese, such as protein and calcium, among others while tasting identical to their counterparts.

THE DISADVANTAGES

Normally, you’ll find the cheese-making process to use milk that has been pasteurized. The pasteurization process involves heating the milk to destroy and pathogenic microorganisms that might be harmful, while maintaining its integrity of nutritional quality. In some cases, the pathogenic microorganisms can make you fall ill, especially those with lower immune systems like children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, older folks and those with chronic diseases. It is best advised to not consume raw cheese if under these conditions.

THE FINAL SAY

A number of raw cheeses can be found at local markets, by local producers. It is of the utmost importance to check and ensure that the conditions and environment of where the cheese is kept up to health and safety regulations. If you decide to consume raw cheese, make certain you are aware of where you are buying it from and how the methods in which the producer treats and raises the cows for milking.

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The Curious Case of Cheese


After doing some lengthy research, here is a list of the most interesting tidbits about cheese, that might be “news” to many…

From a Variety of Sources

Although the milk used in cheese-making commonly uses the milk of cows, milk involved the this process can also come from other animals such as sheep, goats, horses, buffaloes, camels, donkeys and moose. Although a rare type of milk used in making cheese, moose milk is made on farms native to Sweden and can be a bit challenging given the short lactation period of the moose.

Photo Credit: Alexis Negranti

When it Rome, Eat Cheese

One of the unknown facts about the Romans was their love of cheese. Romans that had larger end homes dedicated a room in the house as a special kitchen specifically for the purpose of cheese-making, which was called a Careale. As part of their custom, the Romans used the Careale to smoke the cheese as a means to add flavor and more importantly, to preserve it. Each state of the, then, Roman Empire, began creating their own customized cheese, native to their state, as the Roman Empire expanded through the centuries.

Maggot Cheese?!?!

Sounds disgusting, right? In anyone’s right mind, yes, you’d easily pass up the offer of eating cheese with maggots without a second though. But, there are folks that love the cheese and will swear that it is just the “bee’s knees”. The Cheese is called Cazu Marzu and is made from the likes of sheep’s milk, with an extra ingredient that, well… is unique, the “cheese fly”. Once in the cheese, the cheese flies will lay eggs, hatching and becoming maggots over time, causing the cheese to decompose, partially. I could go on with further detail of this cheese, but I think we all get the big picture here and I would rather not have you lose your lunch after reading this. Cazu Marzu is a delicacy in Sardinia, but illegal to eat due to its obvious nature and risk of health. Who would’ve thought you would need to sign over your will before eating a cheese… pass!

Do You Fancy Cheese

As there is an app for almost everything these days, there is a term for everything as well. In this case, the term that is coined for a true connoisseur and love of cheese is called a “Turophile”.

What Is That Smell???

Vieux Boulogne is a cheese native to France, made from cows’ milk and washed beer. Huh? Yes, washed beer. It is believed to be the cheese with the most potent smell on the planet. Limburger, you have company. Two other cheese that have a comparable pungent aroma are washed rine cheese and Stinking Bishop, a cheese native to England made from fermented pear juice. Just remember, a pungent cheese does not mean it has poor flavor.

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An Explosion Of Flavor

Unbeknownst to many is the oddity that while many dairy products are at their best quality when cooled, cheese is the polar opposite in the dairy family as it is at its best taste when eaten at room temperature as it has the most flavor when not chilled.

Cheesy Countries

When you think of nations that consume the most cheese, you’re thinking the United States has to be at the top. Wrong, the United States doesn’t even crack the top 3. The nations that lead in cheese consumption are: Greece, France and Iceland.

 

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