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Old 04-24-2009, 07:40 AM   #1
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Do You Know Anything About Gourmet Cheese?

Hi,

Recently, I was introduced to a gourmet cheese shop, and I fell in love. Anyway, I'm a cheese addict, but I don't have idea what to do with all of these cheeses I have never heard of, with names I can't pronounce. Any other cheese addicts out there? What would be good for cooking, for fondue, for just eating? I love sharp cheeses like the locatelli, and soft sweet cheeses like brie. Thanks!

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Old 04-24-2009, 07:48 AM   #2
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Hi, Jefferson. Welcome to DC It sounds like you might enjoy hosting a cheese tasting party - tasting a variety of cheeses is, imo, the best way to find the ones you like. Here's some info on putting one together: A Cheese-Tasting Party and Wine and Cheese Combinations

Cheddar, Gruyere, Emmenthaler and Swiss are some popular cheeses for fondues. Havarti and extra-sharp cheddar are favorites of mine for eating with crackers. I love goat cheese on salads or with roasted peppers on crostini for an appetizer. Another good appetizer is softened brie on crostini with raspberry jam.

Wait till KitchenElf logs on - she's an expert on these things Have fun!
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:29 AM   #3
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My best suggestion to you, since you seem to have found a good shop is go in and talk to the person behind the counter and ask to taste some samples. Any good cheese shop will be happy to give you tastes (just don't abuse it of course). Let them know the types of things you already like and they will steer you in the right direction.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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We have a local shop that has fabulous imported cheeses. I talked with them and they gave me the name of their supplier, check out their website: Home | Cheese Importers - Home of Willow River Natural Cheese & Other Gifts They were very helpful when I was doing a project in culinary school.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:42 AM   #5
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My husband jokes with our local gourmet cheese seller that other men buy their wives chocolates for Valentines' Day or other special occaisions, but what his wife wants is .... you got it, cheese. As a child I didn't like blue cheeses, but now I really, really like them.

One thing, if you have friends who aren't sweets addicts, is to have a cheese-and-fruit instead of regular desert, or it can be a brunch or afternoon get-together. Pears, apples, grapes are all good accompaniments in addition to some crackers or bread, preferably without a lot of flavor, just something to put the cheese on.

GB is right in that if you get a relationship with the owners/clerks, and don't abuse the privlege, most will give you a taste of something you're very unsure of.

You don't say where you live. I live in a tourist town that has a huge influx of people on weekends and holidays, so I hit my gourmet shop on weekdays during the day if I can, when no one is rushed (on a sunny weekend there might be dozens in a very small shop at one time; on a regular weekday there'd be only a few, and after a few visits, they know me well). That is when you're more likely to get advice, and a sample.

I live in an area that has some small, artisinal cheese makers, so don't just stick to imported cheese, some are excellent. Remember, don't compare apples and oranges. What I mean here is that some very great American cheesemakers make cheese that isn't the same as their European counterpart, but are excellent in their own ways. Happy cows actually come from Wisconsin!
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:10 AM   #6
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Another interesting way of classifying cheeses for a tasting is by the source of the milk. The most common of course being cow, goat and sheep. There are also traditional regional cheeses from mare, camel and buffalo milk.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:38 AM   #7
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There are great artisinal cheeses made in the US, but the difference between US cheese and Euro cheese is that US cheese is dead.

And that is a big difference.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:13 PM   #8
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I feel very lucky..My grocery store has a good sized cheese box and just looking in it makes me want to open the doors and start eating the young man who runs this section is well versed in cheese and has helped me many times. They are always eager to help, offer samples of their cheeses, Saturdays they set out bowls and small platters of cheese and crackers, different jams and such to go along with the cheese. They are never to busy..Ask a question and see their faces light up...I never shop that I don't come home with some cheese.Their blues and roquefort are wonderful. I tried a new cheese they got in last week pale yellow,with tiny pieces of red peppers, and next week the one with the pieces of olives..
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qmax View Post
There are great artisinal cheeses made in the US, but the difference between US cheese and Euro cheese is that US cheese is dead.

And that is a big difference.
By "dead," I assume you mean pasteurized.

There is actually a great deal of unpasteurized cheese made and sold in the US.

The FDA's has 60-day aging requirement for imported raw-milk cheeses. Because of this, some foreign cheese producers are pasteurizing their milk so they can sell young cheese here.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Wait till KitchenElf logs on - she's an expert on these things Have fun!
By no means an expert, but, the title did start me salivating!!!!

Try an aged Gouda...shave it and take small bites

Triple Creme Brie...find some very sweet ripe cantelope or very ripe peaches. Put a slice right on top of the brie or even mash it into a paste.

You can also make a quesadilla with brie and peaches and a lime/honey type drizzle - google will get you a recipe.

Mix some mascarpone cheese with a bit of sugar and cinnamon. Cut a peach in half, baste cut side with butter and grill. Turn over and fill pit hole with moscarpone.

Marinate a log of goat cheese in olive oil with some fresh rosemary, thyme, and pink berries. Slice and use in a salad or grill some mushrooms, take the slice and set in mushroom and bake until melted. Also use on a salad.

Drizzle a hunk of gorgonzola with honey.

Cave-aged Emmenthaler.

The above are all very standard cheeses. Sorry, have to get back to work
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