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Old 12-08-2011, 04:00 PM   #11
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The "Parmesan" cheeses are a good place to see the difference between good cheese and plastic cheese, because most people know the bad version. Grana Padano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the Argentine Reggianito are real cheeses of the Parmesan type. They are quite sophisticated cheeses, and serious cheese lovers even go so far as to check the farm number and date on the rind to discover where the cows lived and what time of year the cheese was produced. (What the cows were eating, grass, winter sileage, spring pasture with flowers, etc., alters the flavor.)

There's a story about, many, many years ago, a guy getting caught selling grated "Parmesan cheese" that was really ground umbrella handles. The stuff in the Kraft shaker can and in the shakers at most chain pizza places demonstrate how his scam was possible. If you use Parmesan, pick up a chunk of either of those three good Parmesans and see the difference. They are also good in things like tomato basil soup and added at the end in rissoto and other similar dishes.

And, if you have a cheese shop in your area, go by. Just be upfront that you don't know much about cheeses. They'll explain and let you try samples. They also sometimes have big cheese tasting affairs that are worth the price of admission.
You just quadrupled my knowledge of cheese. Ground umbrella handles indeed! Ha! What a hoot!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:02 PM   #12
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msmofet, like with all of your meal photos, you just made me hungry! What a fabulous plate of food!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:17 PM   #13
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msmofet, like with all of your meal photos, you just made me hungry! What a fabulous plate of food!
+1, Timothy. How beautiful that plate is.

And, Timothy, I know this is not exactly responsive to your question, but I read a while back that the shredded "bag cheese" has had cellulose added so it doesn't stick together and that we should always grate any cheeses from blocks for better flavor.

My step-daughter, who lived in Netherlands, loves the aged Gouda (she says it's pronounced "how-dah").
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:25 PM   #14
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+1, Timothy. How beautiful that plate is.

And, Timothy, I know this is not exactly responsive to your question, but I read a while back that the shredded "bag cheese" has had cellulose added so it doesn't stick together and that we should always grate any cheeses from blocks for better flavor.

My step-daughter, who lived in Netherlands, loves the aged Gouda (she says it's pronounced "how-dah").
Well, Howdah do to you too! Ha! Thanks for the info on the added junk to my food. I'll try to stick to block cheeses from now on! I guess food producers somehow justify to themselves the crap they put into our bodies. What a shame!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #15
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Another thing I have done lately is make my own cheese spread by starting with cream cheese and adding my own stuff.
Nice idea, I'll have to try that.
It's all good.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #16
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The thing about cheese is that it's a lot like wine. What I can get in my store is not necessarily what you can get in yours.

Having said that, some are distributed nationally. And if they aren't, they can be ordered online through places like iGourmet.com.

My all-time favorite cheese: Cypress Grove's Humboldt Fog. It's a goat cheese made in northern California, but it has pretty good distribution around the country. I'd be willing to bet it's available at Whole Foods.

The only way to describe the flavor is "decadent." It has a texture that's almost like cheesecake. It's very rich and flavorful, and when ripe there is a nice goo-iness just under the rind.

Other than this one, for the most part I also tend to lean toward the stinkier cheeses.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:56 PM   #17
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The thing about cheese is that it's a lot like wine. What I can get in my store is not necessarily what you can get in yours.

Having said that, some are distributed nationally. And if they aren't, they can be ordered online through places like iGourmet.com.

My all-time favorite cheese: Cypress Grove's Humboldt Fog. It's a goat cheese made in northern California, but it has pretty good distribution around the country. I'd be willing to bet it's available at Whole Foods.

The only way to describe the flavor is "decadent." It has a texture that's almost like cheesecake. It's very rich and flavorful, and when ripe there is a nice goo-iness just under the rind.

Other than this one, for the most part I also tend to lean toward the stinkier cheeses.

Thanks Steve! That one sure sounds like something I would love also!
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post

My all-time favorite cheese: Cypress Grove's Humboldt Fog. It's a goat cheese made in northern California, but it has pretty good distribution around the country. I'd be willing to bet it's available at Whole Foods.

The only way to describe the flavor is "decadent." It has a texture that's almost like cheesecake. It's very rich and flavorful, and when ripe there is a nice goo-iness just under the rind.
I'm addicted to this one - Unreal!
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:36 PM   #19
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I mainly stick with cheddar. The farmers market near my home has a vendor, Colosse Cheese from Pulaski, N.Y., they have some wonderful old cheddar, we are talking 10 years and older. I buy that for special treats. They sell some items online.

I also like Stilton at Christmas time.

The Wegman's near my home has a cheese counter with a tasters basket. It contains small chunks of exotic cheeses for a couple of bucks each. It is a good way to try some of the pricier items. I am sure any store would sell a couple of ounces so you could experiment.

Every year I look forward to a batch of macaroni and cheese shortly after the new year. I use up all of the dips and odd pieces of cheese left from the various holiday celebrations. Each year it is a little bit different but, it is always the best batch of the year!
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
Hi Blissful, Cheeses are too expensive for me to just grab one and hope it's something I would like.

No way am I going to try one and NOT like it at $8 for a little chunk.
...
As GLC mentioned, you can ask at the counter to taste the cheese. They should be more than happy to give you a taste. I can't blame you for not wanting to waste money on some cheese you might not like. I wouldn't want to. Heck, I ask for, and get, samples of cold cuts at the deli counter. I don't do it often, but when in doubt...
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