The best Cheeses

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Chief Longwind Of The North

Aug 26, 2004
We haven't had a cheese thread in a while, and our intrepid cheese maker hasn't giving us any updates lately. How are your cheese varieties coming along?

I love cheese. These are my favorites, in order from best to just edible.

Cheddar Cheese - Note, most cheeses are best served at room temperature, especialy the first few types of cheese listed here.

1. Balderson Heretage 7-year aged cheddar - This is an award winning cheese from Balderson Cheese company out of Balderson Ontario. It has the moist, yet crumbly texture of a well aged cheese, with little cristals of calcium running through it. The flavor is full-bodied with no hint of bitterness. It has just the right amount of salt, sour, sweet, and flavors that I have no description for. It is a wonderfully ballanced cheese that is a delight to eat. It has lost it's bite, and has turned into a flavor that you can't get until a cheddar has been aged 2 years or more, ahd that just get better over time. I have had older cheddars, upt to 24 year old cheddar. But none were better.

2. Baldersn Heritage 5-year Aged Cheddar- everything I said about the 7 year above, but not quite as good. This was the first Balderson Heritage Cheddar that I tried. I fell instantly in love with it. If you can get it, this is a truly great Cheddar.

3. Balderson 3 & 2 Year Aged Cheddar - Same as above, but not quite as good. But it's far better than the mass produced cheddars available at your local grocers.

4 Cabbot Seriously Sharp Cheddar - This is a fine cheese that is just starting to take on that wonderful aged cheddar flavor. It is a 14 month aged cheear that as lost its bite, and begun to develop the calcium crustals, and mature complexity of a really good cheddar. Cabbot Cheese is pretty good stuff, and I highly recommend it as a cheese to pair with crackers, and strawberries, all served at room temperature.

5. Tillamook Cheddar - Out of Oregaon, Tillamook cheese has a solid fan base. It is my eldest son's favorite cheddar. To me, it's better than the mass produced cheddar, but not as good as the artisan cheddars. I like it well enoug, but don't normally look for it.

6 Autor 5-year aged Cheddar - This is a pretty good cheese that is widerly available in supermarkets. It is better than most store brand, and keraft cheddars, IMHO, as it is available in 2, 3, 4, and 5 year offerings. It is a yellow cheese, with an occasional bitter after-note to it. But it is availble to me, the only truly aged cheddar available in my home town.

7. Kraft Cracker Barell Extra Sharp Cheddar - this was my dad's favorite. I grew uo on it. I remember eating it as a child while going to bed, and awakening with it lying on my pillow. It's sharp flavor is the best of the Kraft Cheddars. It has a bite to it. I still enjoy it occasionally. Of the mass produced chedddars, Kraft Cracker-Barell maintains a good quality that gives me the same flavor every time.

8. Sargento Cheddars - meh. They are edible, and a bit better than the store brand cheddars. The shredded varieties are convenient for salads, and topping casseroles, potatoes, and such. I son't usually purchase this brand as it is pretty moderate in flavor for my taste.

7. I list this as 7, as I can't get it but raely - Artisan, small batch aged cheddar - I had a freind/telecom cable company owner that I did buisness with who had a brother in Wisconsin, who made his own aged white cheddar. my freind gave me a gift of some. It was the first time I'd ever eaten a 5 year cheddar, and it was outstanding cheese. It was every bit as good as the Balderson 7 year Heritage Cheddar. Sadly, the brother has passed on. But I did love his cheese, though I never had the chance to know the man. And his brother, my friend, is a great guy.

Colby Cheese - Similar to cheddar, but younger, looser curds, sweeter, with a milky note.

1. I ahve yet to take the plunge and order a true Colby. w
isconsin realxed its exacting standards for what could be called Colby cheese int the 1970's. To read more about Colb Cheese, take a look here - The only Colby I have ahd he opportunityto eat is Kraft Longhorn Colby. It is very similar in texture and flavor to a mild cheddar. Heavy Sige. I will purchase some of the true Colby, and soon.

Pinioning Cheese - Pinioning cheese was created in Pinioning Michigan by the Williams Family, who still make it to this day. It is similar, but different both flavor and texture to Colby and cheddar.

1. Pinioning Extra Shar - I was introduced to this wonderful cheese at a friends house up in Hayden Lake, Ontario. It was served at room temperature, and as a small sampling. My first bite was intense. This cheese has a wonderful bite that can make you jaw muscles aceh, litteraly. It is a creamy, well balanced cheese that is great served whith fresh strawberries, crackers, or simply snacked on in snall bites. If you can find it, this cheese is a must taste for all lovers of sharp cheese.

2. Pinioning Sharp, and Pinioning Mild - These are fine cheese varieties, but don't even compare to the extra sharp, IMHO. They are creamy, and melt very nicely. They are definitely worth eating.

Gouda Cheese - Gouda is a great cheese, and comes in plaing, smoked and aged varieties. DW loves smoked gouda, while I prefer aged gouda. Here ar my faovites:

1. Landan 1000 Day Old Gouda - this is a hard cheese, similar in texture to a real Parmesano-Regiano. It has a sharper flavor though, and is wonderful when grated over pasta, or in a salad. I love to shave a little off of the chunk and just much it. It is a great cheese.

2. Beemster 18 Month Aged Gouda - This cheese is in a class of its own, with a rich, strong flavor, intense flavor, with a sweet after note. It is waydifferent than the young gouda you will find at the supermarket. Here is a link where you can get it, as well as almost any cheese you want to try -

3. Beemster Gouda - This isn't the aged gouda from above, but it is a high-end gouda ust the same, and is for those that like a milder cheese. It melts well, and is great for grilled cheese, or to put in a sandwich, like you might with provolone. Igourmet has many other brands of good Gouda cheese as well. But Beemster is my favorite brand, after the Landana.

Swiss Cheese - A well aged Ementeller is one of my absolute favorite cheeses on the planet. Yeas ago, I purchased a pre-sliced Ementeller for a gorcery store no longer in business. I don't know how long this cheese had been sitting on the shelf, but when I opened it and ate a piece, I was blown away. It had a strong, sweet, and nutty flavor that was better than any Swiss cheeese I had ever eaten. Sadly, I haven't been able to find that quality again. Almost all fo the Swiss available in my hoome town is Baby Swiss, or Lacy Swiss. They are both mild in flavor, with the former made from whole milk, and the latter made from skim milk. In my opinion, they are good, but not great cheeses. My favorites in this variety::

1. Kaltbach Cave Aged Emmental AOP by Emmi - This is a full-flavored, mature Emental Swiss, with large holes, and a wonderful flavor and texture. There are other great Ementallas out there. This one however, is one of the best.

2. Allgau Emmental - This is a German Swiss that is superb on any sandwich that pairs well with swiss, like a Reuben, for instance. It is also great for cutting into cubes for a cheese tray, or in fondue.

3. Baby Swiss - I don't have a farote brand here. They all taste pretty flavorless to me.

4. Lacy Swiss - the same for me as baby Swiss.

Gruyere This is another great cheese variety. It is semi hard, with a complex, and creamy flavor. Again, this is a great melting cheese and is great when added to a Bechemel Sauce. It's also a great sandwich cheese, pairing perfectly with salamis, mortadella, or any of the Italian hard-cured sausages. It's also good with Spanish Choriso.

1. Gruyere AOP - Tis is the quintessential fondue cheese. It has a wonderful, full flavor that tastes of whole milk. It is everything a Gruyere should be. This cheese is also available at

2. Deli-coounter Gruyere - I haven;t had a bad gruyere from a deli, or deli counter, ever.

Butterkade Cheese - This a creamy, buttery, young cheese with a pungent flavor that is great eaten straight up, or melted over a burger, or in a sandwich. This German-made variety is one of the greats. You have to look for it though, as it isn't as widely available as the Swiss, Cheddars, and other more common cheeses. If you can find it, get it. You won't be disappointed.

Itallian Har Cheese - These include Parmesao Regiano, Pecorino Romano, Gran Padino, and Asiago, Gran Kinara, Gran Motevego, and others. These are all hard, grating cheeses with strong flavors that pair oh so well with salads, olives, pastas, and with meatballs, and sausages. I don't have specific brands. I will say however, that the true Italian brands, though pricey, have to meet strict national guidelines that insure the quality of the cheese. These are all great cheeses, each a little different than the other.

Blue Cheese - These are veined cheeses. Famoous for their pungeant, and strong flavors are:

1. Matag Bule - Yes, the same family that produce the Maytag Washing Machines, had a member who decided to make his own blue cheese. It was so good that it became a very well known example of the type. It is creamy, with all the flavor you would expect from a blue cheese. When you see it, it is worth purchasing.

2. Gorgonzola - famous for its affitity to a fire-grilled burger, the cheese is laced with green veins of mold, instead of the blue mold found in similar cheeses. It is a really great cheese, if you enjoy veined cheeses.

3. Blue Stilton DOP by Colston Bassett - a stunning Stilton. Creamy and crumbly, htis is a perfect veined cheese. Need I say more?

4. Roquefort Cheese - Made from sheeps milk, this cheese has a diffeerent flavor than the cows milk varieties of veirned cheeses. It is one of the better known French cheeses, and deserves its fame. If you enjoy veirned cheeses, seek out Roquefort Cheese. It is creamy and rich.

Mozzarella/Provolone Cheese - I could go on with so many other kinds of chhese. Suffice it to say that Mozzarella, the pizza cheese, and provolone, the Italian Sandwich cheese are so good. Mozzarella should be made from bufalo milk, and young, and in a brine. Provolone is made in a round tube, is much firmer than mozzarella, and a bit saltier.

I'm not even going to get into the ripened stinky cheeses, or rind washed cheeses. Anyone who wants to add their cheese knowledge, put in you 2 cents, or 20 dollars worth of knowledge. I don't think you can ever know too much about cheese.

Seeeeeeya; Cnief Longwind of the North
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