How to Pick a Good Cheese

1 Sep

Cheese PlatterPicking a good cheese is largely dependent upon an individual’s taste. With endless possibilities to be found in your grocer’s refrigerated section, or even at the local cheese store, it can be difficult to know what to look for when picking a cheese. There are several different kinds of cheese – soft cheese, hard cheese, creamy cheese and each one may contain different types of animal milk. The most commonly used milk is that of a cow, but it is not uncommon to also see goat’s and sheep’s milk being used in several varieties of cheese. Here are some tips to help you pick out a good cheese whether you simply want to incorporate it into dinner or you are having a party where a good cheese selection is part of the offerings.

Ask an Expert

If you are lucky enough to have a local cheese store nearby, you can benefit from asking an expert. Most people who own their stores have taken the time to get to know the individual varieties of cheeses as well as the distinguishable features of each. An expert, for example, can help you understand the difference between the several varieties of blue cheese that are available for purchase. Some blue cheeses are mild while others are pungent and each is likely to complement a separate type of food or wine. This is because of the aging process, the type of milk – cow, goat or sheep – that was used and the type of mold that is present within the cheese.

Taste Several Varieties

Cheese PlatterWhen it comes to picking a good cheese, buying several different ones to taste can become quite costly. Rather, find a shop that will allow you to taste their cheese prior to purchase. You will not likely find this service in a grocery store, as they are already prepackaged for sale, but visiting a cheese shop or even a farmer’s market can turn you on to cheeses that you otherwise would not have tasted, let alone bought. In the case of blue cheese, try the several different brands available including:

  • Gorgonzola
  • Roquefort
  • Stilton
  • Cabrales

Each of these cheeses is made in different countries and can be used in many cheese recipes. Only by tasting the differences, will you be able to tell which cheese will be good for your purpose. Blue cheese is amazingly versatile and can be used as an addition to a meal or by itself on a cheese platter.

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