Cheese is the favorite food of so many people. As long as you're not lactose intolerant, the right cheese can instantly upgrade almost every possible meal or snack. Stop using the same cheeses you're used to and try some of these exotic favorites!
Blue Castello is a soft creamy cow's milk cheese with a buttery and tangy taste. A fresh salad, crisp crackers and Blue Castello create a light and tasty meal. Serve with chilled Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc.
To make Burrata, milky curds of mozzarella are dipped into hot water and kneaded into balls. More curds are stuffed into the centers of these mozzarella balls and fresh cream is added to create a magically rich and tangy flavored cheese. It is wonderful with bread, melted onto a pizza, or topping a salad.
Cabrales is a semi-hard blue cheese with a soft rind. Inside of the rind is a creamy white to yellow colored cheese with streaks of blue mold. Cabrales is made from the unpasteurized milk of cow, goat or sheep. The strong aroma and acidic taste are great with red wine, fresh figs and salami.
Camembert that is young is hard and crumbly with a milky sweet taste. As it matures, a smooth runny interior develops and the rind becomes puffy and uneven with a white powdery finish. Mature Camembert boasts a rich buttery flavor with an edible rind.
Chevre is cheese made from goat's milk which gives it a tart flavor. The soft cheese hangs in bundles of cheesecloth filled with curds to drain and cure. Aged Chevre is brined to help it form a rind and then stored in cool caves for several months.
Comte is a hard mountain cheese matured in special caves in France for 4 to 24 months. Comte has a high fat content of 45 percent giving it the ability to melt easily making it ideal for fondue. Dry sherry or robust red wines enhance the rich nutty flavor of Comte.
Emmentaler from Emmental in Switzerland is the yellow, medium-hard cheese with holes commonly known as "Swiss" cheese. Emmentaler comes in giant wheels that weigh up to 220 pounds. The melting quality and mild flavor make it a favorite for sauces and as part of a nutritious snack served with fruit and nuts.
Gorgonzola is sold in solid blocks and is easily crumbled for sprinkling over salads or mixed into salad dressing. It is also available in a creamy form and sold in cups. Soft Gorgonzola added to mashed potatoes is delicious.
Gruyere is a semi-soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk. It is named after the Swiss village of Gruyere. The cheese is formed by curds which are pressed together after heating and separating whey from the curds. Gruyere is used in fine gourmet cooking, sprinkled on salads and soups when crumbled, or spread on crackers and served with fruit and wine.
Parmigiano Reggiano is lower in fat than other cheeses and exceptionally high in calcium. Used during food preparation and as a condiment for pasta, rice and soup. Parimigiano Reggiano slices well and is tasty with fruit, crackers and wine.
Pecorino Romano that is produced in Italy is made with sheep's milk. In the U.S., cow's milk is used. Dry salted with a soft and rubbery texture, it becomes sharper and smokier as it ages. Goes well with bold red wine or light beer and is a more flavorful alternative to traditional American Parmesan.
Piave cheese is named after the river Piave in Italy. It is a hard, cooked curd cheese that is sold in early maturity when it is a bright white in color, and then sold at different ages. The older cheese is browner in hue and has a sweeter flavor. It is a good cheese for both grating and as a table cheese.
Roomkaas from Holland is a whole pasteurized cow’s milk cheese with a fat content of 48 percent. This slice-able cheese will complement any kind of fresh fruit. Roomkaas melts at low temperatures and makes extraordinary omelets.
Roncal cheese is produced from the whole milk of sheep. The flesh is pale yellow and firm with tiny irregular holes. As it ages, the flesh becomes more yellow, and tangier flavor develops. A dry white wine goes well with Roncal.
Stilton is a British cheese made from cow's milk and distinguished by its own crust and blue veins that begin at the middle of the cheese cylinder and radiate outward. Great with crackers, it also pairs well with shortbread cookies and sweet wines such as sherry and port.
Zamorano is a Spanish cheese produced exclusively from sheep's milk. This hard cheese takes almost 6 months to fully mature. A pale-yellow cheese with a nutty buttery taste and a fat content of 45 percent, it partners well with both red and white wine of all types.