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#1 Mar 23 2012 at 6:10 PM Rating: Good
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I'd like to find some decent cheeses to eat with meats, crackers, etc. For my whole life, my exposure to cheese has been the basics (at least, for most Americans, I assume). Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, Colby, Monterey Jack (with various flavors, pepper, roasted garlic, etc.)

Hitting up some local stores I tried small samples of things like Havarti, Muenster, Gruyere and Gouda. Gruyere was down right disgusting, and Muenster tasted fine until about 20-30 seconds after you swallowed, at which time it filled your mouth with a dirty socks flavor. Gouda and Havarti seemed Ok, but nothing special to differentiate them from the various flavored Jack cheeses.

Is my palette just not cut out for cheeses? Will I find their strong moldy flavors unappetizing if I don't like what I tasted with Gruyere?
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#2 Mar 23 2012 at 10:37 PM Rating: Good
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Go to your closest Whole Foods Market and they usually have lots of samples to test. Cheese and meats need to be matched for them to work together.
Munster is good for everything and melts easily. Swiss and Baby Swiss is good with turkey. I use Cheddar with meats like hamburgers and salami and Bologna.I'm a big fan of "Extra Sharp Cheddar." Of course one can't forget the Bacon Swiss Burger! I always have Sharp and Extra Sharp Cheddar and Swiss, Munster cheese in my refrigerator.
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#3 Mar 23 2012 at 11:12 PM Rating: Excellent
Try smoked gouda. That stuff is divine! I really like Havarti too. If you try Bree cheese, use it sparingly. It's got a good flavor to it, but it can be overwhelming if you aren't careful.
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#4 Mar 23 2012 at 11:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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I second smoked gouda. Other things to also try if you can find them:

1. Ossau-Iraty sheep milk cheese. Worth killing over. Seriously good stuff. Nearly impossible to find.
2. A really good Triple Cream Brie (or baked bree, which is also great) on some crackers.
3. Truffle Cheese (its cheese with a bit of truffle mixed in. Generally derived from Gouda. i really like it)
4. Really, really good swiss (The expensive import stuff from switzerland) It's a whole different beast than the usual swiss cheese made in america. The bubbles in the cheese should be smaller than a pencil eraser.
5. Beachers Handmade cheese from Seattle - http://beechershandmadecheese.com/ it's just good! and local-ish! (well to me anyways)
7. Those little mini bonabel red waxed covered mini gouda cheeses. They taste different than normal gouda. Some people like the yellow wax ones better. Some crazy people. Who are also crazy...

honorable mention, try some Feta Goat milk cheese. It's somewhat of an aquired taste, but some people like them immediatly, others hate them instantly and never try them again. If you do enjoy it, it will be worthwhile. Also try some good Parmisian cheese (The Parmisian reggiano type stuff) grated over spaghetti or a salad or something.

Also, temperature of the cheese when you eat it matters. Some cheese are ideal cold. Most others do better at room temperature.
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#5 Mar 24 2012 at 12:01 AM Rating: Excellent
Blue Stilton.
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#6 Mar 24 2012 at 2:39 AM Rating: Good
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
Blue Stilton.
Second this.
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#7 Mar 24 2012 at 7:50 AM Rating: Good
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I love blue cheese.


Goat cheese is rancid sh*t that should enver touch anyone's mouth. Ever.

Edited, Mar 24th 2012 10:51am by Uglysasquatch
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#8 Mar 24 2012 at 7:51 AM Rating: Good
omg, Kao spelled something correctly after I spelled it wrong. The world must be coming to an end! In my defense though, my sister's name is Bri, and I get the various spellings mixed up.
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#9 Mar 24 2012 at 7:52 AM Rating: Good
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King Island Brie. I can't stand brie, but those who like it tell me King Island is unbelievable.

Have you ever tried Quince paste? it's fantastic with cheese. I usually have it with an aged cheddar. I love havati, loathe any of the mouldy cheeses. I actually like goats cheese when it's rolled with herbs or spices. Some of the soft cheeses with dried fruits in them are lovely. A lot of cheeses aren't nice on their own, but lovely when teamed appropriately. For instance Feta is too sharp for me by itself, and black olives too bitter, but team them together, with some tomato or cucumber, and they are a heavenly mouthful.

Edited, Mar 24th 2012 9:55am by Aripyanfar
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#10 Mar 24 2012 at 8:39 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
I love blue cheese.


Goat cheese is rancid sh*t that should enver touch anyone's mouth. Ever.
Goat cheese + honey + walnuts = heaven.
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#11 Mar 24 2012 at 9:01 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Sir Xsarus wrote:
Blue Stilton.
Second this.

Fourth, after ugly.

If you're eating cheese and biscuits, I'd recommend eating it with something sweet. The contrast is omnomnomnomnom.


For sandwiches I usually go with a nice strong Cheddar.
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#12 Mar 24 2012 at 9:49 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
I love blue cheese.


Goat cheese is rancid sh*t that should never touch anyone's mouth. Ever.
Goat cheese + honey + walnuts = heaven.
The only thing goat cheese leads to is vomiting.
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#13 Mar 24 2012 at 9:55 AM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
I love blue cheese.


Goat cheese is rancid sh*t that should never touch anyone's mouth. Ever.
Goat cheese + honey + walnuts = heaven.
The only thing goat cheese leads to is vomiting.


Red Robin used to have a mac & cheese dish that they topped lightly with goat cheese, That wasn't so bad, though it was definitely strong for such a small sample.
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#14 Mar 24 2012 at 10:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Red robin also has onion soup with melted cheese on top! Yum!
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#15 Mar 24 2012 at 11:29 AM Rating: Good
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Tailmon wrote:
Red robin also has onion soup with melted cheese on top! Yum!
Doesn't French onion soup usually have cheese on it?
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#16 Mar 24 2012 at 12:07 PM Rating: Excellent
It should
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#17 Mar 24 2012 at 12:30 PM Rating: Good
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I had a goat cheese calzone when I was in Hawaii, it was fantastic.
#18 Mar 24 2012 at 1:04 PM Rating: Good
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I f*cking love Brie. On everything and anything.

In the states, you'll most commonly see Gruyere topping the crouton in French Onion Soup (which is the traditional recipe). Some will cut costs by just using Mozzarella, Provolone, or a mixture of the two though. Not as good, because their flavor doesn't stand up to the soup as well. I actually tried Havarti on the crouton once, because it was on sale (and is generally cheaper than gruyere anyway, at least around here). Wasn't too bad, especially given the savings.

If you didn't like Gruyere, you probably don't like nutty cheeses in general. Many grocery stores will actually have placards giving some flavor details about the cheeses. I'd say grab one or two from different flavor profiles and work from there.

Also note that, like everything, not all cheeses are really meant to be eaten alone. Some goat cheeses, for instance, will be gross on their own, but paired with some dried fig? ORGASM.
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#19 Mar 24 2012 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
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Tailmon is right, at your local/organic grocery there should be a cheese tasting area with someone who is knowledgeable about cheeses and more than willing to help you test a few you might like. Keep in mind though that some cheeses really are about adjusting your palate, pairing with wine or fruit or meats, etc. Not everything is a cheese and cracker cheese.

Brie is a good option, it's always a good option. Can be paired with fruit or just baked and spread on some nice bread while it's still warm, it's like butter but 100x better. I also like soft goat cheese, but not plain, when it's herbed. We use a goat cheese rolled in herbs at my work for about half a dozen dishes, I buy it at the store and eat it plain or with grapes.

Another "fancy" cheese I purchase almost every time I'm at the store is just a good, mild white cheddar. There's a farm in Iowa called Milton Creamery, they have a fabulous cheddar called Prairie Breeze that you may be able to find because it's won dozens of awards worldwide. It's $19/lb. I get a block of it and use it for everything, scrambled eggs, cauliflower mash, burritos, plain with some bread for a snack, etc. With higher quality cheeses, a little goes a long way. And if you like the staple American cheeses, don't feel bad, if you can find a higher quality version try it out. If it doesn't blow your mind then you probably don't have a palate for cheeses.
#20 Mar 24 2012 at 2:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Living in central Texas you just don't find good cheese often when I do I get a bunch. My stock is low but this is what I have in my fridge atm.
I always buy Wisconsin cheese if it's available most of it comes from right around where I grew up.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ImGatomon/cheese.jpg

I got hungry. Nothing like summersausage, cheese, and wine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v619/ImGatomon/cheese1.jpg

Edited, Mar 24th 2012 8:14pm by Tailmon
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#21 Mar 24 2012 at 7:48 PM Rating: Good
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Although normal goat cheese is gross, drunken goat cheese which has been soaked in red wine is actually pretty damn tasty.
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#22 Mar 25 2012 at 4:39 AM Rating: Good
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Parmesan cheese is another one that needs to be eaten in combination with stuff, and a fresh small block of parmesan that is shaved just before use is infinitely superior to the pre-crumbled stuff that comes in canisters. I recommend lightly steamed fresh asparagus drizzled in cold-pressed virgin olive oil, with fresh flakes of shaved parmesan cheese over it.

If you have a taste for the strong pungent flavour and bite of parmesan, then the canister stuff is ok over a strongly flavoured pasta. Also good in Caesar salads.

Edited, Mar 25th 2012 6:40am by Aripyanfar
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#23 Mar 25 2012 at 12:05 PM Rating: Good
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Really? no cheese curds mentioned?
Squeaky cheese is the best cheese.


And limburger the cheese that pleases.
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#24 Mar 25 2012 at 1:34 PM Rating: Excellent
omg, yes! I love cheese curds so much. It's just hard to get your hands on fresh cheese curds if you don't live near a cheese factory. Fresh is the best btw. The older the cheese curds get, the less they squeak.
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#25 Mar 25 2012 at 6:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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I never reccommend cheese curds. It might cut into my supply if more people start eating them!
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#26 Mar 25 2012 at 7:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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I love cheese, not kao love but love just the same.
My favorites
Fresh Mozzarella, I like low-moisture as well but fresh paired with pesto or cherry tomatos and balsamic vinegar is awesome.
Danish blue cheese
Feta
Cotswold

but pretty much any cheese is a good cheese.
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#27 Mar 25 2012 at 8:17 PM Rating: Good
There are two things missing from this thread.

1.) Asiago

2.) Exodus
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#28 Mar 25 2012 at 8:56 PM Rating: Good
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I'm not a fan of asiago. But part of that is because it smells awful when you toast it, and I worked in a shop where I'd have to toast bagels topped with it.
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#29 Mar 25 2012 at 9:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
There are three things missing from this thread.

1.) Asiago

2.) Parmesan

3.) Exodus


It's a shame most people are only familiar with parmesan in dry grated form.
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#30 Mar 25 2012 at 10:16 PM Rating: Excellent
BrownDuck wrote:
Friar Bijou wrote:
There are three things missing from this thread.

1.) Asiago

2.) Parmesan

3.) Exodus


It's a shame most people are only familiar with parmesan in dry grated form.


Ari wrote:
Parmesan, like, four times, man...
Smiley: bah
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#31 Mar 25 2012 at 11:41 PM Rating: Excellent
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Thanks Bijou <3
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#32 Mar 26 2012 at 12:46 AM Rating: Good
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Shut up.
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#33 Mar 26 2012 at 7:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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It's kind of bad when the blind guy reads better than you do. Jus' sayin'.
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#34 Mar 26 2012 at 8:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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One of the most amazing cheeses I've ever had was Butterkase. It's the kind of cheese that is amazing with a bit of deli ham on a Ritz, or just eaten in delicate little slices straight from the block. It's smooth and creamy (although it varies based on the source; I've had some that was a little bitter), and like its name implies tastes a bit buttery. I'd recommend getting it from a fancy cheese shop or high-end grocery store, as the kind found in normal grocery stores tends to be lower quality.
#35 Mar 26 2012 at 9:22 AM Rating: Good
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It's kind of bad when the blind guy reads better than you do. Jus' sayin'.
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#36 Mar 26 2012 at 4:58 PM Rating: Good
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I got some Asiago and smoked Gouda.

Smoke Gouda was great, I'm gonna be adding that to my list of cheeses to get for gatherings. Asiago was... different. Not really bad, but very strong smell. Kind of hard and grainy, similar to Parmesan, didn't taste the greatest but wasn't as off putting as Gruyere.
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#37 Mar 27 2012 at 1:50 PM Rating: Good
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Get yourself an electric griddle (or a stovetop griddle if you have a gas range) and turn it on high.

Grate about a half a cup of really good parmagiano reggiano (the undisputed king of cheeses) and separate it into 4 equal portions.

In a large bowl, mix some microgreens, concasee (spelling) tomatoes, and seeded and finely diced cucumber with a light drizzle of your favorite vinaigrette.

When the griddle is good and hot, put each portion of the cheese in its own little corner until it melts and starts to barely crisp on the edges.

Pull the cheese "fricos" off the griddle and let them cool on parchment paper. When cool enough to handle but not yet brittle, fold them into a taco shell shape and allow to fully cool.

Fill them with the salad you made earlier and enjoy.

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy good parmagiano cheese.
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#38 Mar 28 2012 at 9:52 AM Rating: Decent
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This thread is making me eat super cheesey pasta for lunch !!!!!!!



{insert generic om nom nom pic here]
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#39 Mar 28 2012 at 3:22 PM Rating: Good
I don't need an excuse to eat super cheesy pasta. That stuff is way too tasty to need an excuse to eat it.
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#40 Mar 29 2012 at 3:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Since it hasn't been mentioned, Halloumi is fantastic grilled or fried. It has a really high melting point so you can even put a few sticks on a barbecue and cook it that way. It is not a strong flavour, it is delicious.
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