Status: 06/22/2023 10:02 a.m
Cheese is one of the most versatile foods. There are thousands of varieties worldwide, all made from milk. What makes them different and which cheese is suitable for which food?
Whether Gouda or Camembert, cream cheese or feta cheese: Hardly any other food is available in so many different varieties as cheese – and each variety has its very own aroma. A rough distinction is made between hard, sliced and soft cheese as well as sour milk and cream cheese. The starting product for all cheese is milk. It can come from cows, sheep, goats or buffalo.
How is cheese made?
Appenzeller is a Swiss cheese known for its very spicy aroma.
Depending on the product, pasteurized or untreated raw milk is used. This is thickened by adding rennet – an enzyme from the stomach of calves. In the next step, the solid cheese curd – small, chunky cheese components – is separated from the watery whey, heated with constant stirring and finally shaped. More whey flows off when the cheese is pressed, and then the cheese has to mature. Depending on the type, this can take days, weeks or months. The cheese wheels are regularly turned, brushed and sometimes coated with brine, for example.
Make fresh and sour milk cheese
The production of fresh and sour milk cheese, such as Harzer Roller, is different. Here, lactic acid bacteria in particular, sometimes also a small amount of rennet, are added to the milk. Alternatively, lemon juice can be used with cream cheese. Cream cheese is the only type of cheese that does not need to mature and is ready to eat immediately.
Differences between the cheeses
Certain types of cheese are ideal for gratinating, others are well suited as an ingredient in salads or for an aromatic sauce.
Hard cheese, on the other hand, matures for at least three months, has a low water content (up to 56 percent) and usually tastes quite spicy. Well-known varieties include Appenzell and Gruyère. They taste particularly good on their own on bread. Slightly softer is semi-hard cheese. The best-known varieties include Gouda and Edam, but depending on their water content, they can also be considered hard cheeses.
Which cheese melts well?
With their relatively high fat content of 30 percent and more, semi-hard cheeses such as Gouda, Emmental or raclette cheese are particularly suitable for gratinating. They give casseroles a nice golden-brown crust, because these types melt well and are therefore also suitable for a spicy cheese fondue.
Camembert and Brie: popular soft cheeses
Soft cheese has a relatively high water content. The cheese is often covered with a white mold rind. Some varieties like Brie taste mild, others very spicy. Soft cheeses to which mold cultures have been added have a particularly intense aroma. Blue cheeses such as Roquefort are also ideal for savory sauces.
Strong soft cheese tastes particularly good in combination with sweet fruit, such as pears, raspberries or figs. A popular snack is baked camembert. To do this, first coat the cheese in flour, then in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Fry in a pan with hot oil until golden brown on both sides.
Soft cheeses also include feta and other cheeses that are aged in brine. They are ideal as a hearty ingredient in salads. Some varieties – such as Halloumi, a cheese from Cyprus – are also ideal for grilling and offer a vegetarian alternative to fish and meat.
Mozzarella, Parmesan, Gorgonzola: cheeses in Italian cuisine
Cheeses such as Parmesan and Pecorino play an important role in Italian cuisine.
Cheese also plays an important role in Italian cuisine. A classic pizza comes with mozzarella, a scalded cheese based on cow’s milk or water buffalo milk. Buffalo mozzarella tastes particularly aromatic. Many pasta, risotto and vegetable dishes are served with freshly grated hard cheese. The best known is the Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano). Similar to it is the slightly cheaper Grana Padano, while Pecorino is made from sheep’s milk and has a very strong aroma. This also applies to Gorgonzola. However, the blue cheese has a pleasantly creamy texture and tastes great on its own, on pizza or in a sauce.
Cheese – ideal with wine or as a dessert
For many cheese lovers, cheese tastes best on its own with bread and a glass of wine. When preparing a cheese platter, for example as the final course of a meal, it is advisable to combine cheeses of different degrees of maturity and types made from cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk. When eating, you usually start with the mildest cheese and end with the strongest.
With wine, as a dessert or with dinner – cheese is a pleasure. Which varieties belong on a cheese platter and what goes with it? more
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Sass – that’s how the north eats
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Sass: This is how the north eats | 06/25/2023 | 4:30 p.m