You just made a sandwich. Not just any sandwich mind you, but a sandwich featuring tasty Italian specialty meats including salami, pepperoni and capocollo. This well-crafted masterpiece also includes sliced tomato, spicy mustard, spinach and other tasty fillings between two slices of artisan bread. Perfection. Well, a nearly perfect sandwich except for one major flaw, you topped off this creation with a couple of slices of American cheese. How gauche.
Quite frankly, we feel it is impossible to build the perfect sandwich using American cheese. In fact, American cheese is only fit for a grilled cheese sandwich, at best. Look, you are using quality components to make your sandwich, exceptional meats, fresh vegetables and tasty condiments, let’s not ruin an otherwise perfect sandwich with American cheese.
Perhaps we are being a little too hard on you, maybe you simply lack cheese knowledge and don’t know any better. We are here to change that. We will open a world of opportunities by introducing different types of cheese; grand cheese, marvelous cheese fit for your carefully crafted sandwich fit for a king.
Pay attention, there might be a quiz at the end of our cheese presentation.
There isn’t a universal system for categorizing cheeses, but most cheese enthusiasts group theirs by type or texture or a combination of both.
Cheesemaking always starts with the coagulation of milk curd from the whey. That is, the separation of the solid from the liquid. This is accomplished by the long-standing method of adding rennet, an enzyme, to the milk.
The curd is then cut and the whey is drained. The smaller the curds are cut, the dryer and denser the cheese. Therefore, large curds produce softer cheese.
The final step in cheesemaking is the salting, molding and ripening, which can take just a few days or several years depending on what type of cheese is being made. During this process, many cheeses from a rind or crust, but artificial rinds can also be applied to promote ripening. The ripening process encourages some cheeses to grow mold, which adds that extra kick of flavor.
Generally speaking, the longer a cheese is ripened, the harder it gets. Hard cheeses are usually more expensive and tend to have a pungent aroma and sharp flavor. Popular hard cheeses include Jack, Edam, Asiago and Reggiano.
Semi Hard Cheeses
Some semi hard cheeses are cooked while others are not. For example, Emmental cheese is cooked and Limburger cheese is not. Others are pressed and molded into blocks or wheels. Gouda is a common and popular semi hard cheese.
Washed Rind Cheeses
Washed rind cheeses are brushed or bathed in brine or other solutions including wine or beer. This creates a mold that ripens the cheese from the outside in, giving it a strong, pungent flavor. Limburger is a fine example of a washed rind cheese.
Bleu cheeses are made by injecting bacteria into the curds and leaving them exposed to the air so mold can grow. Popular bleu cheeses include Stilton and Gorgonzola.
While it does have a grainy texture, provolone is a deliciously smooth cheese with a tangy, buttery flavor that makes it a perfect addition to any sandwich. Thanks to its appearance on the Philly cheesesteaks, it has gained tremendous popularity.
Gouda offers a sweet and nutty flavor. Smoked gouda tastes great on sandwiches.
Modern mozzarella cheese is made from cow’s milk and is not aged. And though it is perfect for pizza, mozzarella is awesome on sandwiches as well.
Manchego cheese can take on a variety of flavors from caramel and nutty to fruity and tangy. Again, manchego is a great cheese to add to your sandwich.
Havarti is a rich and creamy cheese with a sharpness determined by how long it has aged.
Muenster is a moist and smooth cheese that varies from mild to sharp depending on how long it was aged.
Brie is a French cheese known for its fruity and nutty taste.
Like we said earlier, there might be a quiz. Here it is, don’t cheat.
1. Large curds produce:
a. Softer cheese
b. Harder cheese
c. Sharper cheese
2. Asiago is a soft cheese
3. There is a universal system for categorizing cheese
4. This was a helpful article
Answers: 1 = a, 2 = b, 3 = b, 4 = a
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