Sunday, April 27, 2014

What Cheeses Are Good On Pizza?

Pizza is a classic dish that is popular all over the world, especially in Italy and the United States. Although it is traditionally made using mozzarella cheese, that is not the only option available. Here are some of the many cheeses you should consider using the next time you make a pizza.


As mentioned, the classic cheese for a pizza is mozzarella as that is how Italians first made the dish. Mozzarella is ideal because it melts very well and provides the taste that most people are used to. When it comes to mozzarella, you have plenty of choices including fresh and mozzarellas with reduced fat. You can even get some stretching curd and make your own to put on your pizza while the dough rises.


Although not the typical choice, provolone is another great idea for pizza because like mozzarella it melts well. This cheese is creamy and comes in either plain or smoked varieties depending on your preferences. If you want, you can also try mixing provolone and mozzarella for a delicious combination.


Because parmesan is an Italian cheese, it comes as no surprise that it goes well on pizza as well. Most people think of simply grating a bit of parmesan on top of their normal mozzarella pizza, but you can even use more than this if you want. For an added boost, try mixing the parmesan with Romano for extra flavor.

Although cheddar is one of the cheeses most people think of for a traditional pizza, it is a good way to let your creativity flow. If you choose to use cheddar, you should keep two important things in mind. Remember that the pizza will taste very different, especially if you opt for a sharper cheddar. You should also keep in mind that cheddar isn’t the best at melting, so it is probably ideal to mix it with mozzarella.


Most people who try Swiss cheese on pizza feel that the flavor is too strong as it is very flavorful and salty but when you use it as part of a mixture, it can be a unique and refreshing combination. Try to limit the amount of Swiss cheese you use in your mix, but at least give it a try.


Your options are truly limitless when it comes to cheese for pizza. Many people like to add a bit of feta, goat’s cheese or blue cheese to their pizzas, although these are usually sprinkled on instead of the main cheese. You can also try mixing in a bit of Muenster cheese for a different flavor.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What Can You Make With Fresh Mozzarella Cheese?

When it comes to cheese, fresh mozzarella is one of the most delicious and simplest options. Whether you buy the mozzarella from your cheese retailer or make it yourself using stretching curd, you want to use it soon to take full advantage of its flavor and freshness (although you can usually freeze it for some time). If you don’t want to savor the mozzarella by itself, here are some things to cook with it.


The classic food that most people think of when it comes to mozzarella is pizza and if you enjoy making pizza already, you will notice a huge improvement in flavor if you simply swap out your current cheese for some fresh mozzarella. This is the traditional Italian way to make pizza and there is a reason that it is with fresh mozzarella.


The reason that fresh mozzarella works so well on pizza is because it melts cleanly due to its stringy texture. This means that it is also a great option to spread over pastas or even to make into lasagna. Whether you want to add just a bit of mozzarella flavor to your favorite pasta dish or get creative and make macaroni and cheese with your mozzarella, the freshness will add a great deal of flavor.


If you don’t want to take advantage of mozzarella’s excellent melting properties, then you can also try adding small pieces of it to a fresh salad. The ideal combination to bring out its flavor is the traditional Caprese salad that in addition to the fresh mozzarella, also has tomato, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and of course the lettuce.


Another option is to use your mozzarella to make a breaded appetizer. You can deep fry it to make mozzarella sticks with additional flavor and freshness or if you want to stick the Italian theme, you can only lightly bread it. Then try adding a bit of mixed greens and prosciutto to complete the Italian appetizer.


Sometimes when you buy fresh mozzarella, it will come marinated as this adds additional flavor and preserves the freshness. If you just have the mozzarella and want to marinate it yourself, this is easy to do. All you need to do is take 1 ¼ cups of olive oil and add two cloves of garlic and some of your favorite fresh herbs (the classic options are rosemary and thyme). Add your fresh mozzarella and place it in the fridge; this dish should last for two weeks or so.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cheese Can Make A Great Present

If someone you care about has a birthday or other special event coming up and you don’t want to give them the same gift as someone else, you should consider getting them cheese. Some cheeses may come in special displays or even if they don’t, it doesn’t take much effort to find a cute basket and arrange the various cheeses in a beautiful display. If you are thinking of giving cheese as a gift, there isn’t really a wrong type to choose, although some ideas can be more creative than others. The important thing to remember is to give a variety of options of the highest quality; here are some of the best ideas.

Cheese Curds

Depending on where you live, it is a strong possibility that the gift recipient hasn’t tried cheese curds before and a present can be the perfect occasion to fix this. The one thing you need to remember if you plan on giving cheese curds, however, is that they are best when fresh so you need to give the present as soon as you get them (or at least within a day). Some specialty retailers will even have samplers that contain different flavors of cheese curds so your friend or family member can try a variety of flavors such as garlic and dill, buffalo wing cheddar or the classic cheddar cheese curds.


If you won’t be able to give your friend or family member the present right away, then cheddar may be a better gift option. What is great about cheddar is that there are plenty of varieties available mostly varying in terms of sharpness, which is determined by age. If you choose to make your cheddar gift of the highest quality by purchasing the cheese from a quality retailer, you can include a variety of ages ranging from three to six months (mild cheddar) to 2 to 3 years (extra sharp) and even 5 to 6 years (special reserve super sharp).

Italian Cheeses

Another great choice if the gift recipient loves cheeses but also loves Italy would be a platter that samples the various cheeses of Italy such as the ever popular mozzarella, parmesan and provolone. All of these cheeses are Italian classics that can be eaten alone or added to a meal to make it great. Some Italian cheese platters will also include other items such as Italian pepperoni or similar items to continue the delicious Italian theme.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How To Pair Wine And Cheese Curds

If you are planning on hosting a wine and cheese party in the near future or simply enjoy relaxing with a bit of each item at the end of the day, then you probably know that one of the toughest tasks is matching a new cheese with the right wine. While most people stick to the traditional options when eating cheese with wine that is not the only option. If you don’t want to have to worry about cutting up the cheese, then cheese curds are an excellent option as they are already bite size; you just need to know which wine to choose.

What Are Cheese Curds?

Before you can start thinking about pairing your cheese curds with wine, you need to understand exactly what cheese curds are. They are common in Wisconsin, certain parts of New York and Quebec but other than those places they can be incredibly hard to find. What makes cheese curds unique is that they are only the curd of the cheese, which means the milk solid. Cheese curds are usually made of cheddar and will taste very similar but they are unique in that they squeak and are sometimes saltier than cheddar. The most popular ways to serve them are raw, deep fried or in poutine (a Quebecois food with fries, gravy and cheese curds).

Ideal Pairing

When pairing cheese curds with wine you need to pay attention to the same things you would with any other type of cheese including flavor and texture. If you are eating plain cheese curds, you will notice that they are creamy, savory, rich and salty. Because of this flavor combination, they tend to go well with a white chardonnay. That is because the flavors of the chardonnay: with purified sugars and citrus in a refreshing combination, can truly complement it combining salty and sweet.

Pair It Like Cheddar

If you don’t like chardonnay or simply want other options to pair with your cheese curds, then you can pair the curds just like you would any cheddar cheese. One great option is to try a dry and strong cider or a strong ale; in fact, this is a classic pairing for cheese curds in Wisconsin, both raw and deep fried. You could also look for a Chilean cabernet sauvignon as they tend to be fruity, combing salty and sweet like with the chardonnay. You could also give an apple flavored liqueur a try, although those tend to work best with cheddars that are sharper than cheese curds.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How To Pair Cheese And Beer

When it comes to cheese, one of the classic combinations is to find a cheese that you really enjoy and then search for a wine that brings out its flavor. This is great for snacking by yourself, having a romantic night with your loved one or even hosting a wine and cheese party. The problem for some people, however, is that wine can sometimes be expensive and that is why pairing nice cheeses with beer is becoming more and more common. Here are some things to keep in mind when making your pairings.

General Rules

As with pairing wine and cheese, there are some general guidelines to help you find the perfect combination of cheese and beer. If the cheese is mild, you should generally choose a mild beer and the same is true of any intensity so intense cheeses go well with intense beers as well. When analyzing your beer, consider how carbonated it is, what flavors have been added, how sweet the malt is and how bitter the hops are. You should consider the normal factors related to the cheese such as intensity, age and firmness.

Mild Cheddar 

Cheddar cheese is one of the best options when it comes to pairing cheese and beer because it is a classic combination and cheddar comes in so many different varieties. If you have a nice mild cheddar on hand, you should try pairing it with a brown ale as opposed to another beer. That is because the cheese will be nutty and have a sweet caramel flavor which goes well with the dark fruit and malt that you get in a nut brown ale.

Aged Swiss

Swiss cheese is another popular cheese that is widely available and although it is not available in as many varieties as cheddar, aged Swiss is still a classic option. Because aged Swiss tends to be dense and tangy, you should try pairing it with a Bock as these are strong, smooth and mellow. This will help balance out the intensity of the cheese.

Aged Gouda

Some people find it daunting to choose the right beer for an aged Gouda but their crunchy and butterscotch flavor actually helps them balance out a stout beer. That is because stouts can usually seem intense and tricky because of the black coffee flavor combined with deep-roasted caramel flavor. When paired with an aged Gouda, however, the flavor of a stout seems perfectly balanced.

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